How The Wine Industry Connects With Consumers
In the unending pursuit to gain competitive advantage, companies and manufacturers spend millions of naira to understand consumers via research, market surveys, focus groups, and analytics. But in most cases, targeted consumers don’t really know what they like, and very few consumers know what they want. The methods mentioned above end up not working, thus leading to a waste of resources and time. Mind you, there is a more effective way. Rather than listening to consumers, wine manufacturers can be proactive and educate consumers.
Consider these three industries; smartphones, diamonds, and coffee. In the last 500 years, billions of people have enjoyed the rich sensation of coffee in one form or the other. But the way we look at the product has changed over the years since Starbucks and by extension, other coffee houses came into the limelight.
In a similar vein, DeBeers took a regular diamond and made a market for it, just by associating it with luxury and romance. That singular effort turned a nonexistent market in 1932 to a $70 billion market in 2013. Mind you, it was still the same regular diamond, however the consumers were taught they meant something. In regards to smartphones, Steve Jobs famously said, “I don’t believe in giving customers what they want. I want to figure out what they want before they do. Consumers don’t really know what they want until you tell them, this is it.”
So, how do all of these tie into the Nigerian wine industry? In a way, most Nigerian manufacturers still follow the traditional approach of giving consumers what they want. But the more effective way is to educate consumers.
The Nigeria alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, and spirit) market has experienced annual growth of 6% in the last 13 years. The market is currently valued at $2 billion, with beer leading the market share by 55%, spirits at 30%, and Wine at 15%. The wine industry has remained a vital part of the Nigerian economy, with steady growth in the last two decades. But, with the theme of 2020 being “uncertainty,” manufacturers should be primed to make relevant changes. Just like Apple, Starbucks, and DeBeers, there are certain vital practices; Nigerian winemakers can learn. And what better way to do it and shape the market than through social influence and vision.
Learn and Educate
Consumers, in a way, have limited expertise, and they can be quite inconsistent with their choices and preferences. This is why, rather than looking for consumer input, producers should try to influence the final decision of consumers. So rather than wait for the market to tell you what it wants, you can take the proactive step by showing them. Because manufacturers that gain competitive advantage by waiting for consumer responses are susceptible to loss, in the long run, those that stand the test of time and connect with consumers are those that influence and educate.