Rising Star Waiting for Remarkable Action

Today, the Indian wine market is in its nascent stage. Already many of brands are competing with each other to find a sustainable position in the wine market. Hence to be successfully placed in the mind of the consumers one needs to go that extra mile; which really can attract customers.

Now the major brands in the Indian wine market are Four Seasons, Sula, Grover, Fratelli etc. where Four Seasons & Sula are the major competitors. So in this article, I will be focusing on these two brands.

Some of the key forces that can push the product in the market are:-

  1. Achievements of the brand

  2. Taste/ content of the product

  3. Packaging of the product

  4. Sales force of the organization

  5. Sales persons in the retail outlets

  6. Schemes and Offers

  7. Promotional activities by the company

  8. Muscle power of the company

  9. Pricing of the product

  10. Brand strategies (what to promote, where to promote, why to promote, when to promote)

Factors influencing wine brands

Now let us look at some of the key points impacting the players in the market.

  • The first thing I have noticed in the Kolkata market is – Forget about customers, even the retailers do not know all the varietals of Sula; which I think is creating a lot of confusion among the consumers. So this is where the competitors can challenge the brand Sula.

Sula MosaicSula Zinfandel

Four Seasons wine

  • Also, if we talk about packaging/ bottling, undoubtedly Sula’s packaging looks better as compared to that of Four Seasons. Although I think the strategy of United Spirits Limited to have same kind of bottles to bring consistency is good, but the packaging should be more attractive. Especially if the company thinks the name Four Seasons is worth it, then the label on the bottle should convey the same. It should contain some picture which can complement its name. As of now it is very simple and unattractive.

  •  Achievement wise, I think Four Seasons is the leading brand with highest number of awards in a very short span of time. But again the company is unable to send the message to the consumers.
  • Other important thing which I noticed is the sales teams from the companies are not specialized as they are handling many brand categories. But wine is a totally a different category, which requires in-depth knowledge and specialized sales person.
  • The most important aspect I came across is some of the brands are giving some offers and schemes to the retail sales persons and in turn the retail sales person are influencing the customers at POS (point of sale). This is working well as of now because the knowledge about Wine in Indian market is not up to the mark. Therefore, customers can be influenced very easily as compared to other segments.
  • In terms of Muscle power, I believe United Spirits Limited is capable enough to break the path and can be the future leader. But due to numerous brands and categories under it, the focus on wine segment is missing. But remember wine is the rising segment and has a lot of potential in it, keeping the eyes on the growth and changing culture in India.
  • If we talk about the visibility, I think Sula is the most visible brand, compared to that of its competitors in Kolkata market. So the saying “Jo Dikhta Hai Wo Bikta Hai” goes well with the brand.
  • Pricing is a key factor for many products. But I think price is not a huge factor when we are talking about wine, considering the consumer segment targeted and culture of wine consumption.

By going through the above mentioned factors, I think following strategies can help United Spirits Limited move up the ladder and compete with Sula –

  1. Should change the label on the bottle which can complement the name and can catch attention as well.

  2. Should form a specialized marketing team which will look after the Wine segment.

  3. Should provide some additional offers or benefits to the retail sales person.

  4. Improve visibility of the brand.

  5. Spread awareness among the retailers by conducting presentations frequently, in the absence of mass media promotions, retailers are the key points, who are in direct touch with the consumers.

  6. Should not extend the portfolio, otherwise it will confuse consumers as well as retailers.

  7. Provide offers to the premium consumers through digital and telephonic media.

Overall, it will be quite interesting to see the future course of action from the companies to penetrate into the Indian wine market. As of now we can say that, it is a slow start in a very dynamic market.

Author: Abhijit Sarkar

Abhijit Sarkar

He is pursuing PGDM in Marketing from IFIM B-School, Bangalore and currently working as an Marketing Intern at United Spirits Limited. Also worked at Bhushan Steel Limited, Angul for almost 3 years as an Assistant Engineer.



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