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Promoting discussion

Published:  23 July, 2008

Harpers drew a packed house at last month's LIWSF to debate how wine brand-owners can make the most of their marketing budgets. In the second part of our coverage of the event, Harpers presents the reaction of our panellists and the audience to the specially commissioned consumer research presented by Wine Intelligence and outlined in last week's issue

I was very interested in the debate, as you had a range of views: Halstead on the academic side, Muir with a pure marketing viewpoint and then the views from the industry.

The basic problem in the wine trade at the moment is that we have an oversupply situation. This makes it very difficult to get away from the pragmatic reality that you have to price-promote to push [the volume] through. As the research showed, [promoting] is the best way to do it and that then casts a shadow over everything else that you try. It makes it much harder for advertising, sampling and the added-value - 'good' brand building if you like - to really work.

When it comes to sampling, what the research didn't show was that if you are doing an in-store tasting of Jacob's Creek ros then you are going to have a much higher conversion rate than if you are showing it at BBC Good Food alongside 100 competitive wine stands. But it raises an important point: you have to be smart in the way you do tasting and sampling. When we do sampling at the Chelsea Flower show we let consumers take away a miniature that clearly states where the brand can be bought.

All the presentations reproduced in this article have been abridged from their original versions

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