The wine market has evolved to include technology driven experiential aspects in wine consumption, transitioning from wine as a product to wine as a service as consumers seek experiential purchases. This transition can be conceptualized through innovation theories. Conceptualizing innovations as market-driven or market-driving innovation has been central in understanding whether a market actor reactively responds to the market or proactively shapes the market (Jaworski & Kohli, 2017). Market-driven innovation occurs when market actors reactively satisfy existing needs; conversely, market-driving innovation occurs when market actors proactively define and redefine new relationships dynamically for novel value configurations.
The intersection of innovation and consumer preference are one of the most researched topics in wine innovation. In this paradigm of market-driven innovation, changing consumer preference from Old World to New World is an example reaction to democratization of wine consumption in the existing market’s needs (Bruwer & Buller, 2013). Research on consumer perception of new wine product attributes (e.g., Biodynamic wine) also shows how market-driven innovation responds to the rise of eco-consciousness among existing consumers (Fernández, 2019; Scozzafava et al., 2021). This market-driven innovation view is an instructive explanation to changes in physical wine consumption rituals in the mature and defined market; but it lacks our understanding of shaping a new market opportunity for a novel value proposition by engaging with market actors through virtual wine experiences.
Market-driving innovation, defined as an emerging market actor-centric view of innovation, is important as roles and relationships between wine and market actors dramatically changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. To illustrate, wine consumption as a physical product purchase has stagnated globally due to the pandemic’s social distancing (Forbes, 2021), but wine consumption as an experiential purchase may increase by exposing consumers to wine-related cultural content through 24/7 streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu (New York Times, 2019; Statista, 2021). Understanding the rise of market-driving innovation can inform a paradigm shift from market reaction with wine as a product to market shaping with wine as a service. When wine consumption is seen as a service rather than a product, a wine-related cultural artifact is an important asset in understanding market-driving innovation that describe arrangements of market actors for new value propositions. Market shaping to disseminate wine knowledge and skills through a cultural content becomes important for market-driving innovation when consumers seek value-in-use over value-in-exchange.
Existing literature examining market-driving innovation adopts producers as a focus of reimagining new value configurations. Specifically, producers pursuing high-status wine brands (Humphreys & Carpenter, 2018) and collaborative market making for market dominance in a nascent alcohol category (Maciel & Fischer, 2020). This producer-centric view with qualitative methods can be a good starting point to explore how producers negotiate and navigate the markets for growth, but it does not reflect the interactive dynamics in malleable markets through integrating diverse perspectives from multiple market actors, including consumers and cultural influencers. To address this research gap, this paper will select a domain of market shaping with multiple maket actors beyond the producer-centric view and conduct consumer-centric empirical examination. Specifically, this paper employs topic modeling and multidimensional scaling methods to assess consumer reviews on wine documentaries collected from Internet Movie Database (IMDbs) (2004 – 2018). The findings shed light on diverse aspects of market shaping and market-driving innovation, guiding theoretical and managerial implications
Scholars in innovation research identify two types of innovation: market-driven innovation in the static market and market-driving innovation in the dynamic market (Jaworski & Kohli, 2017). Table 1 explains two paradigms for wine consumption (wine as material purchase and wine as experiential purchase) and their related innovation theories.
When wine is seen as a material purchase, consuming wine indicates a consumer destroying the given physical content of wine (e.g., wine bottle empties) and the monetary value of wine, value-in-exchange, has been exhausted. This product-dominant view examines transfer of a legal ownership of wine and posits a value that has been determined by a producer and destroyed by a consumer. The traditional wine research reflects this view while assessing the impact of product innovation (e.g., introducing a new intrinsic and extrinsic product cue) on monetary value of wine. When wine is seen as an experience purchase, a producer and a consumer of wine co-create the value of wine as the way a consumer experiences the value of wine is an important element of wine’s value-in-use. This service-dominant view posits the experiential value of wine and the importance of a consumer’s consumption process. This emerging view was integrated with the consumer experience paradigm (4E principles: Escapism, Education, Esthetics, and Entertainment) coming from wine tourism research investigating wine as an experiential purchase.
