Today it seems like we are hearing about a new breakthrough every day.

It’s easy to get the idea that these breakthroughs are instantaneous bolts of clarity from very gifted people. Once in a while there is a sudden stroke of genius that leaves us all in awe. But most of the time the real breakthroughs are years in coming and the result of much cooperation and analysis.

Sure, there are the “Why don’t we just…” moments, but most practical and lasting breakthroughs require a team. Here’s what we experienced with several breakthroughs that occurred in our business.

1. Other industry practices

We had a problem with keeping our advertising signs up on the supermarket shelves. The competition, or the cleaning people, would take them down regularly.  Sometimes we couldn’t even get our marketing materials to the shelf. They were thrown in the dumpster by our distributors. We were spread so thin we couldn’t cover all the stores with our own limited staff.

One day we noticed that some soup cans had an award medal affixed right to the can to communicate value to the shoppers. It took us two years to work out the mechanical issues necessary to put our award stickers on our bottles, on the bottling line. That meant that finally we had at least one piece of merchandising material that made it to the shelf every time and couldn’t be removed.


To read the complete article, please visit The Business Journals




Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact