Quality differentiation in the Italian wine industry: terroir-based vs. brand-based strategies
by Luca Camanzi; Cristina Grazia; Eric Giraud-Héraud; Giulio Malorgio
International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business (IJGSB), Vol. 9, No. 2/3, 2017

Abstract: This study assesses the reasons that induce wine firms to choose their differentiation strategy, namely a terroir-based or a brand-based approach, considering both endogenous factors (e.g., firm size, nature of upstream-downstream relations) and exogenous conditions (market size/opportunities, collective brand reputation). First, we provide an empirical characterisation of the Italian denomination of origin wine processing and bottling industry as well as of firms' quality differentiation strategies, by means of a cluster analysis (CLA). Based on these results, we developed an industrial organisation model explaining the incentives for firms to adopt each strategy in a competitive context, focusing on the trade-off between terroir-based strategies and brand-based strategies. We conclude that brand-based strategies are motivated mostly by scale economies, short-run market opportunities and synergies between brand and designations of origin, while the main reasons prompting firms to choose terroir-based strategies relate to supply chain control, low demand uncertainty and competition intensity.

Online publication date: Tue, 02-Jan-2018

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