Orth, U.R. (2010), "Who buys what and why? Insights from the actual and virtual worlds", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 22 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijwbr.2010.04322daa.001Download as .RIS
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Who buys what and why? Insights from the actual and virtual worlds
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Wine Business Research, Volume 22, Issue 4.
Following a ground-breaking special issue on financial issues in wine business, IJWBR's last issue this year offers new insights into the tangled web of wine buying from both experienced and fresh minds, and from a variety of places around the globe.
The first article, out of Bordeaux Business School, focuses on the virtual world and proposes a typology of consumers who buy wine online. Using an established scale for assessing electronic service quality, Gregory Bressolles and Francois Durrieu survey almost 2,000 visitors to 18 French wine web sites assigning them into one of three groups labeled ‘disappointed,” “reassurance seekers,” and “opportunists” according to their judgments of the site's ease of use, information, security/ privacy, design, reliability, offer, and interactivity. Although the study may be limited by its predominantly French sample, the conclusions on how to transform web site visitors to loyal customers should appeal to a wider range of readers given the growing popularity of wine outlets on the web.
Who is the wine tourist, and how is she or he different from other visitors to a destination? The second paper, authored by Spanish researchers Mercedes Marzo-Navarro and Marta Pedraja-Iglesias, aims at providing answers to that question. It takes a snap-shot of visitors to Aragon, splitting the sample into wine tourists and non-wine tourists, and examining the differences between both groups. The findings point at important socio-demographic and behavioral differences between groups. The article not only extends existing classifications of wine tourists by a profile of wine tourists in Spain, it also highlights the importance of educating travelers initially little interested in wine about the possibilities and benefits of making wine an integral part of their trip.
Related to the preceding wine tourism article, Australian researchers Biagio Famularo, Johan Bruwer, and Elton Li further pursue the question of what factors drive the importance of region of origin in wine choice. Although researchers have dedicated much attention to consumers' reliance on country, region, or place of origin, less is known on why a wine's origin is more or less important to potential buyers. This issue's third article tests the proposition that wine knowledge, access to wine information, and participation in wine tourism impact the importance of region in consumer choice. Based on a sample of respondents intercepted in Sydney wine stores, the findings are somewhat ambiguous in that as wine knowledge and involvement increase a greater understanding of a wine's region of origin develops with a positive impact on the decision-making process. Further, wine tourism visitation has a direct and positive effect on the importance of a wine's region of origin. However, in-store assistance and cellar door staff interaction with consumers did not affect wine region importance. Implications focus on aiding wineries in forging more persuasive ties between their brands and their region as a brand.
The fourth article in this issue introduces a truly novel topic, an audit of wine brand communications. Using Swiss Merlot Ticino as an illustrative example, authors Alessandra Zamparini, Francesco Lurati, and Laura Illia show how capturing both managerial intentions and the content of actual communications reveals possible gaps and shortfalls, and ultimately improves brand communications effectiveness. Their unique methodology integrates traditional approaches such as content analysis with projective techniques to compare communication targets, consistency in content and style, and the overall expressiveness in communicating a regional wine brand. Although the authors modestly limit their conclusions to regional brands, clearly the method has value for wine brand managers as well. The insights provided into the seldom showcased Swiss wine industry are an added benefit.
Underscoring Bordeaux's reputation not only for renowned wines but also for leading-edge wine marketing research, the fifth article, by Bordeaux University's Catherine Viot and Juliettte Passebois-Ducros, provides a unique perspective on the wine brand concept. Starting out from a comprehensive discussion of brand concepts and meanings, the article puts forward two studies. One qualitative and one quantitative study show that not only the concept and connotations differ between experts and novices, but additionally that both groups rely to a lesser (experts) and greater (novices) extent on brands in their decision-making process. The author continues to delineate appropriate branding strategies for a range of contexts and brand essences in much detail. Despite the paper's focus on France and the French wine market, however, a wealth of information can be derived for other contexts as well.
This issue is concluded by a third study aimed at profiling consumers, to shed light on the elusive question of “Who is the environmentally conscious wine buyer?” University of New Hampshire's Nelson Barber partners with a national warehouse company in the USA to study a sample of adult wine consumers. Examining their environmental attitudes, behaviors, and values as well as intentions and socio-demographic information helps to understand who the “green” consumers are. The findings further point at the importance of environmentally friendly wine packaging, and aid marketers in tailoring their marketing and advertising efforts to this group.
Following the Academy's tradition, the Sixth International Conference of the Academy of Wine Business Research will be held in France at the Bordeaux Business School, June 9-10, 2011. More details and the call for papers can be found at: http://academyofwinebusiness.com/. Please consider submitting a paper (by January 16, 2011); the best contributions will be published in a special IJWBR issue later that year.
Ulrich R. OrthChristian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Kiel, Germany