How to Work with Sales Data from Distributors: A Case Study from Paso Robles

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This week we’re shifting gears away from consumer data and looking squarely at data that’s internal to the winery itself.

Inspiration for this post comes from Jason Haas (above), Partner and GM at Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, who wrote in December about not being able to evaluate what you don’t measure.

“I hate it when I feel that the data that we’re capturing doesn’t represent the critical decisions that customers make,” Haas wrote on the Tablas Creek blog. “Because that’s the important thing about data: It lets you know, beyond anything anecdotal, whether you’re doing a great job or not.”

To which we say, Word.

Haas uses data in many ways to measure the effectiveness of their sales channels, including:

  • Relative effectiveness of different sorts of visitor tasting experiences, such as standard tasting versus reserve tasting
  • Measurements of value and happiness of wine club members, such as median length of membership and average additional sales to members
  • The effectiveness of offers and promotions
  • Engagement, meaning the percentage of people who open, click on or respond to emails.
  • Haas also delves into publicly available databases for insights, as he did in this blog about ratings of unfashionable grapes and this blog about how people age Tablas Creek wines.

And then there is the sales data that Haas requests from distributors who represent his wines.

To an outsider, this seems like a direct enough request – to be informed about where and how much of your own wine is being sold. But responses and results that Haas receives from the distributors is mixed.

“Some distributors are great and can (and are willing to) give you data in the format and depth you want,” Haas said. “Others are constrained by systems that don’t export data usefully, or can’t be automated to do so, and so you have to ask for it each time you want it, which with 60+ distributors is a nightmare.”

Yet he persists, with the goal of answering the following questions:

  • What wines are selling?
  • Where are they selling them, and how broadly? Were those 30 cases sold to 15 restaurants, say, or to two retailers?
  • What wines are being sampled by their salespeople?
  • What is in inventory?
  • What is the current pricing and what incentives/deals are being offered?

Haas said that, generally speaking, the more important they are to a distributor, and the more nimble and independent the distributor, the better the data and responsiveness to the request.

Most of the time, there is nothing actionable in the data he receives on a weekly or monthly basis. But he does try to look more comprehensively mid-year and at end-of-year, at the states for which he gets good data.

"If I see something that worries me I reach out to our brand manager to make sure he or she is aware of what’s happening, and maybe as important, aware that I’m aware of what’s happening," Haas said. "It’s not a guarantee of things improving in the way you want, but it dramatically increases the chances."

Haas is able to be more detailed when it comes to sales reports within California, taking these three steps:

  1. He sorts the sales data by region to determine where their market work will be most valuable in the coming months.
  2. He sends Thank You notes to reps or managers who are doing a good job.
  3. He re-sorts the data by item to determine any trends. Is a wine selling faster (or slower) than it has been? If so, why? Did we lose one or two high velocity placements? Or is there something broader-based going on? Should he ask the distributor to distribute some samples of a particular wine to a team or a group of teams? Or should he call the brand manager to come up with a more creative incentive program to help improve focus?

"None of these things are magic bullets in sales," Haas said. "It’s a crowded marketplace and there are lots of other smart people out there competing for your business. But knowing what’s actually happening in your key markets and communicating what you’d like to see to your distributors – who, after all, have the same goal as you, to sell your wine – definitely improves your odds."

Is your team already taking these steps? If so, I'd love to hear about it.

If not, how can we help move you in the right direction?

I look forward as always to your thoughts, and thank you for reading.

Announcing Enolytics Spain

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Enolytics LLC is pleased to announce the company’s first overseas partnership, Enolytics Spain.

“We are impressed by the initiative and ideation shown by Andrés Bonet-Merten and his colleagues, Gregorio Bustos Serrano and Scott Hingley,” said Cathy Huyghe, co-founder and CEO of Enolytics. “They share our belief in the power of data to deliver insights and intelligence that ultimately benefit wine consumers around the world. We’re looking forward very much to expanding and localizing that mission through Enolytics Spain.”

Founded in 2016, Enolytics has innovated market research for the wine industry by building a network of data partners whose platforms record consumer interactions and behavior around wine. Enolytics’ team of data scientists aggregates raw data from a mix of those partners, each of whom is chosen for their unique value in addressing the clients’ challenges.

Bonet-Merten feels that “using advanced data analytics to look at wine consumers is a great way to introduce technology into the traditional world of wine marketing. We are excited to use Enolytics services to help our customers in Spain find new ways to sell wine around the world."