These distinctive views influence conceptualization of market innovations. Market-driven innovation views a market with a hard and determined structure, with focus on market actors’ reactionary efforts to the changes in existing needs. Conversely, market-driving innovation views a market with a malleable and flexible ecosystem, with emphasis on market actors’ proactive efforts to modify resource mobilization and facilitation. Therefore, market-driven innovation aims to identify how market actors respond to existing needs reactively. Conversely, market-driving innovation focuses on shaping markets in a proactive manner by reimagining the resource integration processes among stakeholders.
The dominant paradigm of wine business research is market-driven innovation along with the product-dominant paradigm. Empirical research on established consumer preference towards Old World wine may reflect this dominant paradigm (e.g., country of origin effect, Bruwer & Buller, 2013). The emergent paradigm of wine business research is market-driving innovation. A seminar paper examining institutional commitments for the shift to screwcaps from corkscrews in New Zealand has shown how the New Zealand Screwcap Wine Seal Initiative has moved a change forward by destigmatizing the association with the screwcap and the low-quality wine with stakeholders (Baker & Nenonen, 2020).
Market-driving innovation focuses on changes to a value proposition led by rearrangements of resource integration among market actors, which is differentiated from product innovation (e.g., updated wine labeling) influencing consumer preferences. Market-driving innovation, unlike market-driven innovation, entails reconfiguration of relationships among stakeholders for market opportunities proactively to shape, drive, and redefine the market beyond the dyadic exchange between a physical product and a consumer Market actors are the focus of market-driving innovations that change these relationships in a market that is defined as a set of systems, ecosystems, and networks for value creation. This process is complex and evolves with time while negotiating and navigating the relationships of stakeholders (Nenonen et al., 2020).
Examining the transition from wine as a material purchase to wine as an experiential purchase is important because Service-Dominant Logic can endorse market-driving innovation over market-driven innovation, reflecting value co-creation and value-in-use consisting of Service-Dominant Logic (Lusch & Nambisan, 2015). Value co-creation emphasizes a consumer’s active participation to realize value propositions by negotiating and navigating relationships between market actors, which is different from the traditional dyadic relationship between a buyer and a seller in the given, static market. Value-in-use is conceptualized in the context of pursuing the experiential value of wine, which is different from value-in-exchange for the monetary value of wine.
Market shaping, active engagement with market actors to shape a new value proposition, facilitates understanding of value co-creation and value-in-use (Nenonen et al., 2019). While investigating consumer reactions to a wine-related artifact may be investigated by using a consumer’s own words to interpret the typology of wine interactions. Topic modeling and multidimensional scaling can be used to map these interactions as material or experiential purchases. This examination can give insights toward understanding how the wine experience paradigm (e.g., 4E principles – Escapism, Education, Esthetics, and Entertainment) in a traditional setting (e.g., wine tourism) translates into a virtual setting (e.g., wine documentary). The next section attempts to answer the following research questions with consumer reviews of wine documentaries on IMDbs (2004 – 2018).
What dimensions emerge from market-driving innovations in the wine market?
How can market shaping be organized in terms of the consumer experience paradigm (4E principles)?
Cultural artifacts, including documentaries, are vehicles to shape the market at the individual and group levels. They engage with individual market actors and shape group level agenda, which creates a shared culture surrounding a topic by negotiating and navigating relationships in society. Wine consumption is not an exception. The evolution of wine consumption from a material purchase to an experiential purchase is consequential to market-driving innovation. Empirical examination of documentaries will allow this paper to identify how market actor beliefs and roles have evolved to create a structure for value creation. One of the important components of market-driving innovation is legitimation, “the process of making a practice or institution socially, culturally, and politically acceptable within a particular context” (Humphreys, 2010, p. 3).
Documentaries entail a specific form of narrative that engages with an audience by demonstrating the story of how and why a focal topic has occurred. This story-based manifested cultural artifact possesses a persuasive power to raise awareness of the focal topic with greater accessibility thanks to the rise of online video streaming services. Scholars in communication research have noted documentaries’ nonfiction visual storytelling accounts show real life, which reflects truthfulness and authenticity, mobilizing audiences for collective action and changing social consensus on the focal issue (Borum Chattoo & Feldman, 2017). Specifically, prior research has shown that investigating consumer reviews is an important way to examine how individuals form and develop beliefs about products as well as arrange and rearrange their roles in relationship to market actors (Berger et al., 2020). Consumer reviews of wine documentaries can function as a lens through which to see their thoughts, opinions, and feelings on wine consumption, exposing the consumer experience paradigm (4E principles: Escapism, Education, Esthetics, and Entertainment) (Oh et al., 2007; Pine & Gilmore, 2011) and market shaping (Nenonen et al., 2019).
