Readers may remember the ongoing saga of my bottle of Stormhoek Wine: they gave bottles away to any UK blogger who asked for one, hoping that we would say something — anything — about their wine. I, unfortunately, lost my bottle, but they patiently sent me another. And another, after I kvetched about the lack of a personalized label. I’ve since met a couple of the committed Stormhoek guys, Jason and Nick, talked about wine and astrophysics, and wish them well in their oenological endeavors.
Today, The Telegraph wrote about the broader implications of that saga — the use of blogs as a marketing tool. Not, this time, blogging by marketers, or using blogs as thinly-disguised advertising, but marketing by (or through) bloggers, relying on bloggers’ opinions and, crucially, the reach of those opinions. One case is hard to draw too many lessons from, but Stormhoek’s rapid growth over the last six months shows that it seems to be working.