Inspiration Makes All The Difference

Our Creative Director, Ronelle Louwrens, spoke at Paarl Wine Route‘s Paarl Wine Challenge awards ceremony. This is what she said about inspiration:

“When YehBaby was asked to speak, the first thing that came to mind, of course, was digital media and wine tourism. These are the things we at YB work with every day of our lives: finding interesting reasons for people to visit your cellar door or purchase your wine via online channels. Just about 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

And no, it actually never gets boring. Why? Because although we work with several wine brands, we really work with stories. And no two true stories are ever the same.

Often people think they hire us for a specific task, like building a website, marketing an event and so on. Although these things are very important and need to be executed very well, they are mostly just applications of what we actually do: finding ways of telling a story to make a brand stand out among similar businesses.

In dealing with different people and different brands in different situations and in a medium that is almost borderless, I’ve come to realize that the one thing that makes a wine brand truly stand out from the rest, what makes them successful, is INSPIRATION.

I’d like to add ‘energy’, but people who are inspired often have energy.

Much of digital marketing is very dry and technical, but creativity is the thing that fuels a successful brand and marketing campaign. Without inspiration, your marketing plans and schedules are like aeroplanes without wings.

Inspiration leads to action, action leads to inspiration. It’s a great reinforcing loop.

I think when it comes down to it, inspiration is really the theme of this wine awards event. We are celebrating the product of inspiration which has taken form through the actions of wine-making teams.

Good wine is associated with inspiration – probably has been since grapes were first fermented. Think poetry, relaxing, losing inhibitions. Getting people closer together with their guards down to inspire one another. There’s nothing like a glass of wine when you have to write a speech…

The cycle of inspiration and action is not the only virtuous circle to consider when talking about inspiration. There is also a major element of ‘paying it forward’, of generosity with your ideas and energy, that can end up turning a moment of inspiration into a movement.

This is my favourite aspect of social media – the way it has upended the old power structure of brands talking at consumers who have very little opportunity to talk back. Nowadays, brands who are brave enough to be REAL in how they present themselves and really listen to what their supporters are telling them, have an opportunity to be inspired by their audience. By individuals who previously were just thought of as a faceless, averaged out demographic.

Getting back to the ‘bottled inspiration’ that brought us here tonight. We don’t have to look far for inspiration in Paarl. Our cups are overflowing with inspiring experiences, tastes, journeys around the rock. We have a variety of easily accessible, breathtaking views. We have the impressive giants of the wine industry, the passion of boutique owner-wine-makers. The oldest, the longest, the largest. We have art and wine, waterblommetjies, languages and a fascinating, deep history. And shortly we will have a food and wine market event with a view that just cannot be beat.

The challenge for us as wine tourism marketers is to keep on seeing these things as if for the first time, and to not forget what our first time (or regular) visitor is experiencing. To think like a customer, an adventurer, a traveler, a wine lover. What they are looking for is an experience, something new, something that will inspire them. Whether it’s from the label, the glass, the venue or the online representation.

What we are actually selling is the thing that elevates our products above the level of a commodity. We are selling INSPIRATION.”