New research from the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia has determined that enjoying a tasting at a winery is about more than a cold.
Professor Annamma Joy, with the Faculty of Management at UBCO, conducts research in the area of consumer behavior and branding with a special focus on luxury brands, fashion brand experiences, wineries and wine tourism.
Dr. Joy, along with her collaborators and students, studied several Okanagan wineries over a three-year period to comprehensively document visitors’ experiences. Every year, BC’s wineries welcome more than a million people, and the latest research by Dr. Joy—published this month in Journal of Retailing—proves that people judge more than what’s in the glass.
For the study, the researchers detailed many things including the material aspects of the winery and the sensory theme, such as music and lighting. They noticed everything including the landscape, the architecture, the views from the windows, the layout of the store and the physical space of the tastings. Even the social interaction between staff and customers is considered.
Each of these elements is subjectively viewed and works together to create “affective atmospheres” that are central to a winery’s success, he explained.
“We affirm that the experience of a winery consumer is individual and is shaped, in part, by their knowledge of wine and understanding of preferences,” said Dr. Joy. “Not only is the experience influenced by the aesthetics of the winery, the service received and the wine itself, but also by the differences between novices, experts and enthusiasts.”
Explained by Dr. Joy that the research results have implications for winery operators when they consider the desired consumer experience. For example, visitors with a high level of expertise may view sensory stimulation and social interaction with other experts as more important during the visit.
“Wineries that consider the dynamic interaction between the customer’s orientation and their level of expertise can create more positive experiences,” said Dr. Joy. “In general, it is clear that the staff who are themselves and are sensitive to the specific needs of the guest and make them feel welcome, is essential for the guest’s appreciation of the winery.”
He suggested that the findings highlight the importance of a holistic approach to achieve consistency in material aspects, sensorial modalities and social interaction in a winery.
“By recognizing the interplay of these elements, retailers can strategically design their spaces and interactions to cultivate specific emotional experiences for their customers.”
The findings have implications for retailers outside the wine industry, he added.
“Industries driven by experience and knowledge where there are visible differences between novices, experts and enthusiasts can consider how – through their retail atmospherics – to respond according to these needs and expectations.”
So, what does it take for a first-time customer to experience a sense of belonging at a winery?
“The answer is simply connectivity,” he added. “People crave connection to enhance their experience, and wineries need staff who are willing to respond and improvise as needed to strengthen that connection between customers.”
Annamma Joy et al, Creating affective atmospheres in the retail experience, Journal of Retailing (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.jretai.2023.05.002
Provided by the University of British Columbia
Citation: Winery experiences affected by more than what’s in your glass (2023, July 19) retrieved 19 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-winery-affected-glass.html
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