The intention of Enolytics Spain is to “translate” the Enolytics model for the Spanish market, so that it is responsive to the needs of wineries and organizations in Spain. Though the ultimate mission of serving wine consumers is the same in every country, Enolytics Spain localizes the process to the specific nuances of the wine culture in that region.

“Enolytics’ unique way of looking at markets based on data analytics is valuable to winemakers and sellers anywhere in the world,” said Gregorio Bustos. “We are certain that producers in Spain, the third most important wine exporter in the world, will benefit from Enolytics’ services in order to get a better return on their marketing investment."

For more information please visit or contact:

www.enolytics.es    

info@enolytics.es  

LinkedIn

tel. +34 601 35 10 24

Thank you.

Cathy Huyghe, Co-Founder of Enolytics

Phone: +1.702.528.3717 | cathy@enolytics.com | www.enolytics.com

Wine Data, Interrupted. And a Secret.

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These past few weeks we’ve been focusing on case studies and how to visualize wine data. I sincerely appreciate your positive feedback to those, and I’m looking forward to sharing more in the weeks to come.

Today, let’s take a short breather and zoom out for a moment to the big picture of data.

It also involves telling you a bit of a secret.

The ace up Enolytics’ sleeve is, undoubtedly, our team of data scientists and analysts. My mind is blown by their skills, creativity and careful treatment of the data that we work with.

Here’s the secret: They are not wine people.

Their 50+ years of combined experience have been mainly in the healthcare space, and the work they do with wine data is integrally informed by their work in healthcare.

In other words, their skills transfer. They quickly learned the logic and flows of the industry, so they could easily frame the data in the right context.

If these skills are useful for healthcare and for wine, what else can they be used for?

That’s the question for today, and here’s part of the answer: Shortly after we launched Enolytics, with our focus on the wine industry, I was asked whether we plan to also work with data from the spirits category.

Our CTO’s response?

“Of course. Data is data.”

I was asked a similar question recently, this time on whether we planned to also work with data from the cannabis industry.

Cannabis?

Extending our work to also include spirits is something we could have anticipated. But cannabis?

Hmm.

“It sounds like Enolytics is doing similar things for the wine industry that my firm is doing for cannabis,” I read in a LinkedIn message, which also noted the growing connection between the alcohol industry and cannabis.

It’s a good point, and one worth exploring.

Data is data, and it’s informing the direction of businesses in many categories.

Like wine.

How can we put our skills to use for you? We're open to ideas, especially those that make us go, Hmm.

I look forward to hearing from you, and thanks.

How to Visualize Your Brand's Share of Consumer Interest Over Time

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First, thanks.

Thank you for your very positive feedback to last week’s post about how to visualize wine consumer data. Yes, we agree that it helps to see practical examples of this work, in order to envision how you could apply it to your own winery, brand, or organization.

It seemed to turn on some lightbulbs. So let’s keep going.

This week we’d like to show you how your brand’s share of consumer interest can be measured over time.

The picture above is another screenshot from an interactive dashboard we built for a client, who wanted to benchmark their position in the market in the eyes of consumers.

They wanted to know where they stand now – a baseline, so to speak – so that they can measure improvement moving forward.

So we did, using hundreds of thousands of data records about their brand and their competitors who have similar styles and price points.

We showed them what the data says about their performance now, and then we zoomed out a bit and showed them what the data also says about how their performance has evolved over time.

The picture above is an illustration of consumer interest in their brand over the past four years. It told our client several things. On the plus side, for example, there was a big jump in share of interest between 2014 and 2015. Which is great. It’s up again for the past two years, but seems to have plateaued. Which is not so great.

Just like last week’s picture, this illustration is another slice of a larger, comprehensive analysis. Last week we looked at brand performance geographically. This week it’s brand performance over time. Next week we could put the two together, and look at brand performance in specific markets for the past three years.

And etc.

The point is that we’re adding the “outside” consumer perspective to the client’s own internal knowledge of their sales and distribution.

It adds up to that benchmark they’re after, so that they can see the way forward and up.

Does that make sense?

If not, please let me know. We want to clarify.

If you’d like to know more about how we can do this work for you, please be in touch.

Thank you.

How to Visualize Wine Consumer Data

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Let me show you a picture.

