Data is a subject that is relatively nascent to the industry. Speak of wine data and the first thing that comes to many minds may be just sales numbers.
While most wine producers have for long used sales measurement data from sources like Nielsen, IRI or the local liquor boards to enlighten decisions, a new generation of powerful wine data is now available to further improve decision accuracy. Direct consumer sensory and attitudinal data delivered in a usable format right to the executive’s laptop, in near real-time. Data that enables companies to predict success more accurately and make pro-active decisions, rather than react to sales results after major investments have been made and risk has been undertaken.
For many wine companies, sensory data is a new beast. One that still needs to be understood and learned, before it can be effectively applied.
Working with sensory data is in fact quite simple. If you are just getting into sensory data, one tip is to always start with a business question. Then, dig into the data to find answers.
There are hundreds of business applications for consumer sensory data in a winery environment. Here are ten ideas that your teams can start to work with right away:
1) Know if your wine is liked by your target consumers; even before you release it. How would this knowledge benefit the business?
2) Establish if consumers will find your new vintage similar, better, or worse than your prior release
3) Find out how your product stacks up to your key competitors’ wines
3) Include competitive comparison charts into your sales sheets to support the sales team with facts
4) Understand why consumers like or dislike your wine, so you can focus on the right opportunities
5) Identify specific criteria that consumers like about a competing product, to help with your R&D and accelerate your success
6) Confirm if your new wine has achieved specific flavour profile goals; are consumers detecting the added ‘oakiness’?
7) Find out if you should position a product towards a particular gender and age group
8) Understand the level of tannins, sweetness, acidity or alcohol your specific target audience associates with a highly likable wine
9) Understand consumer wine preferences on a regional basis, to optimize shipment and logistics decisions
10) Track your DTC (Direct To Consumer) and wine club member taste profiles to personalize recommendations and shipments
11) Measure and confirm that your new wine is consistent with past vintages and intended profile
Once the benefits of consumer sensory feedback are realized, many wine producers will be hard-pressed to ever operate without this information again. Especially knowing that the data comes directly from those who vote with their wallets at the till.
This opportunity pertains not only to major organizations, but to fast growing wineries and retail chains too. These would now be entering the major league. A forum where the leadership must constantly think of how to improve processes and decision making. In branding, marketing, research and development, innovation, direct selling, customer experiences, channel partnerships, purchasing and negotiation, and logistics. Every tweak and adjustment made at the top can pay huge dividends.
This is how market leaders have always played.
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