Posts Tagged ‘Sales’

The drinks business has compiled a list of the current top 10 Champagne brands by global volume sales.

While there are few dramatic changes to this year’s rankings – the slide by Piper Heidsieck was widely forecasted as a result of the brand’s recent repositioning – what does stand out is the decline in sales seen by so many of these major players in the Champagne category.

For many consumers, especially in more traditional markets, Champagne stands firm as the ultimate celebratory drink. However, this slide in sales appears to be the result of two aligning forces: ongoing economic difficulties in some of the category’s biggest markets and the growing competition Champagne faces from an increasingly ambitious sparkling wine market.

Read on to find out which brands are dominating today’s Champagne market.

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Selling commodities is difficult because people buy on emotion, or instinct if you will. Want and desire are powerful emotions that can stimulate the release of endorphins. It’s why some people are shop-a-holics. It feels good to buy. But it’s not that easy to get emotionally worked up about borax, chlorine, and salt. As an economic good, a commodity has no real differentiation, so small price differences in competing products can make huge differences in total sales.

Think about how you won’t buy gasoline at one gas station because it’s four cents cheaper around the corner. That’s a commodity. Ever buy a piece of art that way? Of course not because art’s value is in the eye of the beholder, is easily differentiated, and consequently will have wide price ranges. When art is sold, it’s sold on the artist’s reputation or the emotion the piece evokes for someone. Marketers work overtime to take commodity-like goods and then pretend they aren’t commodities by creating and building an emotional appeal around the brand.

 Take the above deodorant commercial. Did you hear mention of the product characteristics as a differentiator? Nowhere does this commercial say Old Spice is made with orange, lemon, clary sage, heliotrope, pimento berry and musk, even though those were the original Old Spice ingredients. The creative team instead focused on delivering an emotional image; something with a human connection that ties back to the product.
 
In this case in a humorous way, they are talking about sex-appeal and are really targeting women who are by far the larger purchasers of family groceries still. The subliminal note is if you get Old Spice for your husband, he will look like this …….. or maybe the message is he will ride a horse? I don’t know but I am wearing Old Spice and on a horse right now. Look at me….

 

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Magic or Science?

Magic or Science?

This is blog post #2 billion on wine marketing. Everybody writes about it. A few of them even have something important to say.

So in summary:

1. Know your market
2. Write well
3. Watch the money roll in.

Ok, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. #3 is patently false. #2 means nothing, you either write well or know how to hire well or perhaps neither. So you may need to work on this. But #1 is the most important here, and that’s what we’ll discuss.

Let’s assume you want to sell wine. Let’s assume you actually make wine or work for a winery. Let’s also assume you make good wine. Selling bad wine requires a skill far beyond our abilities here.

Marketing and selling are not the same thing. To paraphrase marketing guru Peter Drucker, “The aim of wine marketing is to make selling wine superfluous.” So where do you start? Marketing involves everything about your brand: what your labels look like, where you might talk about your wine (advertising, social media, wine events), how people can taste your wine, where they can buy it, etc. Only then will you be in a position to sell your wine. And if your wine is really good, then people who enjoy it can become your best salespeople (now called “brand ambassadors”).

Who buys your wine now? Do you even know? Do you have a tasting room? If so, you do ask for their email addresses and maybe their phone numbers. No? Why not? They are your customers. They want to buy more at some point. Don’t ignore them. Everyone talks about social media (incessantly). Important, yes. But do not neglect email. It’s still (as of this writing) crucial.

If you don’t have a tasting room, do you do winemaker dinners? Tastings at festivals? Wine store events? Do you ask for emails there?

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(Image courtesy Captain Grooviss)

(Image courtesy Captain Grooviss)

 

Hard cider sales are showing remarkable growth in the U.S. market as new brands inject dynamism into the category. Eagerly tapping into the trend, brewers including Boston Beer Co., MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch InBev and others have all jumped into the cider pool.