What you see above is a snapshot taken from a project we did recently for a California winery, who wanted to know how their brand was performing within the eyes of consumers in major markets within the U.S.

(We love this kind of question. It's answerable, first and foremost, using quantitative data of hundreds of thousands of data records that consumers spontaneously and objectively generated themselves.)

We took that data, packaged it, and built an online interface for the winery that they, and our team of analysts, "sliced and diced" according to the questions that the winery wanted to know.

The pie chart, above, is a screenshot of an answer to one of their questions, which was how their brand was performing in major markets.

So we showed them their brand's top ten markets according to consumers.

We showed them the share of consumer interest that their brand owns in each of those markets. New York and San Francisco, sure, but Denver and Cleveland? Why not Boston or Atlanta? And why is Washington DC only #9?

We showed them how consumers were talking about their wine within the different markets (which helps to explain the top ten line up).

We showed them how their share of consumer interest in each market evolved over the past four years -- which markets grew, which markets dropped off the list, etc.

We showed them how, if they click on any of those slices of the pie, they could see heatmaps that indicate exactly where consumers were located in each market at the time that they generated the data record about this particular brand.

And then we showed them their competitors, that is, other wines within the same price category that were also competing for consumers' interest. Sometimes they had specific labels in mind and they wanted to see their own performance compared to those labels, and we looked at them too.

They said, "Cool."

We said, "Cool. What else would you like to know?"

And on it went.

Here's the bottom line: This is information that wineries can use in order to understand consumer interest. It's information that's responsive to unique, direct questions from the winery itself. It's information that is helpful for communicating more effectively to consumers, which means selling more wine.

Can we help you with that too?

Please let us know.

Thank you.

8 Reasons We're Psyched about Wine + Data in 2018

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Last month, as I sat down to reflect on Enolytics 2017, I realized that the most compelling ideas of the past year have also planted the seeds for what's to come, in 2018 and beyond.

It was a long list of "seed" ideas and developments that inspires and motivates me for the year ahead.

I've narrowed it down, here, to eight.

1. The increasing ability to segment wine consumer data by demographics like gender and ethnicity, at the quantitative scale in very precise geographic areas. This will result in very targeted delivery of information to consumers and we can say good-bye, for good, to the "spray and pray" guesswork approach.

2. Wineries and organizations are empowered to do more with their own data, and to seek out data from independent sources that relates to their own brands. In the coming weeks I'll be sharing an example of a winery who's put this into practice.

3. As more people learn about our work and see the results, we're building momentum from recognition and awareness. A recent endorsement comes from Pedro Ballesteros MW of Spain:

We associate wine with pleasure and cultural experience, something difficult to quantify, but Enolytics demonstrates that big data on our aggregated preferences for enjoying wine can result in clear patterns and tendencies. Big data should make life easier for producers to position the wines that the consumers request, while not taking an iota of our enjoyment!

4. We're also seeing more requests and queries from students at many levels, particularly MBA, WSET and Master of Wine programs. It isn't just that they're asking questions about our work and outcomes; it's also the nature of the questions that they're asking. That tells us a lot about interests and directions to come.

5. Our network of data partners is becoming ever more diverse, and each of them brings something unique to the table. Our team's ability to aggregate various sources of data, and derive insights from that, is the ace up our sleeve.

6. So far the international component of Enolytics has been driven by companies and organizations from abroad who are looking to expand their presence in the U.S. market. We're now seeing those companies also looking to replicate our research in their home countries. It's thanks to the global footprint of our data partners that we're able to do this.

7. Closer to home, we're also seeing the development of interest from producers in California, Oregon and Washington. This has been, as we expected from the start, slower to reach a tipping point and we are not there yet. But we are patient and eager to talk with wineries about their needs and budgets, and find the solutions that are right for them.

8. We're in the midst of a shift away from wineries and organizations seeing data as something overwhelming and incomprehensible, to something that's useful, empowering and -- dare we say it? -- friendly and interactive. I sense this during my own conversations with potential clients, and also during conversations with our network of data partners.

What about you? What's on your mind, as the New Year gets underway? I'd love to hear.

It's going to be an amazing 2018, and I'm incredibly grateful to be along for the ride with you.

Thank you.

Happy Holidays from Enolytics! Here's Why We're Grateful.

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It has been an amazing year to be in the wine + data space.

