Ok, so I’m cheating, as I haven’t finished the post below, but as the rythms of work relax, I returned to my wine studies. Currently this means extended sessions, glass in hand, in front of the television to watch the tv series made by Jonathan Nossiter as a follow-up to his excellent documentary Mondovino. Apart from the fact that one of the DVD disks has problems viewing, apparently due to the copy protection, I’m enjoying it immensely. The second episode ends with a useful interview of a young australian employed by Diageo, concluding with this succinct description of the basics of the sector in its relations with consumers; market-democrats now is the time to weep:
“Wine consumers are what we call assortment, or repertoire, users, so.. as you go through your journey of user-ship, rather than becoming more and more loyal to a particular brand, actually they become less and less loyal, as they become more and more knowledgeable, education…. education makes people less brand loyal… and more confident to make their own choices and do their own thing, not requiring the reassurance that brand offers…this is a huge challenge in wine marketing.But it’s something that’s cropping up in lots of industries. this same phenomenon, based on education and confidence.
It’s a tricky one for business because our profitability is tied up in brands. We need brands to be worth something, and if consumers begin to not value brands then our company loses value, because that’s what our value is.”
Peter Hall, Vice-President for Marketing, Diageo.
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