Data Collection and Procedures
The data used for analysis is consumer reviews on wine documentaries from IMDb. The programming language R’s rvest package is used to gather web-based data, in accord with existing literature (Liu et al., 2016; Song et al., 2018). Table 2 indicates descriptive statistics of selected documentaries for a collected 95 consumer reviews of Wine Documentaries on IMDb (2004 – 2018).
The list of documentaries includes text reviews from consumers in addition to numeric ratings, which creates an enriched data source application of the topic modeling method. The topic modeling method identifies the underlying structure of text data by using latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) with word-level parsed data after eliminating stop words, common but uninformative words (e.g., “be”, “a”, and “the”) (Wang et al., 2015). Topicmodels R package was used to discover emerging themes and topics in the relationship between consumer and market actors mediated via wine documentaries (Grün et al., 2021). LDA is a Bayesian learning algorithm that examines co-occurrence of topics among consumer reviews (Toubia et al. 2019). Table 3 summarizes emerging topics from consumer reviews. When a topic appears in a documentary, a cell receives 1, but when a topic does not appear in a documentary, a cell receives 0. This represents a documentary as a composite of topics to provide grounds that reveal the underlying latent meaning structures.
Multidimensional scaling with stats R package was applied to the co-occurrence matrix as the matrix includes Euclidean distances of paired data between a topic and a documentary to show similarities and dissimilarities among documentaries (Kim et al., 2004). This method maps data points in the two-dimensional scatter plot to represent a market actor’s mental model in a numeric and spatial manner (Giguère, 2006).
The multidimensional scaling method revealed two dimensions and four quadrants (Figure 1). The first dimension represents the concept of value proposition. Value proposition is defined as emerging value from substantial interactions between market actors via a market offering (e.g., wine), which lies in the continuum of value-in-exchange and value-in-use (Vargo, 2011). Value-in-exchange emphasizes resource exchange based on legal ownership of a good or service, whereas value-in-use focuses on resource integration based on psychological ownership of a good and service (Eggert et al., 2018; Morewedge, 2021). The second dimension indicates market actors’ participation. Resource integration occurs when the participatory activities entail an actor’s attempt to incorporate other market actor resources. A market actor’s high and low resource integrations are associated with their active and passive participations, respectively. A consumer is encouraged to immerse themselves within a narrative during high participation. In low participation, a consumer is a bystander that observes the narrative.
The identified dimensions guide interpretation of four quadrants to form an understanding of value proposition dynamics and market actors’ participatory interactions. Scholars have suggested that market actor beliefs (e.g., materialism and experientialism) can serve fundamental roles in realizing value propositions and participation. 4E concepts (Escapism, Education, Entertainment, Esthetics) are relevant to understanding each quadrant as an investigation into value configurations and market actor interactions (Oh et al., 2007; Pine & Gilmore, 2011).
Quadrant I (Value-in-exchange x Active participation) demonstrates escapism. Consumers are immersed in a different time and place. Mondovino (2004) is a case in point for understanding how a consumer interacts with the value-in-exchange mindset. Wine is viewed as a product with monetary value across time and place.
“Business vs. personal conviction. Profit vs. art. As with any documentary that pits the capitalist large corporations against the small producer, the viewer will invariably have to take the side of one or the other based on their own beliefs. This is as much a documentary of the new standardized way of doing things that globalization is bringing us, against the old traditional ways where character and the art of making things matters almost more than getting the product sold.” [Consumer review 1]
“Nobody would deny that the standard of wine has improved. Nobody would deny the French have been too arrogant for too long. However, it is to be regretted that the American public as a whole is so sheep like in following the taste of Robert Parker. He knows what he likes and the great American public, which doesn’t, is happy to say “Yeah and I like it.” Unfortunately, what you will end up with is less choice. Look at what passes for cheese in America and compare it with the wealth of choice that is available still in the Old World. Do you really want wines that will be like Kraft slices compared with Brie? Trust me, not all wines have to be big tasting reds barreled in new oak, and giving endless, unchallenging, easy-drinking” [Consumer review 2]
Quadrant I portrays the global race to improve commercial and monetary values of wine as a market commodity. Consumer review 1 recognized the market actors’ beliefs (e.g., materialism and experientialism) and dichotomy thereof displayed through standardization of wine production. Consumer review 2 criticizes a materialistic culture symbolized by Robert Parker, an influential figure in wine judgment and pricing. The essence of escapism is “diverging to a new self” (Oh et al., 2007, p. 121). Their neutral and critical reception of the documentary may show consumers did not diverge to a new self. Rather, the documentary may have reinstated a commonly established logic of value-in-exchange while engaging with viewers in a different time and place.
