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Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.

I recorded this week’s FaceTime from the Carlton Cellars Vineyards, in Carlton, Oregon, where Mrs. Content Guy came for a wine luncheon. I don’t know about you, but I look around and see the blue sky, the vines, I feel a nice breeze blowing, and I taste one of their wonderful Pinot Noirs … well, this is my idea of paradise.

We came because the owners of the vineyard - Dave Grooters and Robin Russell - have become good friends over the years, and we take advantage of every opportunity to come visit. Plus - and I don’t mind being transparent about this - I like to do everything I can to support their independent and wonderful wine business. (Personal note: Go to the Carlton Cellars site and order some Road’s End. It doesn’t have broad distribution, but but it is totally worth the effort.)

But there’s a lesson to be found here … and not just that they make great pinots.

As we attended the luncheon, in addition to tasting great wine and having some terrific food, we also had a chance to learn a little but about agriculture and the growing of wine in this particular soil - what in the wine business is called terroir.

This turned what could’ve been a pedestrian event into something special. That’s a great lesson for retailers that are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. Especially bricks-and-mortar retailers that are looking to stake out a claim on customers that could be lured away by e-commerce.

These kinds of moments may not be able to be totally recreated in the store, but it isn’t all that hard to treat products as something special, to create events that celebrate even items that you may think of as being pedestrian or commodities.

Think of your store as being your own kind of terroir - a unique environment that gives your brand specific and defined characteristics.

That’s the lesson from Carlton Cellars … and it’s what is on my mind. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.

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