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Wine Research and Amazing Coincidences

Wine Intelligence, a wine research firm based in London, released their “Portraits USA 2011” report this week highlighting six distinct groups of consumers based on their relationship with wine.

According to the press release and marketing materials, the research provides insight into six prevailing consumer-based wine segments.

To this I say, “Fantastic.”

I also say, “Constellation Wines did this in 2006 with their Project Genome study and the Wine Intelligence bracketing of consumers has more than a passing resemblance to the Constellation study that was hailed at the time as a ‘landmark’ piece of consumer research.”

Take a look at the three images below and tell me that they aren’t materially the same.  The only difference I can determine is you can read a substantive summary of the Constellation research for free and the Wine Intelligence research will cost you $3,750.

No mention in the Wine Intellligence marketing materials about methodology or inspiration for their market segmentation, either.

PT Barnum said there’s a sucker born every minute.  PT Barnum didn’t acknowledge, however, people with a memory like an elephant.

Wine Intelligence

Constellation Project Genome

Comparison Chart Between the Two


Posted in, Wine: A Business Doing Pleasure. Permalink | Comments (5) |


On 02/19, Wine Harlots wrote:

Well, this confirms my suspicions about Wine Intelligence. (After last month’s report by Wine Intelligence where they stated that new media writers are untrustworthy.)

This must be a better report, no?
The trust report only cost $2100 to view, this one’s $3750.  I wonder if you get a discount if you by both?

Even PT Barnum would be shaking his head over this one.

On 02/22, The Sediment Blog wrote:

Hmmm…no category for idiosyncratic Englishmen on a challenging budget treading a fine line between connoisseurs and winos, then.

So that’s us ignored as per usual.

On 02/22, Phil wrote:

Actually Jeff the match isn’t as neat as it would appear…

Millenial Treaters have conservative views of wine, like the traditionalists and although they spend, it doesn’t seem to be for the same reasons as the image seekers.

I agree on experienced explorers and enthusiasts.

I don’t think the premium brand suburbans appear to have much in common with the savvy shoppers: savvy shoppers are into discounts and doing things on their own, the suburbans sound more like the traditionalists in the “brand” part of things, it’s a bit hard to parse because of the lack of detail in the Wine Intelligence bit.

The bargain hunters and the traditionalists have age in common but appear to be motivated differently: traditionalists by brand and bargain hunters by price.

Senior and satisfied sippers are pretty similar (of course I could have told you you’d have a segment that was less interested in wine without doing a study), except that the senior sippers are age-designated while the satisfieds are not.

Overwhelmed and kitchen casuals have a lack of big interest in the category in common (I guess, reading a bit between the lines on the Wine Intelligence side), but again motivations appear very different: the overwhelmed are just that, while the kitchen casuals are not described that way.

A more interesting question is who is wrong, you’d expect two studies that both aim to segment the US consumer market into pyschographic segments would be almost identical.  Possibly the difference has to do with the premium requirement in the Constellation study, which of course could be present in the Wine Intelligence one as well, without seeing the methodology it’s impossible to say.

Judging by just the snippets offered, I’d wouldn’t be surprised if the Wine Intelligence report had more to offer in terms of understanding the motivations and demographics of their segments than the full Constellation report.  I do find it strange and a bit off that the older groups are the more uninvolved ones, you’d expect to have a younger uninvolved group as well.  Without knowing how either of these two reports generated these segments (factor or cluster analysis most likely), it’s hard to judge how great they are.

On 02/23, Jeff wrote:

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the very thoughtful post. 

Your analysis may very well be right, but when I looked at it there was more than a passing resemblance.  I mean, seriously, the vast, divided wine world and how coincidental that they both have six catgegories.  When I did a comparison between the two I was able to play the match game in 30 seconds.

Perhaps my tea leaves are wrong, but I’d be willing to bet that the categorization isn’t heavily supported with methodology.

Probably won’t find out.  I’ve tried to get journalistic access to WI research in the past and it was not a customer service oriented experience.

thanks again for taking the time to comment thoughtfully.


On 10/29, replique montre wrote:

Je ne commente pas habituellement sur ??le blog, mais ce blog m’a donné envie de faire un compliment, parce que je sais que ce n’est pas suffisant, dans votre contexte significatif d’écriture, comme on peut aisément comprendre. Merci pour le partage


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