Facoltà di scienze della comunicazione

Auditing the identity of regional wine brands : the case of Swiss Merlot Ticino

Zamparini, Alessandra ; Lurati, Francesco ; Illia, Laura G.

In: International journal of wine business research, 2010, vol. 22, no. 4, p. 386-405

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a method by which to audit winemakers’ communication of regional wine brands and to illustrate the method’s conceptual basis through its empirical application to the Swiss wine Merlot Ticino. Design/Methodology/Approach – The audit is comprised of two parts: one captures producers’ intentions regarding the communication of the regional... Plus

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    Summary
    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a method by which to audit winemakers’ communication of regional wine brands and to illustrate the method’s conceptual basis through its empirical application to the Swiss wine Merlot Ticino. Design/Methodology/Approach – The audit is comprised of two parts: one captures producers’ intentions regarding the communication of the regional wine brand while the other determines what wineries actually convey through their formal communications. Data about intentions were collected through qualitative interviews and a survey of producers, while data on what wineries convey was based on a content analysis of wineries’ communication materials. Findings – The application of the audit to the brand Merlot Ticino shows that the proposed method provides several insights into the brand’s personality, possible gaps between producers’ intentions and actual communications, the potential target of the communication, the level of consistency of communication content and style, and the expressiveness of wineries in communicating the regional wine brands. Research limitations/implications – The content analysis adopted in this research focuses on formal communications issued by wineries. Adding oral contents and consumer perceptions would considerably improve the audit tool. Originality/Value – This paper provides winemaking regions with a useful tool with which to determine the effectiveness of their brand projections in the collective promotion of their regional wine brands. The paper is of value for academic research because it illustrates that results may be obtained in the wine brand field using methods traditionally used in corporate communication research, like projective techniques and communications audits.