The problem with large, commodity, goofy, and quotas

Large wine wholesalers amble about, seem to pitch products with a slight sense of entitlement, have layers upon layers of management and division leaders, and change up sales reps and territories all the time.

Commodity wine brands are created, not grown, and are perfected in their naming, branding, and marketing to hit the most profitable slice of the pie to maximize revenue for the owners. Commodity brands are also taken to every single account on every block in every city because the idea is “this wine should be everywhere.”

Goofy wine brands, names, logos, and labels immediately raise an eyebrow with those that taste wine for a living. Why do they have to be goofy? What are they trying to distract us from? The wine itself?

Quotas on sales reps dictate what they choose to put in their wine bag and take to customers. Rather than curating great choices for their restaurant or retailer (showing that they know their business, are on top of what desires and trends there are, and are taking the long view of growth through a conversation that develops a bit more with every meeting), the river flows the opposite direction: the quotas chose what they pop and show and put effort into.

I’m always amazed when larger wholesalers with commodity brands and goofy wine labels, that weigh their sales staff with quotas on their products, complain about the little wholesalers “stealing their business.” It seems obvious why they often lose the game.

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