Don’t underestimate the power of experience. One of my passions (nicely blurred between personal and professional) is whisky. The industry as a whole fascinates me. Last night I attended (yet another) tasting event, which as well as being a good enough reason to have a few tastes on a school night, also serves as a great reminder what retail can still offer in this world moving increasingly on-line. Brands can make a big impact online – and many whisky companies have some big budgets to create innovative campaigns and engaging websites – however, (in this instance) it’s a product to taste and experience. I’ve yet to see what can replace the ‘live’ experience of such a product, and hear from either the people who make it – or the people who are close to it. Whether that’s in a conference room, a retail outlet or the point of manufacture. That’s why sales of this particular whisky will climb this week in a certain part of North Yorkshire, and that’s also why I will make a point of stopping at the distillery next time I drive by it. I’m sold in. I’m an advocate. And a website didn’t do that. Don’t underestimate the power of experience, and the power of the people you employ to deliver it.