Northeastern senior Rocky Slaughter soon will be throwing lavish parties that extol the Kendall Jackson brand, and reporting on the festivities via social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
Last week, Slaughter finished in the top 10 for what was billed as “A Real Goode Job,” with Murphy-Goode, a Kendall Jackson winery in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. He didn’t get the job, but Jess Jackson, Kendall Jackson’s billionaire owner, and the winery’s top executives were so impressed with Slaughter’s branding ideas that they created another one-of-a-kind position for the political science major: “Czar of Crushia.” The gig pays $30,000 over six months.
Kendall Jackson’s new Czar will be promoting the company’s wines and brand to a specific audience the winery wants to reach: the millennial generation. Slaughter will capitalize on his natural “in” with this crowd by visiting college campuses, weddings, and other millennial generation events. He’ll then broadcast the celebrations over the Web, tweeting all things Kendall Jackson and Murphy-Goode from his iPhone.
“In this economy, where jobs are up in the air, social media experts are very valuable,” says the web-savvy Slaughter. “There is a direct correlation between effective social marketing and an increase in a company’s bottom line.”
The Redding, Calif., native wowed the winery’s execs in the final round of the dream-job contest, tossing out close to 50 ideas for spreading the Kendall Jackson brand via Web 2.0 and building “lovemarks”—the latest marketing-speak for intense emotional connections forged between consumers and brands.
Here are just a few of the ideas that landed Slaughter the Czar job:
• Releasing CDs or thumb drives with each bottle
• Creating an iPhone app that helps smart-phone users match food with wine
• Holding Twitter contests—known as “Twontests”—on Murphy-Goode’s Twitter page with prizes for tweeters who, for example, offer the most creative description of a wine
Slaughter, a web-designer with a photography studio (called Happens, LLC), will work closely with the Kendall Jackson/Murphy-Goode marketing and PR teams, fine-tuning his ideas and looking for other ways to saturate the market. He’ll also be traveling around the world, throwing surprise wine-tasting parties, and holding formal events for Millennial Generation wine enthusiasts.
Slaughter begins his dream co-op at the end of August. For now, he has a message to those interested in using the power of social media to promote anything from a brand of wine to a garage rock band. “Buy your domain name and saturate all social media sites,” he explains. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t use the sites right away; just make sure you get your name on them now.”