I Like This Grape:
Innovation where you least expect it
When thinking about innovation, wine industry is not the first one that comes to mind. Sure the wine industry takes advantage of innovations introduced elsewhere such as agriculture, distribution, bottling, and pricing model. Essentially the last innovation introduced by the industry was the notion of pairing wine with food.
I LIKE THIS GRAPE (ILTG) has recently broke the mold and introduced an industry-changing paradigm that is spinning the wine industry on its head. ILTG is the voice of the modern wine culture. Media, content, and technology platform bringing wine culture to millennials by pairing wine with fashion, film, food, and music through original digital content.
For example their VINOMUSIC platform pairs wine with music and takes the essence and feeling of a song and pairs that with the feeling of a wine. ILTG aspires to be the ‘Be the Vox,’ BuzzFeed, or Vice Media of wine. By defining wine as a lifestyle relatable to millennials and minorities they aspire to be the Food Network of wine.
What inspired Naushad Huda, the creative founder of ILTG to came up with this original idea? Naushad highlighted that many industries over the last 7 years have been disrupted and changed, or are changing decade old paradigms in a significant way. “Let’s just take cars, we have Uber, Telsa, and Autonomous technology. Naushad said, “My kids will likely not own a car.” The idea of ILTG came about when Naushad was looking at how major industries are trying to keep up with consumers who are more and more digitally native (beyond savvy!). “Look at payments – how many different ways can you buy something today; cash, credit, paypal, apple pay, bitcoin, social, etc.)” Naushad said.
The second ambition of the ILTG brand (the first being making wine relatable to millennials and diverse audiences by pairing it with fashion, film, food, and music) is to develop sommeliers and winemakers into celebrities similarly to how chefs are today. What’s missing today from this becoming a reality is a strong media platform on which the future faces of wine can grow and expand. Thus, ILTG firstly created a platform called SommNextDoor to enable young, highly trained, and relatable sommeliers to have a voice, show their unique style, and expose the largest generational group in history to the wonders of a $300B global product.
There is a large shift happening within the media space. Billions of dollars are being poured into new media companies from old media companies. NBC, Disney, Fox and others cannot relate to modern consumers which is why they’ve invested heavily (over $1B in 11 months) into digital media platforms such as Vox, Vice, BuzzFeed. (e.g. Disney invested $800mm in Vice, NBC invested $200mm into BuzzFeed, and Cheddar raised $10mm) Reason: old media can’t relate to this modern, diverse, digitally native consumer base. Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast are antiquated. Even if they tried today to be ‘cool’, they would be shafted as being disingenuous.
This is the kind of out of the box thinking that’s enabling ILTG to shake up an industry that hasn’t seen much innovation (or anything new and exciting) in a very long time and steal the hearts and minds of young generation of wine drinkers. I mean who knew there was a wine pairing to when I’m binge watching Downtown Abbey! http://www.ilikethisgrape.com/wine-x-tv-its-fall-open-a-serious-red-wine-and-start-binge-watching-t-v/