Quadrant II (Value-in-use vs. Active participation) indicates the educational aspect of wine experience, which allows consumers to strengthen wine knowledge and skills. Somm (2012) is a case in point to depict those who go through a Master Sommelier Exam, a milestone for superb wine appreciation skills.
“This documentary film is about several guys who are pursuing their certification as Master Sommeliers. While this sounds terrifically boring, it really isn’t for many reasons. First, it’s an incredibly difficult thing to actually achieve and very few folks on this planet are this knowledgeable, tenacious and talented to earn this. Second, the film makers manage to spin this all in an interesting way that makes you actually care about these oenophiles and their seemingly insane quest to be the best of the best.” [Consumer Review 3]"
“The film really wasn’t about wine at all, rather a reality-show style video of 4 fairly obnoxious, unlikeable, uninteresting guys, full of themselves, and also full of obnoxious ‘frat bro’ bravado, reciting wine attributes like a mantra and spitting into a bucket. They manage to take the consumption of wine, which should be an act of immense pleasure and sensation and degrade it into little more than a circle-jerk weenie-measuring contest.” [Consumer review 4]
Both consumer review 3 and consumer review 4 acknowledge the rigorous study and effort to become a master sommelier in the documentary. Yet, they do not extol the narrative style used in the documentary. Consumer review 3 refers to the narrative as potentially boring but is engaged by the story of the “very few folks” who are “knowledgeable, tenacious and talented”. Consumer review 4 refers to the candidates with condescending words such as “frat bro” and “circle-jerk.” These reactions lack classic sensory aspects of wine tourism, failing to excite the five senses of physical wine consumption: sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste (mentioned in the documentary). However, it brings to light the potential of wine tourism through narrative transportation (Green et al., 2004).
Quadrant III (Value-in-use x Passive participation) depicts the aesthetic pleasure of the virtual wine experience and how the consumer is passively engaged by the sensory landscape. The list of documentaries in this quadrant (Blood into Wine (2010), A Year in Burgundy (2013), A Year in Champagne (2014), Somm: Into the Bottle (2015), Decanted (2016), and Somm 3 (2018)) delivers sensory environments: rustic wine villages, wine craftsmanship, and tasting travels.
“I have to say that I did not learn very much from this movie. Oh, it’s beautifully shot all right. And you do get to see grape vines, barrels, wineries, fermentation, bottling, pruning, planting, swirling, sniffing, sampling, and much else. But it’s all done in a very atmospheric rather than informative way. Pesticides are used less and less; it says (or something like that) without going into how much and why. We see a vine being planted, but no mention of root grafting. No discussion of clones. We learn that every wine tasted different, but in what ways?” [Consumer review 5]
“I will not go on and on about how this film affected me or made me feel… It wouldn’t do it any justice. Because just like the premise of the film… it is what it means to YOU… It is how it made YOU feel… I will say on my behalf that it was a genuine motivator in wanting to create and establish meaning to the earth; we as it’s keepers treading and roaming it’s soil and countless acres… You do not have to be wine fanatics; let alone Maynard fanatics (which is never a problem), to enjoy the sweetness this film offers. Of course, it is punctuated by bits of humor that feels quite Maynard-ish, but the overall message is felt strongly…. Take an hour and a half… enjoy it…” [Consumer review 6]
Both consumer review 5 and consumer review 6 share strong emotional reactions, which aroused intrigue toward the wine sensory landscape. Scholars note the importance of the mere exposure effect in lab studies (Kamleitner & Khair Jyote, 2013). They suggest that exposure to a scene or character producing and consuming a market offering forms strong and favorable attitudes towards the product. The strong emotional arousals may indicate the persuasive power of using aesthetic experience in media-mediated wine consumption.
