Carole Lawson, CEO/Founder of the Craft Wine Association, will be speaking on Craft Wine at the 2017 Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference. Below is a bit about the presentation in her words.
A lot has been said about “Craft” in the beverage industry, but that was the furthest thing from my mind as I was researching how to open the market for the small winery owned by a couple of friends of mine. I was doing some graduate work at Harvard at the time. One of the cool things about Harvard are the resources available to students. Libraries, research, datasets, all there for your enlightenment and geeky pleasure.
If you happen to be a data junkie as I am, it can be quite an adventure. One of the really cool data tools I got to “play” with was Watson. For those of you who have never been residents of geekland, Watson is an amazing computing system that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to answer questions asked in human language. You might remember a computer that won at Jeopardy? Yes, that Watson, only a more mature version.
The term fine wine has a positive market reaction in the Boomer-plus generations and I was seeking to find terms to get the same market reaction with the Millennial and the “Cuspers” (a Boomer on the cusp of being Millennial). I was seeking this reaction from terms such as artisan and boutique. That’s when it happened. I noticed that in every alternate term set produced there was this one prominent word, a word that was consistently top of the list: “craft”. That unexpected finding lead me down a rabbit hole of market research I never imagined.
In this session, I will take you through the looking glass with me. We will see how the craft market is beginning to shift from beer to wine. We will understand how “wine intimidation” (you know that standing in the wine aisle staring at the shelves in a near frozen state) is hurting the transition of many potential wine consumers and how marketing terms and images can move consumers to a decision point. We will discover how the term craft has been moved beyond a marketing ploy to becoming a cultural term with an embedded understanding that transcends market verticals. We will see how and why craft is being co-opted across not just the beverage industry, but several industries and why that is effective. We will also examine how the big players in the wine industry are using the term to sway the market toward products that are clearly big-business whilst making them look as if they are “craft”.
Finally, we will decompose the all important question of “So What?” What does this mean to you? There are some specific takeaways for travel, tourism, media and wineries large and small. You will leave with some new tools you can start using right away to reach this emerging market.
Carole Lawson Bio
Carole Lawson is the CEO/Founder of the Craft Wine Association. In her previous career, she held several notable executive level roles in technology including Chief Information Officer, California Public Utilities Commission, and Director of eServices for the State of California where she directed the state’s web presence, winning Center for Digital Government’s “Best of the Web” for the CA.gov primary site. She was one of the few women invited to sit on the Editorial Advisory Board for InformationWeek Magazine, a position she held for nearly a decade. She was named among the most innovative Chief Information Officers in the nation not once, but twice winning the prestigious InformationWeek 500 award.
She left the technology rat race in 2013, pursing her passion for wine at the International Culinary Center. She has achieved the standing of Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Her passion for wineries and winemakers lead her to complete graduate work in Marketing Management at Harvard University with a research focus on the wine industry before establishing the Craft Wine Association in 2016.