Design Your Wine Brands Portfolio To Win The Long Game

10/12/2021 Sid Patel talks about designing a wine portfolio for a long-term plan. He focuses on how a portfolio should be measured from a financial, customer, and sales perspective.

Have a wine portfolio that is designed to grow your a) top line b) bottom line c) cash flow d) Distribution.

Having a volume brand in your winery is a must as that keeps the cash flow, reputation, and credibility that “your products sell” in the trade. The USA is a much more retail-driven market than people realize. Design your portfolio by keeping not only the end consumer but trade in mind.


Then work on your high-end and quality products to make money. Both are needed if your goal is national distribution and building a large and long-term wine business.

Business owners often measure their top-line brands as 'loss leaders' as they directly try and see their gross profit contribution. Your top-line brands are just as important as bottom-line brands.


Here are some of the strategic objectives your wine portfolio needs to meet:

Financial Perspective

F1. Your brands in ‘Top Line’ will meet your shareholder objectives of growth

F2. Your brands in ‘Bottom Line’ will meet your shareholder objectives of bottom-line growth which is profit

F3. Your brands in ‘Top Line’ will make your customers pay you on time - because they need your wine, spirit, beer, or the beverage brand that is moving well.

Customer Perspective

The customer's perspective enables brand owners to align their core customer outcome measures like satisfaction, brand loyalty, repeat orders, profitability. Brand executives are more on the floor than ever before, in front of their end consumers in liquor stores and restaurants to get direct feedback.

C1. Your customer who is a retailer or distributor has confidence in you as your brands in ‘Top Line’ are moving

C2. They will give your ‘Stability’ and ‘Bottom line’ category brands a chance

C3. You can use your ‘Top Line’ Category brands to open new accounts (who are price sensitive - like any new customers).

C4. Your customer's customers will also know you. Nothing is as important as your customer’s customer asking for your brand.

Sales Perspective

S1. Your salespeople, your distributor’s salespeople will like you because the ‘Top Line’ Category brands are moving. You need the ‘Bottom line’ Category brands to provide programming and incentives for the entire portfolio.

Reputation is everything in the beverage business if you are here for the long term. Distributors, brokers, and retailers should see you as a preferred choice of supplier. Reputation comes when you prove that your brands work.

Payments/ Accounts Receivable: Believe it or not, if you have a leading brand which your customer needs on a regular basis, your accountant will like you and so will your admin person who is chasing up on payments. As long as you have your main brand working for you, you will sustain and grow your business. It is very hard to keep finding new distributors as after some time, you will run into them again. Measuring how those brands help you sell other profitable brands is also just as important.

Written by Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network, USA Wine Ratings, USA Spirits Ratings, and USA Beer Ratings.

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