Quadrant IV (Value-in-exchange x Passive participation) shows the entertaining aspect of technology-mediated wine consumption. Consumers enjoy pleasure through watching a narrative that employs wine as a prop. Red Obsession (2013) and Sour Grapes (2016) are cases in point that portray Chinese speculative investments in wines and criminal acts surrounding wine auctions, respectively.
“You don’t have to be a wine lover to enjoy the movie. The one quote I will always remember that the Chinese have endured the cultural revolution which is like going to hell and coming back alive. They have endured living like peasants for decades and now that they are not, they want to live it up like a sir. The picture of China that is presented in the film is one that is super modern, trendy, and really fast paced. Money is everywhere. But this is a double edged sword, as you will find out in the movie. They could have swapped Lafite for BMW’s or iPhones, but the Lafite is an excellent symbol of fine old stuffy European tradition coming head on to the Chinese economic juggernaut.” [Consumer review 7]
“Documentary about the fine and rare wine auction market centering around a counterfeiter who befriended the rich and powerful and sold millions of dollars of fraudulent wine through the top auction houses…. Despite that, this documentary was fascinating – the ability to con the best collectors, and the FBI’s attempts to track down the con man.” [Consumer review 8]
Both reviews highlight the entertainment of watching dramas featuring buying and selling of wine, emphasizing the commercial value of wine as a commodity. In consumer review 7, China is the main character reinventing itself with appreciation of wine as a fine luxury good that derives extrinsic value through distancing from the shadow of the cultural revolution. In consumer review 8, the counterfeit wine market is a scene for entertaining crime drama, exposing this phenomenon as a potential threat to the integrity and refinement of wine culture.
Topic modeling and multi-dimensional scaling methods were applied to consumer reviews on wine documentaries to identify dimensions (consumer’s participation and value configuration) emerging from market-driving innovations and the relationship between the consumer experience paradigm (4E principles: Escapism, Education, Esthetics, and Entertainment) (Oh et al., 2007; Pine & Gilmore, 2011) and market shaping (Nenonen et al., 2019). The value propositions from market-driving innovation are aimed to “proactively create opportunities at a market-system level” (Nenonen et al., 2020, p. 278). The findings of this empirical investigation show how market-driving innovation occurs in dynamic wine markets with malleable and plastic nature.
The scholars identify two integral activities of market-driving innovation: enhancing resource linkage density and developing novel resource integration among market actors. Documentaries can be instrumental in both of these activities. Resource density refers to influence and support to mobilize market actors and to define roles and orchestrate relationships for value creation (Lusch & Nambisan, 2015). Immersive wine experiences may achieve this by educating audiences in unfamiliar contexts, such as wine entrepreneurship and connoisseurship. Consumers may be moved by the passion and persistence seen in wine entrepreneurship, associating themselves with protagonists in a focal brand’s fight against specific external socio-cultural threats. Wine connoisseurship anchors around the concept of “Sommelier”, a special term that extols excellence in wine appreciation. Category dominance can be improved with special terms, as noticed in Kleenex, Velcro, and Band-aid (Erdem & Swait, 1998).
Well-received terms help expedite resource orchestration with committed and connected market actors, intensifying resource density for market shaping efforts that create market-driving innovation. Market-driving innovation allows novel value creation through the spectrum of value-in-exchange to value-in-use. Documentary films can effectively deliver both perspectives through authentic voicing of narratives regarding monetary and experiential value. Using competition as a narrative tool is imported from “reality show” media associated with beauty and high fashion landscapes. This dramatic tool can define monetary and experiential values of a market offering via exposure to the media while building strong emotional connections with the struggle and success of contestants. This narrative structure shapes the virtual wine experience within documentaries in a novel manner by transforming the meaning of the wine consumption experience from a relaxing, calm, social experience to a spectacular, fierce, professional experience.
Academic and Managerial Implications
This research attempts to address a research call from scholars examining innovation in the market to note “the idea of shaping, molding, and managing the evolution of markets has been around for some time but has not taken off in terms of systematic inquiry” (Jaworski & Kohli, 2017, p. 11).
