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America’s Most Popular Wine Store? Social Research suggests it may be BevMo

It’s all about wine store range. And BevMo has it and, crucially, has the numbers according to some social research I’ve just seen from NetBase.

NetBase kindly gave me the data and a demo on some of America’s most popular wine stores (plus a distributor):netbase-logo-only

  • BevMo
  • Total Wine and More
  • K&L Wine Merchants
  • The Wine Club
  • National Wine & Spirits

It is compiled using NetBase‘s ConsumerBase product that  I wrote about it in a previous post. One of the things this tool does is finds, understands, and automatically analyzes social media conversations about a brand or topic, and then generates graphs and reports on the emotions, behaviors and levels of passion surrounding that brand.

The Brand Passion Index Graph is one example of the output. Here’s what it said about wine stores:

Wine Store Brand Passion Index

Wine Store Brand Passion Index

  • On the vertical axis is “Sentiment and Chatter Voulme“, negative at the bottom going up to positive at the top.
  • The horizontal axis is “Passion Intensity“, weak to the left, strong to the right.
  • The amount of sentiment and chatter is indicated by the size of the bubble.

So you want to be large and in the top right.

The key insight is how well BevMo is regarded

Total Wine and More does best with position but is drowned out by BevMo which also does well though without the same % of positive sentiment.

The Wine Club also does very well but is squeezed out by Total Wine.

K & L Wine Merchants, who I’ve written about before, is well liked but does not evoke passion among its customers.

I actually asked the folks at NetBase to research some New York wine stores (see my SocialMention review for the stores). They were very helpful but suggested some other stores instead as they had more data on these. So, please note, the actual choice of stores (and the distributor) was by NetBase not myself.

Let’s dig into the report

Likes and Dislikes

Wine Store Likes and Dislikes Netbase

For these wine stores the most popular phrases were “great selection” and “not have it” for Like and Dislike respectively. So range seems to be the biggest issue in social media chatter.

Of course price was mentioned in various ways, mainly positively. Service was mentioned negatively. Otherwise the phrases are general likes and dislikes.

From this I’d say that consumers are after range, at the right prices, with good service. Frankly that’s not terribly insightful to industry insiders – outside of the emphasis on range.

Range it is

The Analyse Insights and Themes Report provide a pie chart of these likes and confirms that range is important.

Wine Store Insights Themes Report NetBase

I’d need to dig into the data over a period of days or weeks to assess exactly what range, but the demo suggests there were sufficient posts to work this out.

What is very interesting are the domains

Here are the Top 10:

  • twitter.com
  • yelp.com
  • cellartracker.com
  • chow.com
  • facebook.com
  • chowbound.chow.com
  • bigsoccer.com
  • almanacnews.com
  • santabarbaraview.com/
  • wineberserkers.com

This for me is probably the biggest insight of all.

Yelp and cellartracker are very powerful but chow and wineberserkers are much bigger than I expected! Twitter is as important as ever, and Facebook is only at #5 (perhaps because NetBase cannot access private personal pages, only business fan pages).

Bigsoccer is about soccer, but it does have other forum topics including wine. And almanacnews.com and santabarbaraview.com are reporting on the plans of Bevmo to open stores in their area (mainly negative articles).

How to utilize this data – range, range and range

Range jumps out as the most important issue using wine social network research. If you’re thinking of how to develop your store look at range first, not price or service.

The Bigger Picture

Remember this table?

Social Media Objectives
It’s from Owyang and Lovett’s report that came up with a series of social media metrics. They outline social media types, the ways to measure it, and which social media analytics and/or monitoring software can do what.

NetBase does very very well in relation to these metrics for Sentiment Ratio and Share of Voice through the Brand Passion Index and the various other sentiment reports shown above e.g. Likes/Dislikes.

There is a wealth of insights as you dig into these reports (and thanks to the NetBase team for demoing this for me).

What this doesn’t tell us


The raw data is made up of social media comments from the internet. It doesn’t show us geography, age, or gender and I don’t see how it could as the raw data doesn’t include this information.

Small Brands and Stores

If the social media world is talking about you then this tool should pick up the conversations and help you analyze them. If you’re a small store with little social media then it ain’t for you other than to understand what is being said about the wine retail category and your social media savvy competitors.

Advocates and Influencers


  • the ability to track down who are important advocates for brands
  • to track down important influencers of consumers
  • see if, and how, the tool weights each mention e.g. a store’s promo tweet vs a wine critics’s blog post

It would be great if they could come up with a formula that weights some results higher than others like Google does with links and authoritative sources.

To be fair they clearly state they are all about measuring passion, emotion and insight research to find out why consumers feel the way they do. So my expectations of the social media monitoring comprehensiveness of the tool was too high.

They are great for social research and analysis. Look elsewhere for basic listening and monitoring tools.

Social Media Monitoring Tools Conclusion

I’ve been writing about social media monitoring across a number of posts:

The conclusion I’m reaching is that to measure the success of your social media campaigns (and use social media to develop insights) you probably want a set of software tools rather than just one.

You also better have the budget to do this well cause they get expensive.

So what’s your thoughts? Please comment or ask questions below.

NB I’ll keep a watching brief on this area as the technology develops and the competition drives down prices.


  1. Keith Miller says:

    Mile High Wine and Spirits


  1. […] er, SupermarketsFebruary 20, 2011 By Bruce View CommentsA while back I looked at NeBase and its wine social media research software. In short it’s all about finding sentiment insights.These social media research (netnography) […]

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