Monday, July 6, 2020

The power of wine and spirits brands in the marketplace


Commercial alcoholic beverages have all sorts of market characteristics, one of which is their ability to dominate their markets. This feature was investigated in a survey of the world’s leading drinks brands, published annually from 2006-2015 by the international company strategists Intangible Business. This was called The Power 100, in which each brand was given a power score, allowing them to be ranked.


Intangible Business apparently researched c. 10,000 spirit and wine brands across the globe, to assess both the financial contribution of each brand and its strength in the eyes of the consumer. To do this, they combined scores from a panel of drinks industry experts with global sales data (see Methodology, and Panelists). [Note: the resulting reports used to be housed at www.drinkspowerbrands.com, but this site disappeared in 2017, with 2015 as the final report.]

The Brand Score (out of 100) was produced by the panelists, who scored each brand for these eight characteristics (scale: 0–10):
  • Share of market: a volume-based measure of market share
  • Future Growth: projected growth based on 10 years of historical data plus future trends
  • Premium Price Positioning: a measure of the brand’s ability to command a premium
  • Market Scope: number of markets in which the brand has a significant presence
  • Brand Awareness: a combination of prompted and spontaneous awareness
  • Brand Relevancy: capacity to relate to the brand and a propensity to purchase
  • Brand Heritage: the brand’s longevity and a measure of how it is embedded in local culture
  • Brand Perception: loyalty, and how close a strong brand image is to a desire for ownership.
This Score was then turned into a Total Score (out of 100) by multiplying this by the brand's weighted sales volume. It was this Total Score that was used for the final Power list, with the top 100 being listed each year. However, I am not interested in this here — the Total Score is dominated by the sales volume, not by the Brand Score. The latter seems more interesting, so I will look at it here.

Across the 10 years, 141 brands appeared at least once, although only 68 (48%) of them appeared in all 10 surveys, with another 8 appearing in 9/10 years. That is, only half of the brands had any sustained Power. In the other cases, the brands either appeared in the early surveys only, or in the later surveys only — very few came and went from year to year (implying that they were just on the border of the top 100).

Network of the Brand Scores for 2015

As usual in this blog, we can get a picture of the variation among brands by using a phylogenetic network, as a form of exploratory data analysis. For the first analysis, I calculated the similarity across the 8 Brand Score criteria using the Manhattan distance, based on those 100 brands that appeared in the final (2015) report. A Neighbor-net analysis was then used to display the between-year similarities, as shown in the graph above. Brands that are closely connected in the network are similar to each other based on their Brand Score, and those that are further apart are progressively more different from each other.

There is a general trend of high scores at the top of the network downwards to the bottom left. However, the network does not show a simple trend, such as is implied by the 1-dimensional ranking produced in the original Intangible Business report. That is, there is a complexity among the scores — it is possible for two brands to get the same Brand Score but to get it by scoring highly on quite different criteria. This illustrates the importance of using multi-dimensional summaries for exploratory data analysis — the patterns to be found may not be simple.

In this particular case, note that some brands, like Crown Royal and Dom Perignon, diverge greatly from the overall trend, indicating that they have unusual combinations of scores. Also, the two neighborhoods at the left and right of the network have different combinations from each other, although they end up with similar overall Brand Scores.

Network of the average Brand Scores across the 10 years

For the second analysis, I compared the different years. I calculated the Brand Score similarity across the 10 years using the Manhattan distance, based only on those 104 brands that appeared in at least 5 of the years. A Neighbor-net analysis was then used to display the between-year similarities, as shown in the second graph.

As you can see, in this case the network is as linear as you could expect, indicating that there is little more than 1 dimension of information to summarize. In this case, it basically shows a single rank-ordering of the Brand Scores averaged across the years (with the highest average score at the top of the network and the lowest at the bottom). So, in this case it is much simpler just to list the average Brand Scores in a table, rather than use the network (keep it simple!) — the network is being used to check whether there are more complex patterns, but not to display the pattern found.

This table is shown next, because it has never been listed before (none of the original reports compare all of the years). You can find your favorite brand, and check how "powerful" it has been in the maketplace, across time. Spirits do better than wines, but there is no consistency about which types of spirits do best.

Brand
Johnnie Walker
Bacardi
Hennessy
Jack Daniel's
Moët et Chandon
Smirnoff Vodka
Absolut
Dom Pérignon
Baileys
Veuve Clicquot
Chivas Regal
Captain Morgan
Cuervo
Martini Vermouth
Jameson
The Macallan
Ballantine's
Havana Club
Rémy Martin
Jägermeister
Maker's Mark
Glenfiddich
Martell
Jim Beam
Grey Goose
Bombay Sapphire
The Glenlivet
Concha y Toro
Robert Mondavi
Stolichnaya
Beefeater
Gordon's Gin
Courvoisier
Malibu
Tanqueray
Sauza
Crown Royal
Taittinger
Mumm
J & B
Patrón
Penfolds
Hardys
Cointreau
Freixenet
Gallo
Wolf Blass
Southern Comfort
Jacobs Creek
Campari Bitters
Famous Grouse
Torres
Grand Marnier
Canadian Club
Finlandia
Piper Heidsieck
Laurent Perrier
Beringer
Dewars
Kahlua
Martini Sparkling Wine
Yellowtail
Lindeman's
Svedka
Skyy
Wild Turkey
Grant's Scotch
Teacher's
Ketel One
De Kuyper
Kendall Jackson
Nicolas Feuillatte
Cutty Sark
Aperol
Disaronno
Ricard
Cinzano Vermouth
Russian Standard
Fernet-Branca
Bell's
Blossom Hill
Sutter Home
William Lawson's
Wyborowa
El Jimador
Bols Liqueurs
Eristoff
Clan Campbell
Seagram's 7 Crown
100 Pipers
Seagram Gin
Ramazzotti Amaro
Inglenook
Black Velvet
Three Olives
Seagram V.O.
Cacique
Metaxa
E & J Brandy
Canadian Mist
Dreher
Masson Grande Amber Brandy
Pastis 51
Moskowskaya
Category
Blended Scotch
Rum / Cane
Cognac
US Whiskey
Champagne
Vodka
Vodka
Champagne
Liqueurs
Champagne
Blended Scotch
Rum / Cane
Tequila
Light Aperitif
Blended Irish Whiskey
Malt Scotch
Blended Scotch
Rum / Cane
Cognac
Bitters / Spirit Aperitifs
US Whiskey
Malt Scotch
Cognac
US Whiskey
Vodka
Gin / Genever
Malt Scotch
Still Light Wine
Still Light Wine
Vodka
Gin / Genever
Gin / Genever
Cognac
Liqueurs
Gin / Genever
Tequila
Canadian Whisky
Champagne
Champagne
Blended Scotch
Tequila
Still Light Wine
Still Light Wine
Liqueurs
Other Sparkling
Still Light Wine
Still Light Wine
Liqueurs
Still Light Wine
Bitters / Spirit Aperitifs
Blended Scotch
Still Light Wine
Liqueurs
Canadian Whisky
Vodka
Champagne
Champagne
Still Light Wine
Blended Scotch
Liqueurs
Other Sparkling
Still Light Wine
Still Light Wine
Vodka
Vodka
US Whiskey
Blended Scotch
Blended Scotch
Vodka
Liqueurs
Still Light Wine
Champagne
Blended Scotch
Light Aperitif
Liqueurs
Aniseed
Light Aperitif
Vodka
Bitters / Spirit Aperitifs
Blended Scotch
Still Light Wine
Still Light Wine
Blended Scotch
Vodka
Tequila
Liqueurs
Georgian Vodka
Blended Scotch
US Whiskey
Blended Scotch
Gin / Genever
Bitters / Spirit Aperitifs
Still Light Wine
Canadian Whisky
Vodka
Canadian Whisky
Rum / Cane
Other Brandy
Other Brandy
Canadian Whisky
Other Brandy
Other Brandy
Aniseed
Vodka
Brand Score
81.0
76.9
76.9
76.8
74.2
73.6
70.8
69.7
69.3
69.3
69.1
67.4
67.1
66.3
65.7
63.4
63.4
63.3
63.2
62.8
62.0
62.0
61.9
61.6
61.6
60.9
60.8
60.7
60.4
60.2
59.7
58.7
58.7
57.8
57.7
57.7
57.1
57.0
57.0
56.9
56.9
56.4
56.1
55.9
55.7
55.6
55.4
55.3
55.0
54.7
54.7
54.5
54.5
54.0
53.9
53.2
52.9
52.6
52.5
52.2
52.2
52.1
52.0
51.9
51.8
51.8
51.5
51.1
51.0
50.4
50.0
49.2
49.1
49.0
49.0
49.0
48.8
48.7
48.4
48.0
47.6
47.1
46.4
45.8
45.1
45.0
44.1
43.7
43.1
42.4
42.3
42.3
42.2
42.0
41.9
41.0
40.6
39.6
39.5
39.3
39.3
37.7
37.6
37.0