Every week, with these Enolytics 101 posts, we've been describing that amazing journey. Hopefully they've been useful to you, as they have been to us, as we continue to learn what's possible when it comes to wine companies engaging better with consumers.

Thank you for your emails in response.

Thank you for your interest and questions.

Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Thank you for challenging us to do better.

Thank you for your business.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

See you in the New Year. We've got lots to do together.

Cathy Huyghe, Co-Founder, Enolytics

Three Wine Data Priorities for 2018

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What comes next?

That is, fittingly, the focus of our last content post of the year, as we turn the corner from inventorying this past year’s progress to executing on our learnings for the year ahead.

But I should warn you. There’s a catch and a little bit of a caveat to what I’m about to say.

Here goes.

There needs to be some wiggle room for what comes next.

Yes, we have plans and ideas that are solidly grounded in experience, conversations, and requests for what’s actually useful when it comes to data and wine.

But, as we learned with extreme clarity this year, what we think is going to happen is not necessarily what happens. What Enolytics was supposed to be when we started is not what Enolytics is now.

That’s a good thing. Doing something different involves a fair amount of failing fast, iterating, and coming back smarter and with more relevancy.

It’s the same situation with this “what comes next” list. Although we think now that these three things are at the top of the list, we’re also allowing for a good dose of wiggle room.

How to Help Small Wineries

Time for some creativity here. It’s true that many smaller wineries don’t have the budget for research that involves data buys even though they too can certainly benefit from the insights; and it’s also true that we won’t try to undercut the value of our partners’ data. It’s time to find the sweet spot in between these two truths.

Research

Enolytics provides analysis and research. It’s what we do. But it’s nice to also be on the flip side, as subjects of research by others in the industry, whether that’s MWs in England, WSET students in South Africa, self-identified “data nerds” in Madison, Wisconsin, or everyone in between. We’ve realized two things as a result. First, we’re learning what has piqued their interest in terms of practical applications of our work and, second, we’re recommitting to the value that our analyst team and data partners can add to the progress and future of our industry.

European Possibilities

Partly it’s the concentration of major wine-producing regions and countries within limited space, and partly it’s their global perspective on selling wine. What it means is that wine businesses in Europe are under pressure to differentiate, and distinguish themselves from competitors who are “close” geographically and otherwise. Consumer-focused data can do that.

What about you?

Do you have data priorities for 2018? What are they? Do you also have opinions on our list, above?

I’d love to hear them.

As always, thank you for reading.

Why Wine Data Isn't More Widely Utilized (and What We're Doing about It)

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Why isn’t wine data more widely accepted as a resource?

What are the obstacles that keep a business from utilizing quantitative, consumer-driven data?

And what, ultimately, would convince a business to buy in?

As a co-founder of Enolytics, these are the questions I wrestle with on a daily basis. Education, patience, and results-driven evidence and case studies have been the responses that have consistently and effectively tipped the scale in our favor so far. 

A few weeks ago, when I taught the subject of big data for wine to two groups of MBA students in Bordeaux, I asked them this question as well: in their opinion, what are the reasons why a business resists the use of wine consumer data? Nearly all of the students were European and most fell within the millennial demographic.

Their answers made me go, Hmm. I’d like to share them with you here.

  1. Trust. Or, more accurately, a lack of trust — of the data, that is, and of “outsiders” who are bringing this concept to them. Where does the data come from, they wanted to know, and how can they be sure it’s real and accurate?
  2. Priority. There’s a lot to do, every day and every season and every year, and most businesses that the students work for or plan to work for adhere to the routine and flow of that cycle. So working with consumer data becomes yet another thing that the business would need to find time to do.
  3. Relevance of the Data Over Time. Relatedly, the students questioned the “shelf life” of the data. With so much to do already, is the data still “good” if they don’t get to it for a few weeks or months down the road?
  4. Someone to Interpret the Results. What do we do with the information once we have it? Though this has yet to be a real-life problem for any client we’ve worked with, it caused some anxiety among the students.

Since the students, as the next generation of leaders in their companies, can also be advocates for the use of data, I listened hard to their concerns. Some of what has been working for us so far — education, patience, and results-driven evidence and case studies — is relevant and helpful here too, though working within Europe certainly poses its own unique challenges.

We’re confident in our ability to respond to three of these four challenges — trust, relevance of the data over time, and interpreting the results. In the coming months we’ll also be introducing new partnerships and initiatives that we hope, and expect, will help. Please stay tuned.