The academic contribution of this paper is two-fold. Theoretically, this paper investigates market-driving innovation rather than market-driven innovation to introduce Service-Dominant logic and social emergence theory in the wine market. This research adopts a malleable and plastic view to examine the wine market and analyzes consumer-level interactions with documentaries featuring wine. As the experiential value of wine over the monetary value of wine has arisen during the pandemic, this research offers what experiential values should be provided for engagement and value proposition for market-driving innovation. This insight may help shape the malleable wine market to change how market actors interact, creating a novel value configuration.
In addition, this paper uses topic modeling, a text mining method, to identify emergent themes in consumer reviews. This methodological choice allows examination of a market actor’s own words and voice at the unfiltered, individual level with enriched contexts. This unstructured data provides more descriptions and contexts, in contrast to traditional research using quantitative data (e.g., market share, price). Visualizing the similarities and differences with multi-dimensional scaling can be helpful to analyzing emerging themes in market-driving innovation – this process-oriented approach allows viewing of market-driving innovations through institutional works, “the purposive action of individuals and organizations aimed at creating, maintaining, and disrupting institutions” (Lawrence & Suddaby, 2006, p. 215). The findings allow examination of value propositions in new mediums and mobilize resources with various market actors by expressing and engaging with emerging themes in shaping the wine market.
For managers, these emergent themes can be resourced in development of narratives for novel value propositions. For example, Mondovino (2004) provides perspectives through interviews of wine producers across the globe, displaying strong brand biographies and building unique rapports with market actors. Somm (2012) and its sequels interact with the market by using visual narratives of luxury appreciation, like artistic high fashion or precious historical objects, enriching wine connoisseurship. Examination of emergent themes may assist managers with informed, data-driven, choices that create strategic outcomes through consideration of market actors’ roles and relationships.
In the future, the introduction of virtual and augmented reality technology may allow market actors to engage one another without time and space boundaries. This technology-powered enhanced wine experience may enhance resource linkage density and develop novel resource integration among market actors. To illustrate, a glass of wine alongside a virtual space (a.k.a. Wine Disneyland, Virtual Vineyard) could facilitate consumer immersion in an unexplored place and time (in the Escapism realm), socialize with world-class sommeliers to improve wine knowledge (in the Education realm), discover brand-new sensory experiences (in the Esthetics realm), or become the protagonist in a new wine-inspired narrative (in the Entertainment realm). Introducing technology to wine experiences can greatly enhance wine as an experiential purchase. Moreover, data from these virtual experiences (such as cues, interactions, utterance, and other complex behavior) can provide market actors with access to more opportunities for new value configurations as they act as reservoirs for analyses on sensory and multi-sensory experiences.
Limitations and Directions for Future Research
This paper uses wine documentaries only, which may limit the perspective of interactions among market actors. For example, Shevy (2008) notes that “popular music genre can be considered as a culturally shared cognitive schema consisting of associations between the sound of the music and extra musical concepts” (p. 477). Future research may use lyrical content to discover featured wine’s cultural artifacts in music and examine market implication throughout time. Music can provide socio-historical schema to understand evolution of wine consumption and market-driving innovation. Additional future research may be performed to analyze market actors’ interaction within using social networks. Specifically, appearance and co-appearance of market actors can be counted in visual media units (e.g., scene, episode, clip) and visualize their relation structure and strength with social network analysis. Interactions (e.g., utterances) can be quantified through data analysis to show how specific themes emerge for strategic development of market-driving innovation. Forward-looking researchers may utilize a new source of data and leverage novel methods to advance the scholarship of market innovation in the wine market.
This paper attempts to examine market-driving innovation in the wine market. The empirical findings of this paper entail the wine consumer’s active and participatory engagement in shaping the wine consumption experience. Market-driving innovation occurs through engagement with various market actors. Cultural artifacts, including documentaries, can be vehicles for shaping wine consumption through diverse experiences including education, entertainment, esthetics, and escapism. These new value configurations may show the importance of market-driving innovation beyond the buyer-seller dyad. During the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have spent more time learning about wine through online viewing of content via streaming services, rather than through sharing physical wine with friends and family. New value propositions examined through topic modeling might shed light on consumers’ reactions to the popular wine documentaries, which suggest a strategic approach to market-driving innovation alongside the advancement of technology.