Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type: Editorial From: International Journal of Wine Business Research, Volume 26, Issue 4
“An academic research journal is only as good as its author and reviewer pools” [this editor’s statement].
Whereas the above may well evoke the response of “tell us something we don’t know”, I have very good reason for wanting to underline these “facts” here. The International Journal of Wine Business Research (IJWBR), now in its 27th year and well-established as a specialist research journal in the area of wine business, is the case in point. By comparison with other research journals focusing on marketing and consumer behaviour, IJWBR has a relatively small group of active researchers (the authors) conducting research in which wine features. The journal’s reviewer pool is made up of these authors, plus other people who have an interest in the journal and/or those who the editor can convince to fulfil this role. We all know that to review a paper is a rather thankless task, especially because reviewers’ identities are protected through the blinded peer review process. During the past months, I have discovered just how difficult it is to find reviewers to agree to review papers for IJWBR. This issue has even prompted me to make several changes to the Editorial Board. All I am asking is that you please consider more carefully before simply declining to review a paper for IJWBR in the future.
Moving on to the present, this issue of IJWBR has a sharp focus on the USA, which account for three of the four papers, while the other one is from Australia. Overall, these papers fit nicely together to contribute to greater understanding of wine marketing and consumer behaviour in general.
Williamson and Bhadury examine the distinguishing operating features of wineries that employ what is generally accepted as the most profitable channel for marketing wine in the USA, namely, the wine club. The study involves contrasting the website-reflected operating features of wineries that support wine clubs with wineries that do not. Support was found for the great majority of operating features identified in the literature as likely characterizing the operations of wineries with wine clubs.
A notable exception is the non-confirmation of hypotheses concerning “Wine 2.0” variables. In the apparent pursuit of higher profits, owners and managers of wineries with wine clubs more frequently adopt operating features that expose them to objective competitive comparisons than other wineries.
Next, Chaudhury, Albinsson, Shows and Moench looking through the lens of Entrepreneurial Marketing Theory, examine everyday business practices of small-scale winemakers in a small wine region in the USA. They also demonstrate that qualitative research could be utilized to flesh out the unique business environment of a specific wine region. A core finding of their exploratory study is that survival drives all other entrepreneurial marketing dimensions where accounting for risk is pervasive rather than a stand-alone dimension. The knowledge gained from intense customer focus is used for new product and service innovations. Another dimension of entrepreneurial marketing that is demonstrated is the leveraging of individual and shared resources.
In research casted firmly in the quantitative mold, Bouri examines fine wine’s safe-haven status with respect to movements in equity portfolios in the USA. A Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity (GARCH) model and its variant are employed to measure the asymmetric reaction to positive and negative equity “shocks”. The results show an inverted asymmetric volatility in the wine market; positive shocks increase more the conditional volatility than negative “shocks”. That means the opposite reaction in the volatility of equity returns occurs in the wine market. These findings are crucial to the needs of fine wine market participants who are interested to add fine wine assets to their equity portfolio.
Hirche and Bruwer (my last paper as per my promise in my editorial in issue 26-2) then take readers all the way to Australia through a study providing new insights on the role of wine product involvement and anticipated consumption situations when buying the product in a retail store, and their effects on the importance of product attributes. Among the findings are: the importance of grape variety, origin, brand, vintage, awards/medals and product design increases with growing involvement in wine. High-involvement consumers tend to consume their wine alone compared to low-involvement consumers who are more likely to buy wine for other persons than for themselves. The age of the buyer/consumer and the envisaged consumption occasion also affect the importance of various product attributes. Interestingly, wine buyers would spend on average over $15 more per unit when the wine is not bought for personal consumption (i.e. as a gift).