The remaining challenge, prioritizing a data project, is less up to us, naturally, and more up to the potential client to decide if and when they are ready to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Are you ready?

Because we are, whenever you say Go.

Thank you for reading and, as always, let me know your questions and ideas and concerns.

Happy December in the meantime!

5 Surprising Insights about Millennials, Wine, and Data

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This week I’m writing from Bordeaux, in the thick of a mini-marathon teaching assignment. The idea is for me to help 90 MBA students, who specialize in wine marketing, to get a handle on what big data means for the wine industry.

It’s been an exceptional opportunity, both to share how Enolytics has developed so far and to hear their feedback, ideas and suggestions.

Last week I encouraged you to reach out with your questions for this group, to add to my own list of what I wanted to learn from them in terms of how they think about wine and also how they think about data. Most (though not all) of the students are millennials and the vast majority are European (mainly French) and Chinese.

Here, for me, were five surprising things I learned in response to our questions about this particular demographic. There will be more to share about students’ ideas around big data for wine – I’m only about halfway through the teaching schedule while writing this – and I look forward to writing about those in an upcoming post.

  1. Despite the students’ “digital native” status, most said they know nothing at all about big data. Despite the awareness that data is all around them, most don’t understand the nuts-and-bolts of how it actually gets puts to commercial use.
  2. Yes, there’s more than one grouping within the millennial demographic, i.e., older millennials (with more established work experiences and therefore more disposable income) and younger millennials who are still finding their way professionally. But the corresponding behavior around wine purchases has more to do with available cash than it does with their being “millennials.”
  3. For this group of students, anecdotally speaking, the values of a brand do drive purchasing behavior, particularly when it comes to environmental responsibility.
  4. Also for this group of students, anecdotally speaking, they do think they’re more brand promiscuous than brand loyal, though it likely has more to do with the adventure of experimentation than it does with some “millennial mindset.”
  5. Most millennials cringe at being labeled “millennials.” It’s a simplistic and inherently problematic generalization. But if there’s something that does differentiate this group from another it’s how integral and ubiquitous the digital sharing of activities has been in their lives. This has obvious implications for their selection of wines and wine experiences that “make the cut” of share-ability.

Thank you, as always, for reading --

Millennials: The Holy Grail of Next Gen Wine Consumer Behavior

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Millennials.

For wine businesses, they’re a bit like the Holy Grail. Hard to pin down but oh, so appealing.

We all want to know how they’re behaving around wine and what they’re thinking. Next week, in Bordeaux, I’ve got a very unique chance to pick a whole bunch of their brains.

As in, 90 of them, many from wine families around the world, who are all enrolled in the MBA program at the INSEEC Wine & Spirits Institute.

This is the next generation of decision-makers at wine companies globally. They are already consumers, and they are already planning to be leaders within their organizations.

It’s my job to teach them about data, and the influence it can bear on their strategic decisions for the future.

Not only is this a chance to observe millennial thinking about wine; it’s also a chance to observe millennial thinking about data.

What’s the best way to go about this task?

We’ve created a data set, naturally. It’s a mix of actual and fictionalized records, and we’ll use it to kick the tires about concepts like operational data versus knowledge of the market, and structured versus unstructured data.

Most of all, we want to see how they approach the data set, how they analyze it, how they describe the insights they could derive from it, and which external sources they think can also be applicable.

I’m there to teach, but I’m also very much there to learn. Ultimately, we’ll be turning those learnings back into something useful for you.

If there’s anything you’re particularly curious to ask this group, by all means let me know. I’ve got my (long) list of questions. A few more certainly won’t hurt.

I’m looking forward to reporting back.

Have a great week and thank you, of course, for reading –

Enolytics Is Not What It Was Supposed To Be

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Enolytics is not what it was supposed to be.

That is, what we thought Enolytics was going to be when we launched last year is not what it actually is, now. And I’m willing to bet that what Enolytics is, six or twelve months from now, will not be exactly what we think at the moment.

I suppose that’s the thing about launching a startup. It means developing a new idea, building the prototype, failing fast, adjusting, iterating, adjusting again.

It’s incredibly dynamic and exciting, and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re way off. Sometimes, too, an opportunity comes knocking on your door that you did not expect. But that you’re sure happy to see.

Today I’d like to introduce you to some of these unexpected and very welcome guests.