The U.S. market’s top 10 cider brands increased by 62.6% to 9.58 million 2.25-gallon case depletions in 2012, according to Impact Databank. Most major brands, particularly domestic entrants, showed double-digit increases, including category leader Woodchuck, which grew 25% to 2.53 million 2.25-gallon cases.

Boston Beer Co. launched its Angry Orchard brand in 2011, and it did just 40,000 cases in that year. But last year it gained national distribution and grew to within striking distance of Woodchuck, hitting 2.2 million cases.

In February 2012, MillerCoors’ Tenth and Blake craft-import unit purchased Crispin Cider Company of Minneapolis. Crispin, which was launched in 2008, quickly gained a presence beyond its regional base once MillerCoors took over. Last year, brand volume more than doubled to 714,000 cases.

 

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on the rise ...

On the rise …

 

It used to be the drink reserved for a hot summer’s day but now consumers are increasingly turning to Rose wine throughout the year with sales up 10 per cent in the last 13 years.

Rose now accounts for a record one in eight bottles of wine bought in supermarkets and off-licences, up from one in 40 in the year 2000.

Sales of rose wine in shops are currently worth £646 million in Britain, nearly £1.8 million a day, according to figures from market analysts Nielsen.

While growth in rose wine buying has slowed in recent years – attributed to poor summer weather – experts believe it is becoming a drink that is enjoyed all year round.

It is especially popular among women drinkers on a night out or sharing a bottle at home with friends.

Some winemakers have specifically targeted women drinkers by making less strong varieties with a typical alcohol by volume level of nine or 10 per cent, compared with other wines which can be up to 14 per cent in some cases.
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Wine is social. Sure, you can drink it solo, but it’s best enjoyed with friends, food and conversation.  Selling wine is social, too. Canny wine marketers know this in their bones. The job isn’t about moving a bottle of wine across a counter. That’s just the transaction. The job is about great service, gonzo enthusiasm and killer personality.

They approach a customer, ask the right questions, listen carefully, suggest wisely. If the customer goes away smiling and the wine is a hit, the customer will come back. And next time, bring friends.

If any industry is tailored for social media, it’s wine. The proof is in the data. According to VinTank, a social media software company for the wine business, 14 million people have mentioned wine online at some point, a number that grows by 450,000 people every month. And they’re talking a lot, having 1.5 million conversations about wine online—every single day.

The bulk of this chatter happens on mainstream social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus wine-centric apps like CellarTracker and Delectable. People post tasting notes, bottle shots, and ratings from 88 points to Yuck to Wow! They tag their friends, who share it too. Think of social media as the breeding ground for digital word of mouth.

Now, producers, retailers, restaurateurs and buyers have joined the conversation. Getting up to speed in social media means learning a new technology, but that’s not so different from learning a new point-of-sale system (and arguably a little easier). Happily, many wine pros find that success online requires the same kind of sensitivity and savoir-faire their jobs demand in real life.

“Customers are going to talk whether you’re listening or not,” says VinTank’s CEO, Paul Mabray. “You’d answer the phone if they called you. You’d answer an email. It’s fundamental customer service to answer a tweet, or a post on your Wall. And you don’t answer in stupid promotional ways. You just say, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’”

But social media success does require a slight shift in thinking. Traditional marketing was about push. A marketer publishes a notice about a holiday sale, or the arrival of a scarce Bordeaux, hoping customers will come pouring in.

Social media is about pull. Instead of broadcast-and-pray, a marketer goes where the customers are, connects with them, and engages with them on their terms.
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Also read:

 

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The Internet is blossoming into quite the virtual vineyard.

Online wine options are everywhere, from flash sale sites like Lot18 offering daily deals to Facebook prodding you to send a little something for Aunt Suzy’s birthday. And now there’s a new generation of startups such as Club W, which adds a little algorithm to your Albarino, using surveys and ratings to figure out what you might like to drink next.

 

Advertisement ..The click-and-sip approach seems to be catching on, says Jeff Carroll of ShipCompliant, a Boulder, Colo.-based company that helps wineries comply with shipping laws. “Wine is a unique product and it lends itself well to the social aspects of the Internet in terms of discovery.”

