Vinomofo: Marketing Ownership Change

When a successful startup gets bought out how can you go about marketing ownership change so that the “sellout” label is avoided? By embracing it Vinomofo style!

Vinomofo, a daily wine deals startup from Adelaide was in this situation recently. They were bought out by a larger fish, Catchoftheday (COTD). It’s a great success story, something the founders can be very proud of. To give some context, I have taken some quotes from an AFR article that helps paint the scene:

They started out five years ago, driving a van around South Australia’s wine regions and filming their tasting experiences. That led to an award-winning online forum, qwoff.

They needed to come up with an idea to commercialise their work, and a wine daily deals concept was born:

When Mr Dry, 34, came up with the idea of an online daily deals site in early 2011, Mr Eikmeier was initially doubtful.

But the group realised that by cutting out the middle man, the distributor, they could offer wine at a discount to consumers while helping producers move stock.

The idea worked so well they caught the attention of a larger daily deals site, Catch of the Day who then went on and purchased it from the founders. This created a marketing problem. How does an anti-establishment brand market what may be viewed as a sellout?

Their youtube response to this question is brilliant and funny:

Mixed in with the obviously humorous content, the video also tries to educate the viewer the benefits of the acquisition:

  • It will enable greater growth of the Vinomofo brand
  • Opens up new opportunities and markets
  • Provides access to complimentary expertise from the parent company

Most simply, it enables Vinomofo to keep growing and getting better. The video manages to convey all these points whilst also making us laugh and love the brand even more. Marketing genius.

Could your company choose a funny tongue-in-cheek response to a real marketing issue like this?

I bet this wasn’t easy. Vinomofo’s background in video work and one founders background in acting would have helped them successfully pull this off.

It’s a great strategy for marketing ownership change, could your brand get away with it?

It would be great to know how they produced it, and at what budget…

Hit me up with your thoughts in the comments!

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