As 2011 came to a close, I wrote about Moet Hennessy partnering with a Chinese company to build a vineyard in northwest China. I just learned that their Chief Executive, Christopher Navarre revealed:”Our first objective is to produce the best quality.” Sounds like a great wine production objective for Shangri-La.
As I reported, the production costs of champagne in Reims, France have skyrocketed due to the increased cost of grapes and land since most of the major brands do not own vineyards, thus buy their grapes from independent growers. Consequently, Moet Hennessy, the French wine and spirits company has been investing in China. They just entered into a joint red wine venture with Chinese liquor maker the VATS Group. The area in China they have chosen to plant vines that will produce superior grapes is in the far northwest corner of the Yunnan Province at the foot of the Himalayas. Mr. Navarre at the signing ceremony indicated: “The team spent a lot of time in China to find the right location to produce this top-quality red wine. The combination of soil, sunshine and climate make it ideal for the type of grapes needed to produce a robust, Bordeaux-style wine that should be ready in three to four years. The objective here is not market share, not sales revenue. Our first objective is to produce the best quality.” For the record the signing ceremony was held in the town of Shangri-La.
Remember Shangri-La, the fictional place depicted in the British classic Lost Horizon? It was a mystical valley isolated from the outside world, synonymous with paradise and utopia according to Tibetan Buddhist folk-lore. Let’s face it, as business leaders; we are all searching for our Shangri-La. Smart marketers recognize that classic marketing models are fading and are being replaced by customer centric engagement strategies. As a result, companies (B2C and B2B) are utilizing collaborative Web 2.0 technologies to get closer to their customers. Occupants of the C-Suite are challenging their people to get into the social media game. They are also demanding “Show me the ROI” since they are too accustomed/programmed to the traditional bottom line quantitative monetary measurement of Return on Investment.
SMARTKETING has been afforded the opportunity to work on several social media projects and recommends stealing a page from Moet Hennessy’s playbook – when embarking in the new world of social media, think big picture/long-term. Make your first objective to produce the best quality social media movement since the end result is still all about achieving a transaction. Moet Hennessy understands this concept since they know they will be producing choice bottles of Bordeaux that their Chinese target market will be lining up for in future years.
Is your company ready for the long journey to Shangri-La?