Monday, May 30, 2016

Selling Millennials Through Myths & Lies (Part 1)

Authenticity. Only for millennials?

Just the Facts

Millennials are the most engaged and socially connected generation of all cohorts. They demand sustainability and authenticity in their products. Socially responsible and transparent companies rank high in importance when it comes to their purchase decisions. They demand customization and wide selection. They consume more wine per occasion than all the other cohorts combined.

Thirty-three percent of Millennials say they are motivated to buy more frequently when a friend recommends a wine, but 99.8% say they like any wine better when a friend buys it for them. 

One hundred and fourteen percent agree with the statement that feeding one's animal spirits premium wine is better than hitting your toe with a hammer. The remaining percentage believe morning after flat party beer is good for hydration, so long as there are no cigarette butts in the bottle. When there are butts in the beer, their preference to consume falls to 0.4% with a statistical error rate of +/- 0.4%

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Annual DtC Videocast Tomorrow - Last Chance Signup



I'm not fond of looking at pictures of myself. It's even worse when I try and grab a screen shot like the above from last year's Tasting Room videocast. Blech. Makes me sick. That looks like I'm getting ready to spit! Actually it's the end of a sentence where I'm saying 'tasting roooommmmm.' That's what I look like when I say 'm,' and it's the best I could do - I'm sad to say. But looks aren't everything. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Market to GenX at your own Risk


Let's talk about Millennials! How exciting is that conversation? Demographers and researchers are laser focused. It's a feeding frenzy at times because that's the growth opportunity of future retail. Boomers are old news, nothing to write home about and not hardly anywhere near as interesting as Millennials.

Oh ... there is GenX of course but why talk about them? They are a small cohort.... except they are the second largest consumer of fine wine in the U.S. today and the largest growth opportunity for most wineries, but that doesn't matter. Let's talk about Millennials!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The 2016 Wine Market Council's Findings Are Wrong



      WMC: "Millennials Consume 42% of all wine in America"


The Wine Market Council presented their annual 2016 roadshow in New York in January, and using the above slide announced with fanfare that Millennials are now the largest wine drinking population in America, consuming 42% of all wine and surpassing the boomers with 30% of total consumption. They also said Millennials were consuming 160 million cases compared to 114 million cases consumed for boomers (below right chart). 

To many of us in the business the facts appeared grossly exaggerated, but the media ran with the story because it was such a senstational headline. The long-awaited ascendance of the millennial had finally come we were told, and the articles proclaiming the fact hit the wires in waves:


     WMC: "Millennials and Boomers Consume the Same Amount of Wine."


Inexplicably, six weeks later at their Yountville presentation, devoid of any supporting facts or charts, the WMC offered the following totally contradictory statement in their presentation:
"Boomers and Millennials today account for nearly the same amount of wine consumption and Millennials will soon account for decidedly more consumption."


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Last Chance to Participate in the 2016 SVB DtC Survey


Every year when we start the Direct to Consumer Survey I'm always a little nervous about participation. The effort required to sell wine has become more difficult by the day, and owners have to make choices about where to invest their precious time. Survey results could be viewed as nice-to-have versus a critical need, but in this case I'd argue this is a have-to-have for wineries with Direct to Consumer sales.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Current Benchmarks for your Tasting Room


We know that the average winery today has nearly 60% of their sales made direct largely through wine clubs and tasting rooms. How do we know that? Through an annual survey conducted by SVB.

If you have a club or a tasting room, how do you know you are performing at the top of the club performance, or even above the average? If I asked you how many wineries pay for data capture within their comp structure in the tasting room, what would be your guess? 

Today 168 wineries have responded to the SVB Annual Tasting Room Survey and here is the result thus far for that question:


What about the average dollar comp awarded to tasting room staff in your region. Is that of interest? How about the average tenure of a club member sorted out by average price point so you can compare your winery against a winery with a similar price point? Would it help to know the average gain in club members in your AVA last year, or what about the average number of lost members?

Each of those questions are examples of benchmarks that will be available to you for free but here's the catch: The benchmarks are only available to those who take the 10-15 minutes to complete the survey. Isn't that an investment well worth making?

Take the Survey


When the survey is closed on March 18th, we will spend over 200 person hours completing the analysis and will then return charts, graphs, and an excel spreadsheet cleaned of any identifying information. You will be able to dig even deeper into the data if you want.

In May we will host a live videocast to go over some of the results as we did last year.



In the July issue of Wine Business Monthly, the magazine will publish some of the information and conclusions in their annual Direct To Consumer edition.

None of the above is possible without the 10-15 minutes invested in the survey itself. Please consider taking the time to answer the survey questions. Your participation will improve both your own direct program, and help the US wine industry improve.

Start the survey now: http://bit.ly/1U0KuSa 

-----------------------------

If you feel this content is worthwhile, please promote the link in your favorite social media platform, or even better - please forward the link to your winery colleagues and ask them to participate. 

If you would like your AVA to participate, we will also send them free Regional Benchmarks for their own use if we have a statistically significant sample size and an address to send the information. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Passion, Cuba, Women & Wine


Duck and Cover

I remember walking to school shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis. We were practicing ‘duck-and-cover’ drills in our classrooms, and we trained on what to do when we saw the blinding white flash. The propaganda video clip at the top is a great example of the beliefs of the day.


Wine and Cuban Hero Che
Walking to school in the early 60's, I’d plan where I would hide along the route just in case. One of the neighbors had a bomb shelter but after that, it was refrigerators in garages and fireplaces as the preferred hideouts. It was a discomforting time for the Country. President Kennedy embarrassed in the Bay of Pigs Invasion was staring down Khrushchev, the Premiere of the former USSR in a game of nuclear chicken with continental annihilation hanging in the balance.

With that as context, it’s surreal to find myself sitting in a bar in Havana Cuba writing this piece and participating in an official U.S. Trade Mission promoting California Wine. We're not promoting world peace or selling tractors. We're promoting a luxury product to a socialist country.