Home Wine Business Editorial Three Tier Talk The Booze Business Is All About Perception!

The Booze Business Is All About Perception!


Often times when I fly, and I fly very often, I am very grateful for the 3 or 4 hours I get without Wi-Fi. I get time to decompress, think and free the mind of the clutter than often comes from being 100% connected 100% of the time. Today we are off to Los Angeles, to meet a client, interview sales people, and meet our distributor partner that rhymes with Fun Burn. Anyway, while I have this time to think – I want to share some thoughts about perception.

Yesterday in Chicago it was 70 degrees and sunny. However, there were plenty of people wearing coats and even knit hats. The same exact day (weather wise) in May, would be shorts and flip flops. What changed? A 70-degree day in May is thought of as a super warm day because it is comparison to the winter. The same weather day in September is thought of as cold in comparison to August temps. Nothing has changed except the comparison of the temp. Nothing has changed except the perception of that same 70 degrees. 

All day, every day, especially in the 4th quarter brands come to our offices and talk about their perceived market. They speak of competitive analysis and even hire our firm to create a SWOT work-up for them well prior to any liquid even being developed. It is all so silly to me.

We don’t really speak about our clients because of NDA’s, so I cannot mention anyone specifically, but I can share the story of a winemaker that fancies themselves a front runner to the Josh brand. We all know Josh because it has had a stellar rise to fame, profit, and cases. Now when pressed on the comparison the winemaker simply stated because we both make cabernet at the same price points. That was the reason? That was it. We were dumbfounded.

In the perception game you are both cabernets, and you are both selling at SRP that is the same. Those comments are very much true. In the reality game, Josh’s explosive growth is wonderful, and it could very well be a rainbow unicorn together; but it is not common nor is it often achievable.

What does it all mean? It means that selling goods in a vacuum or selling goods in holiday season is still selling goods. The only thing that has changed is the time of year. Your success in the OND/ Holiday Season, will occur because of all the hard work you put in for the other 9 months. But with that said, selling is selling, and it is important not to minimize the other parts of the year and use them as foundation months for an EOY push. Selling 150 cases a month in February is as good as selling 150 cases a month in November. Infact more profitable as the costs have increased in labor and marketing.

70 degrees is 70 degrees no matter what time of year. So, go get those cases NOW, as there is indeed a hard stop on big mass buying coming. December 17!

Brian RosenThree Tier Talk
by Brian Rosen, www.BevStrat.com

Brian Rosen is Former CEO of America’s #1 Retailer, Sam’s Wines in Chicago, Former Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Retail and sought after retailer consultant.

E- [email protected]
P- 800 953 1312
W- www.BevStrat.com

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