They come from abroad.

As in, six different countries in Europe, three in South America, and also China.

It started when one client, whose first engagement was about wine consumers in the US, suggested we replicate the project but in Europe.

And here’s what we learned: the footprint of our data partners in this case is actually bigger in Europe than it is in the US.

In other words, we actually know as much if not more – in a statistically significant way – about consumer behavior and sentiment around our client’s wines abroad than we do in the market that started the ball rolling, which already has an incredible amount of consumer data.

This was an eye-opener and a very welcome development, both for the client and for us.

The questions around data that are coming from South America and China are different. They have different personalities, different demands, and different ideas about what data can do for them.

There’s a lot to figure out, about things like localizing outreach, mapping, languages and identifying patterns and trends, and we’re looking forward very much to the challenges, directions, and opportunities they pose.

Thank you for being interested in the ongoing development of Enolytics. Your questions and feedback are invaluable for our next iterations.

Please keep them coming.

25% of Wine Consumer Data Records Come from Here...

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It's on all of our minds.

The end-of-year hustle, that is. Whether you're juggling sales or DTC shipments or communications schedules, somehow the busy-ness of Q4 is... special.

That's true for the consumers you're serving too.

No months are busier for consumer interest than December and January when it comes to the consumer records we analyze from our data partners.

Those two months alone count for almost 25% of the activity all year long.

We adapt our studies to rolling 12-month analyses in order to even out the statistical impact of this seasonal spike. Even so, it's clear that homing in on consumer behavior and sentiment over these last two months of the year can yield significant -- and fascinating -- insights about the people who buy your wine.

Just as we can segment a study by time period, we can also segment it by a variety of other factors that are significant to you, such as target markets, price point, and style. We can also query the data historically, going back a certain number of years, in order to study longer-term trends.

It's a dynamic tool, whose usefulness you determine according to your priorities and goals.

We can help you with it. I'd love to hear what's on your mind, for this year or next.

Thank you, as always, for reading --

3 New Directions for Wine Consumer Data

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Maybe it's because we're now in Q4, and people are looking ahead to the New Year.

Maybe -- I hope -- it's because we're establishing enough of a foundation of work that businesses are confident about building on top of these examples and naturally extending the concept to newly-defined areas of interest.

Whatever the reason, we've seen an uptick lately in data queries headed in new directions.

Here are three that we're looking forward to digging into, the rest of this year and beyond.

  1. Outside the US. Most of our work to date has been focused on consumers within the US market. Since several of our data partners have a global footprint, however, we can just as well run queries for markets in Europe, say, as we do in America.
  2. Individual Varietals. Drilling down into categories of wine has been routine so far. High-priced red wines, for example, or else sparkling wine or target markets. Lately though we're hearing more interest in queries according to specific varietals, both red and white, with an eye toward gauging consumer sentiment and identifying hotspots of interest according to style and price point.
  3. Packaging. How have consumers been behaving around less traditional packaging, like boxes and cans? Is the data on this topic statistically significant? Would we base any decisions on it ourselves? If so, what can we learn?

Anything here ring a bell for you? Please let me know if it does, or if you've got an idea we haven't mentioned yet. I'm always curious, and happily surprised by new possibilities.

As always, thank you for reading.

Wine Country Wildfires and Community Response

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The wildfires of northern California started Sunday night, and they continue to burn in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and five other counties.

How can we help?

That is the question. For much of this week, that has been the only question.

By way of response, I contributed some words and information to an initiative by Vivino, one of our earliest and most supportive data partners, who is also working to answer that question for their community.

Please have a look, and email (cathy@enolytics.com) or call me directly (+1.702.528.3717) for more resources to add.

Thank you,

Cathy

Introducing Two More Pieces of the Wine Consumer Puzzle

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These past few weeks I've been working to cultivate and grow our network of data partners. It's an ongoing process, as I've written about before, to establish the relationships that will eventually yield the insights about consumer behavior that we and our clients find valuable.

It's also incredibly exciting, to learn about the unique personalities of different wine platforms and what they can each contribute to the wine consumer puzzle that we're piecing together.

This week I'd like to share with you two things that have particularly piqued my interest during the course of these most recent conversations. They come from two different platforms, one that's fairly new and one that's well-established.

