Eavesdropping on an Alcohol Distributor Who Gets Big Data

So I’ve got a friend who I’ve known for a long time, and he helps to run a major alcohol distributor on the East Coast. He’s been supportive, if somewhat skeptical, of Enolytics since we launched.

My friend's company itself is very advanced in terms of technology and data and he is, at first glance, a “tough sell” when it comes to persuading buy-in of what Enolytics is trying to do.

And yet.

He’s asking the best questions, pointing out the potential problem areas, and thinking out loud about how (and even whether) it makes sense to engage Enolytics in his distributor world.

In other words, our conversation this week was a perfect illustration of that skepticism-to-yes tipping point that generated so much interest when I wrote about it here two weeks ago.

You were curious about the resistance we've been getting, and what differentiates one company's skepticism from another company's green light. So I thought you might like to listen in on a scenario.

It went something like this.

* * * *

Me: How can we help you?

Him: I guess I’m unclear on what your toolset can provide that toolsets don’t already provide.

Me: Do your buyers do research?

Him: Of course. Their primary role is to figure out what industry trends are doing. They read, they get educated, they travel to find out who’s doing what where. Their bread and butter is to figure that out. Wine isn’t a commodity the way other things are commodities. It’s the narrative and the relationship between the buyer and the winemaker and their families that makes the undercurrent of this wine over that wine salient.

Me: I get it. But how about the consumers themselves and what they’re saying? Do your buyers tap into sources of consumer behavior?

Him: We don’t get third party data about consumers, no.

Me: That's definitely a way that we can help, by connecting you with insights from many of the platforms that consumers use most. We tailor queries to your company's specific needs.

Him: Want to know what else is a specific need for us?

Me: Tell me.

Him: Spirits. We need to know about consumer sentiment around spirits. Are you doing that?

Me: It’s on the radar. Good to know that it's of interest to you.

Him: There's something else.

Me: I'm listening.

Him: We can find out what’s being sold, and we can find out where it’s being sold. We can’t always find out what it’s being sold for.

Me: So, pricing.

Him: Yes. Why is, say, Pinot at $19 a more active category than Pinot at $14? What is it about the value proposition at different price points that’s making the consumer do something?

Me: We love this question, and it's one of the most popular requests that we hear. We know how to get you the pricing insights that you're looking for. So, that's three ways we can help. Anything else?

Him: Isn’t that enough?

* * * *
It’s enough, for sure, especially when these are the specific questions from within a particular segment — distributor — of the industry.

Are they your questions too? Or do you have different ones?

I’d love to hear about them, and figure out how we can help. 

Thank you, as always, for reading.