Note: Last week in Madrid, Vinventions Spain hosted #TheExchange2019, with a focus on innovation in the marketing of wine, just as the emergence of 5G technology is underway in Spain. (Earlier this year, Enolytics was short-listed for the Born Digital Wine Award for Innovation, in partnership with Vinventions.) Andrés Bonet-Merten, Consejero Delegado of Enolytics Spain, offers his perspective on three major takeaways from the conference and the conversation.
Wineries, just as well as other companies, are relentlessly on the hunt for innovations that would give them a competitive edge. Innovations around wine production may receive much of the attention, but in fact many different fields within wine are ripe for innovation.
The emergence of 5G technology will help innovation in Spain. With 5G, information will flow with even greater velocity, which will increase the efficiency of AI, and data can be collected in any place and analyzed in real time in another place far away.
Innovation Needs Commercialization
At TheExchange2019 in Madrid, Esther Bachs of Vinventions advocated for “innovating the innovation,” noting that “innovating needs commercialization.” Ferrán Centelles of El Bulli agreed, saying that “if no one buys innovations, they are not innovations.” According to Kantar publishing, innovation in Spain continued at the minimum pace of historical levels in 2018, and that only the innovations that arrive at the shelves of the top 3 retailers, the supermarket chains such as Mercadona, Carrefour or Día, achieved a high percentage of success.
We need to ask ourselves the right question, which is how do we capture the interest of consumers and retailers, in order for more Spanish wines to find space on these and other international shelves?
This is why it is so important to know the final consumer in-dpeth, including their needs, preferences and behavior. This information already exists, in quantity as in quality – the big data of the consumer. Enolytics specializes in this data and sources of wine data, particularly of consumers and trade.
As Ester Bachs said, 95% of innovation in wine is around packaging. But how should this fundamental part of the “four Ps” of marketing be carried out? That’s where data helps, by knowing which packaging is preferred now or in the future. With the benefit of prescriptive analytics, we can steer the market toward favorable results that benefit our businesses.
Innovation Beyond Packaging
Packaging is not only image; it is also names, descriptions, a brief story telling… Through an analysis of language that’s used, in any country where consumers are located, in multiple languages. If consumers speak about wine & travel or wine & fruit, why doesn’t our storytelling include the findings of our analysis instead of always repeating the same words around the tasting note or the statement that this is, for example, “the best wine”?
Pedro Ballesteros MW is completely right when he said at TheExchange2019 that innovation should include social contexts. Let’s discover through big data about the context for local or international consumers, such as their language, their descriptions of the wines, or which bottle size or shape they prefer.
Ballesteros is also correct in saying that “big wines are big wines when a foreigner tastes them and says that they are big.” Importers follow the demand of consumers of every market. By using detailed information of the prices of wines that consumers are willing to pay in each market, and knowing the other variables and the best messages to deliver to these consumers, we will be able to better convince wine critics of the value of Spanish wines, and wineries will be better able to negotiate with the importers.
Innovation: Knowledge, Budget and Leadership
Ferrán Centelles of El Bulli restaurant said that “when there is more knowledge, more innovation is being made.” Centelles created “Bullipedia,” a combination of “El Bulli” and “encyclopedia,” to organize knowledge and innovate content for the improved training of sommeliers and other professionals around wine.
Innovation requires some investment and a budget that the top executives of wineries can decide and provide leadership around. In this moment the ROI of these investments may seem not measurable, as in most cases in Spain these investments have not been done before. Wine leaders need therefore to take a risk, to opt for the new technologies. As many analysts and influential economists warn, if such risks aren’t taken, then the competitive advantage is lost, and players are expelled from the market and replaced by those who opted for innovation.