Beverage Media Group

For as much as I’m a personal fan of small-production wines, and the small importers and distributors who bring them to market, there’s also no denying the sway and influence of major distributors. It’s a significant advantage of the Beverage Media Group to have 20+ years worth of trade data for the country’s biggest players, particularly in major price-posting markets of the Northeastern U.S., including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Looking for localized buying trends in the eCommerce market? BevMedia’s data has the reach and the history that speaks to them.

Quini

Besides their focus on providing deep sensory data and analytics, what piques my interest about Quini Wine Intelligence is the visibility it provides retailers into the taste profiles of their customers. (See image above.) The tasting application records between 50 and 60 data points about any given wine, which is feedback that the retailer can see in real time. Which means that the retailer can pull up the customer’s profile while they’re standing in the store, for example, or when the retailer is putting together their next wine club shipment or promotion that steers the customer toward a flavor profile that they already favor.

What's cool is to see the puzzle pieces clicking into place. What's especially cool is to see the picture of today's wine consumer become more clear with each additional piece of the puzzle.

The information is already there. It's a question of assembling it -- the right pieces, in the right configuration -- in order to best address your business' needs.

How can we help your business, particularly here at the start of Q4?

Drop me a line and let me know. I'm listening.

Thank you, as always, for reading these posts.

Spoiler Alert: The Best Part Comes First in the Freixenet USA Case Study

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Spoiler alert: I’m going to tell you the last part (the best part) first.

This week I wrote up a case study for The Buyer of one of Enolytics’ earliest supporters and clients, Freixenet USA. You can read the full article here. Or we can cut to the chase and I’ll tell you what (if I know this audience) you most likely want to know.

What was in it for them.

What, in other words, were the key takeaways for the brand? How does our research help Freixenet sell more wine, and improve their positioning in the market?

Here is what Freixenet identified as four key insights from our work with them.

  1. A better understanding of the consumer demographic where Freixenet brands over index, within a 10-year age bracket and $10k income bracket. This was broken down by Freixenet labels, i.e., Gloria Ferrer vs Segura Viudas vs Freixenet.
  2. The specific markets where Freixenet brands own greater and lesser shares of consumer interest. That is, where those brands are doing well and where there’s room for improvement, relative to consumer behaviour and interest. Also the geographical biases toward one category of sparkling wine over another.
  3. The key words that consumers consistently use to describe each brand, which also leads to insights about the occasions when the brands are “in use” by consumers, such as special occasions and weekend brunch.
  4. Gauging the potential of whether or not to raise the prices of their wines, particularly in relation to other Spanish Cava wines.

The full article explains in detail the opportunity, methodology, conclusions, and a little about what we at Enolytics have been learning since we launched 18 months ago. I hope you’ll click over and have a look.

In the meantime, please let me know if any of these takeaways ring a bell for you. Do you have your mind or your team focused on something similar? An extension of what we’ve been doing? Or something entirely different?

I’d love to hear about it.

Email: cathy@enolytics.com. Phone: +1.702.528.3717

I appreciate your taking the time to read these posts.

-- Cathy Huyghe, Co-founder of Enolytics

PS I’ve been honored to see Enolytics showing up in the media internationally these past few weeks. Please have a look at this interview from Rome and a listen to this podcast from the U.K

How This Works: Peeling Back the Layers of Data, Like Layers of an Onion

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Here, in a nutshell, is what usually happens.

We start working with a client and they ask a question that they think has a fairly direct answer. We do the work, and come back to them with our findings.

Pretty straightforward, right?

It is. Right up until they start thinking about what those findings mean, and how they’re going to execute on them in their day-to-day business.

That’s when the more interesting (and challenging) work begins.

They have an answer in their hands to the question they’ve been wanting to know. Along the way, however, they have also glimpsed what else might be possible to know.

And that’s when they go, Hmm.

Here’s an example. We helped a client answer their initial question, which was to identify the competitive set of wines for a particular label, according to price point and location, from the perspective of consumers. We delivered that information and, now that they have it, their obvious next question is, how does this help us sell more wine?

Hmm.

So we talked about it. There were two significant surprises of the research: their competitive set is broader than they assumed, and the map of interest was not where they thought it was. Additional factors included distribution and availability of their wines through ecommerce.

Naturally this raised questions about what to do next. We expect that: you build on what you’ve learned and you make progress, a step at a time.

