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People drink other People’s Wines: the influence of others’ advice

A few days ago I posted an interesting comment by Isabelle from a forum on linkedin (Vintage Wines) I participate in. Yesterday Tony Spawton, a well known wine marketing researcher had this to say.

My comments are italicized and in [square brackets], I also paraphrase by using [ ] , and any bolding is my own.

========= Tony in linkedin: Vintage Wines, start quote =========

I know from my research that Jono [Bruwer] is on the money.

The expectations of the consumer varies with the occasion for which the wine is purchased

The wine consumer is promiscuous in brand, price, region and style so to suggest that the consumer is stuck in one category is a fallacy.

Consumers are most influenced by the advice of others “people drink other peoples’ wines” a phrase I coined in the late 1980’s.

Brand is important as a choice factor and variety is a given. At last the French have woken up to this and now variety to be included in their labelling.

Another phrase of mine is, “the package sells the first bottle the wine maker the second”. The extrinsic attributes need to be distinctive to break though the clutter and jog the consumer memory whether in the retail store or the restaurant.

Consumers generally fall into 3 purchase motivation categories

  • Monday to Thursday wines – drink and enjoy at home, known brand that is suited to the buyers experience- safe brand- low price and easily dispensed and stored ( a big plus for screw cap).
  • Lifestyle Wines – shared with peers – high psychological risk – as a poorly selected wine reflects on the purchaser’s lack of wine knowledge. (this purchase is strongly influenced by WOM [word of mouth].
  • And the treat – the luxury purchase – to celebrate, to honour. The buyer may not personally like this particular wine or can ill afford the price – but the ” loss of face” would be considered very damaging.

The lifestyle wine is a ” social lubricant” – the luxury wine is the ” topic of the conversation” .

====== end of Tony’s comment  =======

Anyone who has searched academic journals for wine marketing articles will see Spawton, T. come up often over the last few decades. So this could be regarded as a great summary of why wine consumers buy.

What do you think?

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