Saturday, May 20, 2017

Replay: SVB Direct to Consumer Survey


We had a good time on set delivering several perspectives on the SVB/WBM annual Direct to Consumer survey. For those aficionados of our surveys and telecasts, you might note a shift in the title but it's just reflective of how we've evolved the survey questions.

We used to call this survey the Tasting Room Survey but over time we started to realize tasting rooms were only part of the formula for success, so we started asking more questions about wine club metrics. Now we have several years of benchmarks from which we can determine trends in clubs and in tasting rooms.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

SVB Annual DtC Benchmarks




Direct to Consumer sales now represent 60% of the average winery's revenue, but the real growth in direct sales has only taken place over the past decade, dramatically accelerating in the past 5 years. While it might seem like wineries have been doing this for a long time, it's difficult for me to say direct sales have been a professional discipline.

In 2013 I published one of my more popular posts addressing the problem the industry faced in finding good Direct to Consumer Managers. Since it was a new discipline, it wasn't possible to find experienced managers. That is starting to evolve with time, but we are still scratching and clawing our way to direct sales success, learning from each other as we go and playing a little bit of follow the leader. Some of that is good and some not so good which underscores the importance of data.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Tough Questions Wine Clubs Face

 
After many years of flailing away looking for the right strategy, we are seeing DtC sales homogenize around a common theme. Wineries build a tasting room with a design statement. That's 'the experience.' Customers come to the winery, pay a fee and receive a curated tasting of wine. At the end of the tasting, the customer is invited to join the wine club and somewhere around 7% accept. It's working, and if you believe the stats that came out yesterday, DtC sales in February 2017 were 37% higher than February 2016.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Annual DtC Survey is Open!



Today, the eleven largest wineries are moving 80% of the wine sold in America, while distributors continue to march toward complete consolidation. The other 9,000 wineries in the U.S. are left to compete with each other for the remaining 20% of case sales.

Not their Fault


I don't blame wholesalers. They have no financial incentive to take on that mass of small customers. Add to that the decline in restaurant sales, which historically have been a large part of family wine sales, and it's hardly an exaggeration to say that Direct to Consumer sales are required for the survival of small family wineries now. It's really their only viable path to market, and yet the industry itself is still barely novices in selling wine direct.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Will Boomers Keep Buying Wine?


The title of this piece is the question all wine companies should be asking today, because boomers are the dominant cohort across all price points above $14. Can they continue to buy your wine? 

I've been saying for nearly a decade the anticipated ascendance of millennials as the top cohort was greatly exaggerated as to both timing and impact, but their coronation is coming and the day when boomers no longer dominate consumption is also fast approaching.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 State of the Industry Report


Most of the wine business has already developed their strategic plans for 2017 and is starting to execute. The plans had to be put together using history as a guide, laced with a hint of a best guess. That's just the way this family owned industry has to roll.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Louis Vuitton: A Story in Brand Destruction

 

Rome: The Eternal City


My fiance Jackie and I just got back from a spectacular 2 week wine cruise with Darioush Winery that started in Lisbon and ended in Rome. 

I've never been to Rome so we tagged on an extra 5 days at the end of the cruise to see the sights. 

There is a problem in going that extra week though. I don't care how big your suitcase is. By the time you've lived out of it for 2 weeks you are flat out of clean clothes so selecting something to wear becomes a challenge.

What I underestimated is just how that challenge could impact our shopping experience at one of the world's top luxury retailers. Ask yourself as you read though, 'could this happen at my winery?'