Monday, September 3, 2007

I am so "Not Cool" anymore

My husband, Ralph, and I were shopping at a natural foods Co-Op up on Seattle’s Capital Hill a while ago. I’d left my glasses in the car so was letting Ralph pick the produce while I’m off wandering the isles.

As I passed a display of bottled water I noticed a brand I hadn’t seen before and picked up a bottle. I could just read the words “Send a Message in a Bottle.

Well, that captured my attention… you know, the marketing person inside me. So I put it in our basket.

On the way home I drank the water and tossed the empty bottle in my basket to take to the winery to show Molly and Libby (we each lug around these great African baskets that we use to haul all our stuff that goes to and from home, winery and events).

So, this story continues a few days later when I get to the winery for a Working Girl meeting.

I pull out this water bottle, again not really looking at it closely, and hand it to Molly while blabbering on about, “Wouldn’t it be cool to do a promotional mailing to our customers in a ‘plastic wine bottle’.”

I can barely get the words out because Molly is laughing so hard she’s tearing up as she hands the bottle to Libby. “Kathy”, Molly says… “Don’t you know what this is?”
Again, I touch the bottle and say something like, “Well, it has a plant on the front and it say’s ‘Legalize It’.”

Still NOT GETTING IT… Libby rolls her eyes and informs me the plant in the picture is marijuana, and the label asks folks to send a message “in the bottle” addressed to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Count asking for marijuana to be legalized!

Well, jeez… details.

You know, if it was something techie I didn’t get I could understand but for goodness sakes, I even grew up in the 60’s and 70’s.
I guess I DO get going a bit too fast sometimes (well, maybe a lot of the time, according to the others).

I know the course we’re headed, the goals… but sometimes I’m just not the one to fill in all the details (that’s probably why I got such poor scores in school for not coloring within the lines!).

Like when I was proofing an ad for one of our last winery events. I knew something wasn’t right but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Until it hit me. I’d forgotten the “date, time and place.” Minor details. Guess I was hoping “women’s intuition” would get most folks here at the right time.

What’s the old saying... “The devil is in the details?”

My take-away from these embarrassing “brain farts?”

Two Points:

1. You need to work with a team who has complimentary skills. For the Working Girls here at the Winery, that means not all of us better be going through “menopause therapy” at the same time!

2. To stay competitive you’ve got to be cool! Well, maybe not on the ragged edge of “cool” but since your customers span multiple generations, your business sure as heck better reflect that, too. Between Benoit, Kathy Kidwell who works in the winery office, Libby, Molly and me, we cover 3 (and really close to 4) decades. Good enough.

Ah well, at least when my grandkids call me “Grandma Wine Chick,” I still feel cool!

Kathleen Charlton
Owner/Manager, Olympic Cellars Winery
Home of Working Girl Wines
Created By Women, In Support of Women
http://www.olympiccellars.com/

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