Marketing,Wine,Wine Business,Wine Ed,Wine Education,Wine Sales,Wine tasting

Measuring the immeasurable is shocking ~ Enolytics

I just received this Email newsletter from my friend Cathy Huyghe of Enolytics.com. I asked permission to share, and Cathy said, “Yes.”

This week I’d like to bring your attention to a surprising pattern.

We noticed it as we’ve been working to integrate fresh big data sources about wine consumers in the on-premise and mobile environments.

It’s more than a pattern, actually. It’s a discrepancy and a significant one, between these two things:

What consumers want, compared to what restaurants are offering.

There’s a significantly bigger gap than what we expected to see, whether we’re talking about specific varietals or particular styles.

We have access to tremendous amounts of data on wine consumer behaviors, yet insights from analysis of that data aren’t being “translated” onto wine lists to nearly the extent possible.

Why is that?

A number of possibilities come to mind, but I’ll never know for sure which one is accurate.

Here’s what we do know: the discrepancy between what consumers want and what restaurants are offering is risky business.

Unnecessarily so, given the depth of sources and the breadth of insights available.

The intelligence is out there. It’s a question of accessing it.

We can help. What discrepancies or questions do you need to check, and address? I’d be glad to hear about it.

Cathy’s Email, if you’d like more information about this subject, or phone +1.702.528.3717 (Yes, she thinks globally.)

My reaction to Cathy’s information

Wine was born from a farming perspective. Most people who go to UC Davis or Fresno State, for instance, are studying oenology and viticulture. I’m betting that statistically speaking, very few of them are involved in marketing studies. They may take an accounting course, but let’s just say… in my college wine marketing classes… I didn’t have one winemaker or grape grower… not. one. single. one. (And, I’ve taken plenty of them.)

From day one, when the first wine was made, it was being made for personal enjoyment, not for barter. I know that came later as a natural progression, but let’s just say there were no lemonade and/or wine stands intuitively in the beginning.

Knowing what and how to sell is just as critical to being in the wine business as is making the wine. Those who are learning all about it, upside down and backwards, regions, varieties, flavors, terroir… how much time is spent learning what the market is actually enjoying, versus what you – the wine steward – is now wanting to sell the public?

Making wine is one phase of the wine business.

Marketing it is the next step.

The onslaught of people getting their credentials in wine is now another step of evolution. Everyone wants to be credentialed and perhaps even teach it. But, who really has thought about connecting the dots with what he or she knows, with creating a wine list that steps outside of what the somms want to teach? They taste it, they like it, they buy it, they put it on a list, and they wait for the curious to ask about it and MAYBE give it a try (BIG maybe, with price even being a serious factor…  Like, “You want to sell me a $100 bottle of wine to go with my pork chop?”)

So, why is Cathy’s research important for critical thinkers?

  • Knowing about any subject is phase one; knowing how to apply that knowledge is phase two.
  • It will make you famous, because you “know” what to offer.
  • Right time, right place is usually no accident. It’s called marketing. It’s scientific, based on a study of patterns.

The more you learn, the more you earn, it’s just that simple. You do want to make a comfortable living, right? If this answer is no, just keep running around with your arrows. But if you would like to incorporate some comfort into your life, by studying the target and using a bow and arrows, you’ll get there a whole lot faster.


2 Responses to “Measuring the immeasurable is shocking ~ Enolytics”

  1. Robert says:

    I think another way to look at it is not what the consumers want but what does the restaurant want the consumer to want.
    I don’t need to take a marketing class that to tell me that I can make the greatest bottle of wine in the world but it means nothing if I cant sell it. But it also means that I am equally screwed if they don’t want buy it.
    What I mean is that I see in some publications that establishments get awards for wine lists or the beverage manager/wine director gets an award based on their choices on the list. If the wine director isn’t into “big reds” at the moment and you make a great Zinfandel, no matter how you sell it or what your sales history or following is, they ain’t going to buy it. It is all up to their understanding of the market and what is hot and they could be wrong.

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    I believe right now, given all of the sales calls I made to on and off-premise accounts, that that’s exactly how sales of wine happens at the restaurant level right now. Also, on-premise has such limited space for wine storage (unlike a wine shop, for instance). So, the wine buyer – given whatever title (from owner, to manager, to somm) is choosing their own palate preferences.

    Taking a marketing class does help in knowing how to present. I worked with a company $3Mil in the red and turned it into the black in three years, with just a manager sending me out, and out brokers working it out, too. In our top ten sales people all over the US, I had three of the top 10 spots… In states like Oregon, Washington, Iowa, Minnesota… Yeah, states with very little population, not TOP 10 newsworthy. It was because I was helping in the selling process, and the buyers took that information and turned it over to their consumers, too. It’s all about enthusiasm, and also keeping an eye on the trends. (Sales is the transference of enthusiasm, when it’s all said and done, right?)

    And you’re right, Robert, they could be wrong.

Leave a Reply