We jumped on the Groupon craze two years ago in Los Angeles. Our first purchase was an indoor skydiving session at iFly by Universal Studios in Hollywood that I bought as part of a Linda birthday surprise. Don’t worry. The rest of the night was more romantic than jump suits and giant air fans pointed vertically.
We had so much fun that we kinda jumped on the group buying trend. We did horseback riding, art lessons, even tango lessons (still trying to keep up with that). However, we’ve recently slowed down the buying. While I don’t disagree that there are amazing, tempting deals, I’ve found that some of these purchases have been a little too impulse.
Regardless, we still subscribe to the Groupon & LivingSocial emails, partly because I work in digital advertising and partly because we like a good deal. It seems like these deals are getting funneled into verticals, and wine is no different. We recently started following the wine sale sites like Cinderella Wine, Wootwine, Lot18, Invino, and WinesTilSoldOut mainly through Twitter. Sadly (or fortunately) nothing caught my attention, and I think that’s due to 2 reasons. We still are so new to wine that a lot of the brands were unknown to us. No matter the review or points, there wasn’t a compelling reason to consider a purchase. Shipping was the other reason that we opted to stay on the sidelines. Shipping a single bottle seems silly, which means I start to consider buying enough to qualify for free shipping. At that point, I pause and remind myself of reason #1, our proximity to Bevmo, and pass.
That changed about 4 days ago when Lot18 had a package deal for Sequoia Grove Reserve. We’ve mentioned Sequoia Grove before on the blog. We love it so much that it even resides on our favorites page. When I saw this deal, it was very hard to resist. 3 bottles of their reserve Cabernet go for almost $200. The deal was half off which basically puts it at the price of their regular Cabernet. After a quick “will I get in trouble?” email to Linda, I made the purchase.
About 4 days later, the following arrived…
The process was definitely easy, but I think there was an opportunity for Lot18 to create a brand experience (especially for a first time buyer). Maybe I’m on an Apple design/Jack Dorsey kick on creating beautiful elements of design in products and being picky. The box just lacked a brand touch. It was addressed from a Lot18 business location in Napa, so there was an opportunity to add something unique, and unique can even be black cardboard cradling the wine. Time to open up the checkbook after that recent round of funding and make it an experience people want again and again.