Validating the concept, style, and design of a product by comparing it to its competitors in each market.

This year we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of YG Design. During the last decade, we took part in developing, conceiving, and creating hundreds of new brands, and in redesigning and relaunching many existing brands. Some of these brands were major or massive, while others were smaller. Usually, our clients provide us with a brief that includes information about their direct competitors, popular and best-selling brands in their target market(s), and information on other major brands from the same country (e.g. for Chilean brands, clients provide us with information about the most important products sold in Chile or their target markets). On the other hand, every year we attend international wine fairs (e.g. Prowein, Vinexpo, Vinitaly, etc) to learn about growing trends, see the evolution of major global brands, learn about the new products launched in the market, and observe hundreds of brands and products sold in smaller volumes that stand out in terms of concept, design, technique, etc. When faced with these special products we ask ourselves: “What’s their sales volume?”; “Does creativity pay?”; “Should we limit ourselves to following consumers’ actual demands?”; “When should we innovate as opposed to following existing trends?”

These questions help us design solutions to assist marketing teams and even brand owners in making strategic decisions, so that they can rely on these valuable resources and not just intuition. Sometimes, following (not copying) successful and well-known brands can be a valid strategy. We have no crystal ball (no one has), but our analysis becomes a useful tool during decision-making processes.

Strategies are hard to test. However, it is possible to combine different elements to analyze advantages, disadvantages, risks, trends, etc. and avoid launching products destined to fail.

IWSR (International Wine Spirits Research) is a leading source of data and analysis in the global wine and spirits market. IWSR has more than 40 years of experience and a database of 118 countries that is updated every year. We analyze the 15 best-selling brands of the 20 most important markets in the world, breaking down our analysis according to price level and country of origin. For example, we can analyze the 15 top selling brands in Mexico in the premium segment (USD7-13). After that, we analyze the 15 Argentine brands in that segment with the highest sales. Lastly, we analyze the 15 Mexican brands with the highest sales in the same segment. Through this analysis we gain a better insight into Mexican consumers’ preferences, preferred Argentine brands, and preferred Mexican brands. This approach provides us with a fairly detailed map of each specific market.

Using this ranking YG develops a design concept and a graphic style highlighting the most relevant features of the product (i.e. those most highly prized by target market/consumers). Other aspects of our analysis include design style, brand architecture, determining whether the brand is a conceptual brand or nor, shelf impact, use of special techniques, etc. In addition to this, we analyze the better-performing brands in terms of brand positioning, recall, awareness, conversion rates, etc.

A short story: I was recently invited to give some lectures at an Avery Dennison’s event held in Buenos Aires and Mendoza. The audience was made up of designers and members of wineries’ marketing and development departments. During Day 1, in Buenos Aires, the other speaker, Ramiro Fernández, talked about Storytelling. He shared some examples of labels based on strong and more radical concepts that differ greatly from the typical stories told by wine brands. One of them was 19 Crimes, an Australian brand that tells the story of a different criminal in each of its labels. These stories are based on Australian history. All marketing actions are based on this concept. Ramiro presented this example as being unique and brilliant because the company was able to escape the traditional and rather snobbish style of classical brands. Half-way through his conference, however, he said “Honestly, I don’t know if they will succeed… I included this example just because I think it’s interesting”. Ramiro’s point of view is of course valid. He doesn’t have a wine industry background and, therefore, is not compelled to know the brand or the performance of the hundreds of thousands of wine brands that exist worldwide—something impossible even for wine industry experts. I started a search and 2 days later, when we repeated our talks in Mendoza, I was able to comment on Ramiro’s excellent example. I said 19 Crimes is a premium brand with a shelf price of USD12. They have sold more than 500,000 boxes of wine and are ranked 28th in the US market. We can now leave assumptions behind and state for a fact that this radical concept worked for that market.

The purpose of this story is to show that the combination of specific data from each market with YG’s analysis provides companies with valuable resources to inform their decisions and design their strategies when defining the concept and style of their new products or old products they want to re-launch. In these cases, business intuition is usually not enough.

To learn more about this tool, you can contact our commercial department:

Veracruz 7872,
La Puntilla, Luján de Cuyo
(5505) Mendoza, Argentina
+54 261 348 2657
Los Leones 220, of 506,
Providencia (7510600)
Santiago, Chile
+56 2 2656 3325
Via Dante 126,
Pioltello (20096)
Milano, Italia
+39 338 8360372