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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
International Journal of Wine Business Research, Volume 25, Issue 2
The International Journal of Wine Business Research continues to solidify its recognition as the outlet for theoretically sound and managerially relevant research covering all business disciplines. Recent developments evidencing its success include joining forces with the Academy of Marketing Science to facilitate publishing best papers of their annual conference wine marketing track and with the EuroMed Academy of Business to publish a guest edition on wine business research in Europe and the Mediterranean. In parallel, IJWBR continues to receive growing numbers of regular paper submissions, a selection of which is presented in this years second issue. Originating from Australia, Spain, South Africa, and the USA, the papers cover topics ranging from family heritage to young consumers, price, and the law.
Wine marketers commonly strive for differentiating and positioning their offers vis-à-vis competing options. One concept that may aid in achieving positioning and buyer acquisition goals may lie with highlighting family ownership and heritage issues. While leveraging “family heritage has a long tradition with “Old World wineries, Paul Strickland and his co-authors investigate how businesses in Australia can benefit from corresponding marketing initiatives. Semi-structured interviews with the owners of three wineries indicate that communicating family heritage is viewed as a key factor for establishing credibility and ultimately for successfully marketing wine. This perspective is flanked by a brief survey of customers who respond favorably to family heritage by developing stronger bonds. Although limited in terms of regional coverage and number of respondents, readers may find this article inspiring as it adds to the growing evidence for how “New World wineries apply traditionally “Old World concepts to their advantage.
Neglecting to attract younger consumers is a sure way for any business to lose customer base and ultimately perish. The resulting need to better understand young peoples consumption behavior grows even stronger when overall demand in a market – such as for wine – is on the decline. Spanish researcher Teresa Garcia and colleagues acknowledge this need to examine young consumers perceptions, attitudes, and behavior related to wine. The geographic focus, Spains Navarra region as a rarely investigated market, and a comparison of two groups (split along the age of 35 years) make for an interesting reading on differences and similarities in consumer lifestyle, wine consumption images, preferences for wine and other beverages, as well as knowledge of quality wines. The article concludes with delineating implications for marketing wine to younger consumers.
The role of price in consumer formation of judgments about a wines quality has received much attention. In fact, along with place of origin, expert ratings, and brand name, price-quality inferences may be among the most thoroughly investigated topics in wine marketing. South African researchers David Priilaid and colleagues add to the body of evidence by detailing how consumers age and expertise influence their use of price as an extrinsic quality cue in unmasked versus blind tastings of Merlot wines. Their findings indicate that the influence of price on quality perception increases with consumer age and expertise, and is stronger with female consumers. The authors take this finding to challenge common practice and to suggest that meaningful wine reviews should better be based on judgments of younger individuals who are less experienced rather than older and more experienced wine experts.
A continuous source of puzzlement to the uninitiated, the USA are unique as a marketplace in that each individual state has considerable leeway in how it regulates the distribution and sales of alcohol including wine. This issues final article is highly valuable in that it examines implications of differences in law between US states from a marketing perspective. Specifically, Sonoma State Universitys Liz Thach compares Georgia (a Franchise Law state) with neighboring Florida (a non-Franchise Law state) both from a wine professional and wine consumer perspective. Qualitative interviews with wineries, distributors, and retailers indicate that Florida offers more variety and lower prices than does Georgia. A survey of consumers, however, hints at no differences in satisfaction levels. Those findings are interesting from both the perspective of consumer advocates and wineries interested in operating in those markets.
In conclusion, I would like to encourage potential authors to continue focusing on current and relevant practical problems and to worry less about looking for all-encompassing general solutions (“silver bullets) in their business discipline. If we follow sound scientific procedures and apply them to well-defined managerial challenges the results will likely include valuable research that gradually and iteratively wears away at the mysteries of wine business.
Ulrich R. Orth