One of my co-workers said to me yesterday, "You wrote another blog post comparing whisky to wrestling?"
Yes, I did.
It's just too similar. If you read the content of whiskey blogs and message boards, it's absolutely identical to the subjects being discussed on their wrestling counterparts. It's the exact same thing going on now in both industries with growing dissatisfaction among the diehards weighing in against the economic growth of a company.
- You've got insiders who know what's going on in the industry, and casual fans who don't.
- These insiders (smart fans who keep up on the internet) appreciate the product on an entirely different level and they want to uphold certain standards that maybe aren't as important to the casual fan.
- When the companies cater to the mass general audience, putting aside desires of the passionate smart fans, it drives them absolutely up the wall.
- The companies (or company as the WWE dominates wrestling these days) sometimes have to decide between taking care of their loyal, outspoken super fans, or what they think will sell to a larger audience and generate more revenue (this has actually been turned into a storyline on current WWE television).
- The smart fans absolutely cannot understand why their beloved company would cater to people who don't love the product as much as they do. Why aren't their desires, as diehard groupies, taken more seriously?
- Wrestling enthusiasts scream for Daniel Bryan, but instead they get John Cena. Whiskey enthusiasts scream for mature, full proof whiskey, but instead they often get 45% without an age statement. In both cases, the people in charge think it's better to go with a general appeal and a broader market.
- In both cases, the super fans are stuck. They don't want to stop consuming their beloved product because it's an important part of their life, but it's becoming more and more aggravating to watch it devolve in to something lesser than it once was.
- Both groups represent a very small portion of the overall consumer market, despite the fact that they're the loudest and most passionate. This is a key reason why their needs are rarely put forward as a priority by the people pulling the strings.
- Smaller companies are always more equipped to handle the needs of these super fans, but they're often difficult to maintain due to revenue needs and start-up costs. They almost always go under or get co-opted by the larger companies. Wrestling super fans had ECW, until the WWE bought it out. Whisky fans had Bruichladdich, until Remy Cointreau purchased it.
I am one of many wrestling fans who is completely unhappy with the current WWE product, so much so that I hardly watch a full program anymore. However, I'm so passionate about wrestling that I can always be hooked back in by something new and exciting, in the hope that it might get good again. I love reading about what's happening next on the internet and what might be in the works for this reason. I think many whiskey fans are the same way.