Collaborative marketing in a premium wine region: the role of horizontal networks
Lewis, GK and Byrom, J and Grimmer, M, Collaborative marketing in a premium wine region: the role of horizontal networks, International Journal of Wine Business Research, 27, (3) pp. 203-219. ISSN 1751-1062 (2015) [Refereed Article]
Purpose – The purpose of this article was to explore why small wine producers in one of Australia’s premium wine regions engage in horizontal networking within both their sub-regions and at a state-wide level. The benefits of these formal network relationships are investigated from a collaborative marketing perspective.
Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative data were collected via in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 33 wine producers. Industry informant interviews and secondary data collection enabled triangulation of the research findings.
Findings – Overall the study found that producers join horizontal networks for commercial, social and strategic reasons. These motivations evolve over time as the owner/managers gain experience and presence in the region. Horizontal networks assist regions to build goodwill and industry norms, and share knowledge. Such social capital encourages collaboration among wineries and enables networks to effectively pursue shared objectives. Horizontal networks at a sub-regional level also play a key role in establishing and promoting wine tourism.
Practical implications – The paper shows how horizontal wine networks develop over time and the key motivations for membership. Those looking to establish networks can benefit from knowledge of the key drivers which influence and enhance participation.
Originality/value – To date most network studies in the sector have focused on informal
relationships between wineries, or networks and clusters comprising firms vertically integrated in the supply chain. The paper contributes to understanding why small wine producers join horizontal networks and examines how collaborative marketing can assist boutique and developing wine regions to increase the competitiveness and market penetration of their products.