Status games in Wine industry .pdf

As the matthew effect suggests we fi nd that high

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persists, independent of merit (Washington and Zajac 2005). As the Matthew effect suggests, we fi nd that high-status fi rms have access to opportunities that low-status fi rms do not. High-status brands are frequently reviewed by top critics, who ignore many other wines. Furthermore, wineries with superstar winemakers attract young winemaking talent,and some of those prot´eg´es move on to establish or operate rival fi rms. For ex- ample, winemaker David Ramey founded David Ramey Cel- lars in Sonoma Valley, Calif. Ramey posted a review of his wine by Robert Parker that read, David Ramey has long had one of 9 = 1003932. 152 / Journal of Marketing, September 2018
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the most impressive resumes for any California winemaker. He worked at P´etrus in Bordeaux and for Christian Moueix at Dominus. 10 Like professors or Michelin-star chefs, celebrity winemakers train the next generation of winemakers, which enhances their in uence. High-status wineries also share precious resources with their lower-status rivals. The experience of Avery offers one example. She was the CEO of a well-respected Napa Valley winery. A large corporation acquired the winery and loaned Avery a corporate jet to y wine writers to visit the winery and experience the wines. Then, Avery did something unexpected: After I had own in every wine writer I could think of, I still had plenty of time left,so up comes the idea of inviting some of the neighboring vintners on a road show. Nobody had ever done anything like that before. I put together a seven-city tour that nearly killed me, because with six vintners and seven cities, the potential of 42 different distributors to get in line was just really hard. It was the hardest part of the whole thing, but it was wildly successful. Avery s generosity re ects pride in Napa Valley, her com- petitors, and the success of her winery. Those with the highest status are expected to be the most generous, re ecting a sense of noblesse oblige and a strong sense of community, while un- ambiguously demonstrating wealth, power, and success in a way their lower-status peers cannot. High-status fi rms enhance their standing by sharing with peers or lower-status fi rms (Mauss [1925] 2000). Sharing expands a fi rm s in uence, as others implicitly recognize the fi rm s dominance and the legitimacy of the vision the fi rm advances. Thus, paradoxically, a fi rm en- hances its advantage by sharing valuable resources with rivals. Some low-status brands aim to imitate high-status wines in the hope of elevating their own status, but doing so is chal- lenging. High-status fi rms own or have exclusive rights to fruit grown in particular vineyards, and some fi rms employ talented celebrity winemakers. Without access to a rare or special vineyard or a famous winemaker, imitating a high-status wine is dif fi cult. The impact of terroir or the winemaker may be im- perceptible to consumers, but as long as consumers perceive differences attributable to terroir or the winemaker, they may logically value them, regardless of their actual relevance
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