Grow Tubes on Grapevines: Adding Up The Benefits

I have been selling grow tubes to vineyard managers for more than 15 years, and quite frankly I’m still not very good at it.

Here’s the problem: The more benefits a product has, the harder it is to sell.

First of all, the more you talk about all of the things grow tubes can do for newly planted grapevines, the more you sound like a snake oil salesman – or one of those pitchmen for the “Ginsu” knife on TV, “It slices, it dices, it saws through bricks, but wait there’s more…”

The other problem is that people naturally think in terms of “one product = one benefit” so they latch on to one specific benefit provided by grow tubes and don’t consider the other benefits.

Here is a partial list of the benefits that grow tubes (aka Vine Shelters) provide to vineyard managers:

1. Fast, balanced growth.  You’ll likely pick your first crop one year sooner, and you’ll ramp up to full harvest levels faster.

2. Labor-free vine training up to the cordon wire.  Saves you 2 to 5 passes through the field to tie the vines to a training stake.

3. Protection from glyphosate herbicide treatments or mechanical weed control treatments for faster, more efficient weed control.

4. More consistent growth across the vineyard – so you can train vines to the cordon wire in fewer passes, and vines are all at the same stage of development.

5. Extremely high survival rates – so you have very few expensive and time-consuming replants to worry about (and of course the few replants you do have grow faster and require less labor with grow tubes).

Well, you can see my problem.  I have writing brochures and ads about grow tubes for 15 years.  Advertising people always say to focus on the single, most important benefit when promoting a product.  If you talk about too many benefits the reader won’t remember any of them.

The problem is, if I focus on only one benefit, like fast growth, the reader can say, “Well, I can save some money and live with picking grapes in third leaf instead of second leaf,” not realizing that grow tubes would also cut his maintenance costs by more than half.  Or I could focus on fast, easy weed control and the reader wouldn’t realize that she could also cut vine training costs and pick grapes one year sooner.

But if I talk about all of the benefits grow tubes provide the list keeps growing and gets pretty hard to believe.  How can one product – a seemingly (deceptively) simple plastic tube do so many things?

However, there is one big advantage to selling a product that provides so many benefits: Almost everyone that buys Wilson Grow Tubes would never plant again without them.  Here’s the funny thing I have noticed:  A guy who first buys them for the fast growth will buy them again because of another benefit he has “discovered,” like no-tie vine training, or easy, safe spraying.

Grow tubes provide multiple benefits, any one of which can pay for the grow tube in one season… but wait, there’s more!

Did I mention that Wilson Grow Tubes are UV stabilized for 3 to 5 years?  So they easily pay for themselves in year one, but provide 2 to 4 more uses.

That beats the heck out of a Ginsu knife!

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