Monday, March 23, 2020

Crisis Management for Wine Country


I'm not alone when I say that I've never been through anything like this and didn't see it coming. I had no way of imagining such a circumstance: a world-wide pandemic that closes down the US and World economies? While I've seen shelter-in-place orders for regional issues, it's beyond comprehension that this would ever take place in as many countries as we're seeing now, or in the entirety of the State of California and the growing list of other states and regions that have similar orders.

After the string of directives this past week from state, federal and local governments that pounded down our prior realities, I spent time surveying the wine industry landscape and talked to as many people as possible to gain a sense of where we stand. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Canceled: Annual SVB Direct to Consumer Survey



You probably recognize the photo up top of Times Square. I took it this afternoon from a webcam. You might never again see it this empty - or so that's my hope.

The Decision to Cancel


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Selling Wine in a Pandemic


There are times in life when we have to react to circumstances that are well outside of anything expected. A pandemic? Well, that's a circumstance none of us have any experience with. That new aspect in all our lives is requiring each of us to adapt, then employ behaviors that are out of the norm. For some, this is distracting but for others, this is nothing less than debilitating.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

The Annual SVB Direct to Consumer Survey is Open



Improving and evolving your direct sales strategies, marketing, and sales will be the difference between success and struggling in the coming decade as the industry's consumer target evolves under our feet as, anti-alcohol groups push their agenda and competition from beer, spirits, and foreign wine intensify. We defend ourselves by using data and evolving or approach.

For instance, how does your tasting fee compare to your region? Are you enticing consumers or scaring them away with that? Are your tasting rooms sales growing like others in your area? What are the splits between club sales and tasting room sales and are they in-line with comps. There are so many other questions that deserve attention.

Shortcut for those looking for the links: Survey Questions  Take the Survey Now ... otherwise, let me convince you a little more.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Email You Don't Want to Get


I have a role that puts me in contact with winery owners, analysts, entrepreneurs and occasionally even people with checkmarks next to their Twitter accounts. They run the gamut. I get a couple hundred emails a day - most of them junk but more than enough to have me working 12 hour days to keep up. People are always asking my opinion, and on occasion, they want to give me their opinion.

This week I received an email from a casual acquaintance who is a wine consumer but likes to read the SVB State of the Industry Report and check in every year with me. This year his email was disturbing. Here is what he said almost verbatim. I've changed the region to 'wine country' to make it more general and added emphasis:

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Final Call: Sign up for the 2020 SVB Industry Videocast and Report



I finished writing the SVB Annual State of the Industry Report in early December. There are always surprises I discover when going through the research and writing. This year the surprise was the top slide. This slide is from the Annual Industry Survey and it answers a question everyone has: How is the industry feeling about the current market?

In the 2019 report last year, the overall industry sentiment turned barely negative with one percent of the industry on average turning pessimistic. That's news in and of itself in this most optimistic of businesses. But in the 2020 report which will be released this week, a whopping 46 percent of the industry turned pessimistic. Wow! Have conditions turned that bad that fast? 

I think you have to respect the data. But I also believe identifying the risks and threats allows us to best define solutions to fight back and in the videocast on Tuesday, we will talk about some solutions.

Hopefully, you want to hear how we see the industry this year - threats and opportunities. Signing up for the videocast will give you a replay link to watch later, an early link to the report and slides produced and used during the session. [sign up here

Monday, December 16, 2019

2020 SVB State of the Industry Report & Videocast




I am looking forward to the release of the Annual State of the Industry Report. I finished writing about 2 weeks ago and now it's going through regulatory, legal, compliance, marketing, production, etc. You can't believe how many people contribute to the production of this.

The report will be released on January 14th. Signing up for the videocast will give you a replay link to watch later, an early link to the report, and slides produced and used during the session.  [sign up here

You'll have to wait to hear the conclusions but here is a teaser. 

We asked the question in the SVB survey, "How was your year." It might be surprising to know that sixty-nine percent of the industry believed 2019 was a good year, and 24% said it was their best year ever!