 

Online sales have been around for a while, with individual wineries selling wine through their websites, a practice that has become more prevalent as more states relax Prohibition-era laws that had banned alcohol shipments.

 

Today, only seven states have an outright ban on direct-to-consumer shipping, though some of the states that do allow shipping have various restrictions, and 89 percent of the U.S. population has access to direct-to-consumer sales, according to Steve Gross of the San Francisco-based Wine Institute, a trade association.

 
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For over 3 years, we have worked closely with the Burgundy School of Business both as a company – hiring interns to work with the EWBC, and as a research engine – helping us conduct field studies on various subjects. This year, Aymeric Dehont conducted a host of research for us, which eventually inspired him to create a paper on the fragile relationship between wine and social media. We appreciate Aymeric’s hard work putting together his thoughts and trust you will share your feedback with him. Keep in mind this is from a very European perspective.

How to improve the use of social media in the wine business?

Introduction:

As a Masters student in Wine Business in Dijon, the regional capital of Burgundy, I’ve continuously questioned myself on many issues within the wine and spirits sector. Yet, one of the most debated subjects has been the apparent effectiveness of social media. After attending the EWBC – Digital Wine Communications Conference, I have come to under that the wine & spirits industry, in general, hasn’t succeeded in its use of these new tools. Therefore, I wanted to get a better understanding on how to improve digital communication and what would be the ideal online strategy to follow.

This paper will provide a brief analysis of how social media is currently affecting the wine industry based on articles, marketing analysis and knowledge.

Social media and the impact on marketing

It is true that social media has attracted an inordinate amount of people over the last two decades and currently, almost everyone is using at least one of its platforms. In large part, this is because interaction between each other, and the community, has always been a basic need for humans, referring to the very famous Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid.

As observed in the Nielsen Social Media Report 2012, social media is mainly used when watching TV in order to interact and function as ‘social care’ for customer service. Approximately, 47% of social media users were actively involved in social care. In 2011, more than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies were using some form of social media to connect with consumers.

Companies that are using these tools efficiently are not advertising, but instead creating bonds between themselves and the consumer; thereby establishing loyalty. The customer isn’t considered as an asset anymore, but as a person to interact with and to satisfy. Bear in mind that social media is made to connect remotely between humans, and being “connected” means interacting with each other. Advertizing is not an effective means to create a relationship with people, but rather a means to provide a straightforward message to the consumer without receiving direct feedback. 30% of consumers found advertising on social media annoying and only 25% are willing to pay attention to it, which proves that the use of social media is totally different from regular advertizing campaigns.

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The wine business continues to do things no one expects, and the latest Champagne sales numbers are a striking indication of what’s going’s on.

This French wine service story is stunning in its conclusions: “Champagne was dominant 10 to 15 years ago, but the world has changed.”

The story, though written for the European market, is well worth reading because it documents the trend we’re been talking about here for several years (and not just because I’m trying to put together The Cheap Wine Book). Today, when consumers have a choice between two quality products, they’re more likely than ever to buy on price. Champagne exports declined 2.8 percent last year,… read on

 

Also read:

Wine on the Rise!

Wine on the Rise!

 

The Wine Market Council finds that wine drinking has expanded to more venues.
Amid a still-challenging economic environment, wine sales continued to grow in 2012, according to the Wine Market Council—an independent, nonprofit trade association—and The Nielsen Company, which presented their annual findings on U.S. consumer trends in wine. Key discoveries included:

Not just for fancy restaurants. Wine drinkers are finding more occasions suitable for consuming wine, including less traditional venues like ball games or concerts. That said, restaurant patronage has increased since the downturn in the 2008–2009 recession, and wine consumption at expensive restaurants has rebounded along with that. An increase in wine consumption at casual chain restaurants, including quick service restaurants, also was observed.

“The story isn’t just more wine drinkers,” said John Gillespie, President of the Wine Market Council, “but that they are drinking wine much more frequently, and that’s what’s driving growth.” Particularly among Millennials and Generation Xers, “wine is finding its way into places and times we thought were previously unavailable.”

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Wine on the Rise