The relevance of wine awards as a marketing tool : a study of South African consumer attitudes

Von Arnim, Christiane (2008-12)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Successes at local and international wine competitions are frequently used to achieve differentiation in the market place. Acting like third party credentials, award medals are meant to support a producer’s claim of superior quality. Over the past decade, there has been a notable increase in the number of wine competitions to which producers are encouraged to submit their wines. Producers are promised recognition for their success, while the organisers gain from the entry fees that producers pay, regardless of their success. It is the purpose of this study to examine, whether in the mind of the consumer wine awards do indeed play a significant role in influencing consumer choices. Initially, a literature review was conducted to establish the role of wine awards in the context of wine marketing. Based on the findings, a survey was conducted among South African wine consumers. The data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical methods. The analysis showed that while wine awards are indeed recognised by the consumer as a cue that shapes their choices, their importance is relatively low compared to other cues. Yet, having established that decision-making is a complex set of interactions, wine awards do nevertheless play a role in supporting a decision in certain circumstances and for certain customer segments. Generally speaking, it was found that the more sophisticated a consumer is, the less regard exists for wine awards. Not only do wine awards have lesser power in shaping decisions, but also attitudes towards the concept of wine awards are more negative. Lesser informed consumers tend to take more guidance, and are less opinionated about the concept of third party ratings. It was also shown that a few industry-specific issues undermine the value and potential impact of wine awards. Firstly, the increasing number of wine competitions appears to dilute the value of wine awards as a marketing tool. Secondly, consumers are sceptical regarding honesty that producers apply in marketing their awards; an independent monitoring authority is seen as a solution to raise the profile of wine awards in South Africa, thus creating more credibility and power for this tool.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suksesse behaal by plaaslike en internasionale wynkompetisies word dikwels gebruik om differensiasie in die markplek te verkry. Net soos getuigskrifte van ‘n derde party, word toekennings gebruik om ‘n produsent se aanspraak op uitmuntende gehalte te ondersteun. Oor die afgelope dekade was daar ‘n aansienlike toename in die getal wynkompetisies en produsente word aangemoedig om hulle wyne daarvoor in te skryf. Produsente word erkenning vir hulle sukses beloof, terwyl die organiseerders voordeel trek uit die inskrywingsgelde wat produsente betaal ongeag of hulle sukses behaal of nie. Dit was die doel van hierdie studie om te ondersoek of wyntoekennings wel na die oordeel van die verbruiker ‘n belangrike rol speel om die verbruiker se keuse by wynaankope te beïnvloed. ‘n Literatuuroorsig is aanvanklik uitgevoer om die rol van wyntoekennings in die konteks van wynmakery te bepaal. Met daardie bevindings as grondslag is ‘n opname onder Suid-Afrikaanse wynverbruikers uitgevoer. Hierdie data is ontleed met behulp van beskrywende en afgeleide statistiese metodes. Die ontleding het aangetoon dat, hoewel wyntoekennings wel deur die verbruiker erken word as ‘n riglyn by hulle keuses, die belangrikheid daarvan relatief laag is vergeleke met ander riglyne. Nogtans, aangesien daar bepaal is dat besluitneming ‘n komplekse stel interaksies behels, speel wyntoekennings wel ‘n rol om ‘n besluit te ondersteun onder sekere omstandighede en by sekere kliëntsegmente. Oor die algemeen is daar bevind dat hoe meer gesofistikeerd ‘n verbruiker is, hoe minder waarde word aan wyntoekennings geheg. Nie alleen dra wyntoekennings dan minder gewig by die beïnvloeding van keuses nie, maar die houding teenoor die konsep van wyntoekennings is meer negatief. Minder ingeligte verbruikers is geneig om hulle meer te laat lei deur die konsep van ‘n derde party se oordeel en het minder van ‘n eie mening daaroor. Daar is ook aangetoon dat ‘n paar kwessies spesifiek tot die wynindustrie die waarde en potensiële impak van wyntoekennings ondermyn. Eerstens lyk dit asof die toenemende getal wynkompetisies die waarde van wyntoekennings as ‘n bemarkingsinstrument verwater. Tweedens is verbruikers skepties oor die eerlikheid van produsente by die bemarking van hulle toekennings. ‘n Onafhanklike moniteringsgesag word gesien as ‘n oplossing om die profiel van wyntoekennings in Suid-Afrika te verbeter en sodoende groter betroubaarheid en mag vir hierdie bemarkingsinstrument te bewerkstellig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/950
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