What was less expected was the desire to go back to the data, again and sometimes again, once the initial layer of the onion has been peeled. You have an answer to your first question, and that’s raised another question, and another one after that.

Our Enolytics data model is built to withstand these layers of questions.

It’s an iterative process. We know you can’t know everything the first time around. It’s even likely that the initial question wasn’t the right question.

But that’s why you start somewhere. There has to be a first question, in order to get – eventually and ultimately – to the right question.

We can also say with increasing confidence that clients want to know more things, and other things, than what they originally thought they wanted to know. That’s why our dashboard subscriptions are generating more and more interest, so that clients can mine their data set at their own pace and over time. They can peel their own layers.

What’s your first question? Where can we start?

I’m looking forward to hearing what that means for you.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

Three Lightbulb Moments: What Clients Use Our Research For

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“What do clients use your research for?”

That’s a pretty a sure-bet question that I hear as I present Enolytics to interested people and groups in the industry. It’s an important question, of course, and I love to answer it because it shines a light on how wine businesses execute on new insights into consumer behavior and sentiment.

Every business or group will have unique applications, but here are three lightbulb moments that consistently flip the switch of understanding what this research means for them.

1. Heatmaps of Consumer Interest

Sure, a business knows where their accounts are located, and which restaurants and retailers are performing well (or not). But every time we have overlaid a map of accounts with a map of consumer interest from exactly the same market, the two maps have never once matched up.

The lightbulb goes on, about where the business can allocate fresh resources to engage consumers that have already exhibited an interest in their wines.

2. Benchmarking

What is the current state of consumer behavior around a particular category? A particular price point? A particular varietal, even? We not only need to know the lay of the land, sometimes we have to find the land in the first place in order to measure our position in it. That’s where benchmarking comes in.

The lightbulb goes on, about a baseline understanding of consumer sentiment around a specific interest or query. The baseline is built from previously untapped sources, in priority markets and in markets that the research newly positions on the radar.

3. Defining the Competitive Set

When we query a particular brand or a specific wine, we can see consumer behavior around that wine and, often, other wines within the same “session” or the discrete period of time that the user is active on the platform. Those other wines that the consumer is exploring at the same time that they’re exploring our key wine help to define the competitive set.

The lightbulb goes on, about what the consumer sees as a wine’s competitive set. Yes, it often includes wines from the same region or style, which makes sense to “wine people.” But it gets really interesting to see the competitive set from the eyes of consumers, which has inevitably added curve balls to wine businesses’ rationale.

What would be a lightbulb moment for you? What’s a pain point that you need to address?

Drop me a line. I’d really like to hear about it, and identify the data that will help to shine some light on it.

As always, thank you for reading.

SevenFifty Technology + Wine Spectator Scores

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A few weeks ago I was psyched to write about two developments in the world of wine and data – new initiatives launched by one of the most established companies in the space (Wine-Searcher.com), and another by one of the more recent (Drizly).

This week, with a new announcement, I’m experiencing a bit of déjà vu.

On Wednesday this week SevenFifty announced their partnership with Wine Spectator, to be followed in short order by Wine Enthusiast, to include wine scores and reviews for the products listed on SevenFifty. (SevenFifty, in case you don’t know them, enables buyers from restaurants, bars and retailers to search for products and wholesale pricing across all distributor profiles in their local markets.)

Here’s a big reason why this week’s announcement is cool IMO: SevenFifty has managed to innovate a very old school way of doing something (digitizing distributor portfolios, that is) and now they are building a bridge to another long-standing – and indisputable – market influencer of the wine industry.

What sort of impact will this have?

We’ll see.

And right there is the thing: we will see, because it’s happening. What’s happening is that wine companies, both established and new, are stepping into the data space and making waves that are more significant than just dipping in their toe. Data offers insights, yes, and in our opinion it also offers a view of the consumer and the trade that just has not been available to the industry in the past.

It also, by the way, offers companies a way to monetize their data that they maybe did not initially envision.

Who wants in on something like that?

The question is starting to be, who doesn’t?

Even if you don’t yet know exactly what data means for you, or how to use it or how to access it, you’ve got to know that there’s something here.

You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t.

We can help you figure it out. For the record, conversations that start with, “I’m not sure what this means for us but…” are some of my absolute favorites to have.

Here’s my email: cathy@enolytics.com

And here’s my cell: +1.702.528.3717.

Let’s talk about it.

Thank you, as always, for reading --