Do you know enough to know when you've had too much? Saurabh Abrol has 15 million reasons to hope not. That's how much his website,Winechateu.com, is projecting in wine sales for 2008.
"We pretty much market to anyone 21 years or older because we feel that even the younger generation is getting into drinking wine," Abrol says. "Wine just has a lot more to offer. We market to the bulk buyers and we still get people buying four or five cases of cheaper wine rather than buying a few bottles of expensive wine."
Abrol says about 25 percent of his customers choose to go the bulk route, a figure that jumps to around 35 percent toward the end of the year, when more people are entertaining friends and family at home. His biggest age market is the 35-65 set, most of whom are at a point in their lives where they've decided to settle down and really just enjoy drinking, something they're not likely to give up anytime soon.
"Alcohol in general, I think people just won't stop drinking whether the economy is low or high," Abrol says. "It's just a matter of how much they're willing to spend on each bottle. People are going to drink when they're celebrating and people also drink when they're sad. It's a lifestyle people get into.and I just don't think people will ever stop drinking."
Greed: The Luxury Marketing Council
What's the next best thing to being rich? Selling a product or service to people who are. And David Winter helps bring the two groups together as president of the Southern California chapter of the Luxury Marketing Council, a company that helps high-end businesses market to clients with at least $1 million in liquid assets--assets they are more than happy to part with for the right reasons.
"Wealthy people are looking for ways to spend money," Winter says. "They are looking to get exposed to connoisseur experiences. They're looking to get exposed to rare and authentic and high-quality experiences and products. And we help bring those to them."
The LMC was started in New York in 1994 and is now in 22 cities worldwide, with new chapters planned for Houston; Las Vegas; Austin, Texas; Philadelphia; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Chicago by January of next year. It has more than 800 member companies, all of which pay average yearly dues of about $7,500. Winter says a big part of LMC's success comes from understanding what makes the ultra-wealthy tick and making them feel good about it.
"Wealthy people are unapologetic about the money they have," he says. "A vast majority of them are self-made. Perhaps they have run into some good luck. A lot of it is timing, and certainly there's a who-you-know aspect to it. But relatively few of them have inherited their money. Most of them have done it by working their bottoms off. Greed has a negative connotation. But the desire for the finer things in life does not necessarily make you greedy."
Sloth: The Professional Organizer
Sloth has come to be synonymous with laziness. But the original definition of sloth had much more to do with a person's underlying melancholy and the ensuing apathy. Allison Carter knows the difference--and she's turned that understanding into a business that gets her clients motivated and organized.
"There's always something better to do and there's always some reason not to do what needs to be done, even though it becomes pressing," she says. "Some people fall into trouble because they're in despair or sad or depressed. There are many people who are coming out of depression and they're ready to pick the pieces back up. That's what ends up being viewed as sloth. There's a perception that they're lazy. But there's always an underlying reason why they're not doing stuff."
Carter, 42, was a stay-at-home mom looking for something to do in 2002 when she discovered the market for professional organizational services. She markets mostly to fellow moms as well as creative types who are looking to get their businesses or hobbies under control. Her Atlanta-area business now includes an affiliate licensing program for those around the country who want to become organizers, as well as books and other products for sale. She says a big draw for her clients is not only the physical result of her service, but also the emotional weight that's inevitably lifted.
"People will pay anything to get rid of pain," Carter says. "You feel guilty that you're not a better role model for your kids. You feel guilty that your husband has to look at your stuff. You feel shame that you can't have people over to your house. Those are the types of things a professional organizer can solve with you so you can get over those pain points."