Digital Innovation and Wine Colloquium


Digital Innovation and Wine Colloquium

This two-hour, online colloquium took place on 13 September 2021, with the aim to build research collaborations between colleagues in Sheffield Hallam University and Excelia.

Colloquium Programme:

Roundtable introductions (all)
Research showcase (2 presentations, followed by a Q&A)

  • Sylvie Lacoste & Rémi Bréhonnet (Excelia): Digital transformation paradox – the case of the Bordeaux Chateaux (wine-growing estates)
    Abstract. This research is an in-progress work studying how the Bordeaux Chateaux move along a smooth digital transformation which brings along some tensions and paradox. Whereas the Chateaux do not sell most of their production as they work with wine traders, they develop the use of social networks that get them in touch with their final consumers – hence, the question arises of who “masters” the final customer and whether the traditional BtoBtoC business model is not going to be replaced by a BtoC one, all the more with the pressure of the development of e-commerce during the pandemic crisis. Whereas they are grounded into centuries of traditions, they want to safeguard those traditions but have to deal with the tensions of being enticed to use new digital communication tools, that push them to revise their business model from wine growers to include wine tourism. Furthermore, from a marketing perspective, they also want to position their products as luxury products but wonder whether they should use or not Amazon as a new selling channel. The first part of the research uses a qualitative study to unveils all those tensions and paradox. A second part of the research should use a quantitative study to highlight some paths to solve the tensions and paradox.
  • Jennifer Smith Maguire & John Dunning (SHU): Digital storytelling in the context of the Midlands/North UK emergent wine region
    Abstract. We will discuss findings from a recent exploratory study of digital storytelling in the context of the Midlands and North wine region of the UK. The context of the project: the importance of storytelling and storytellers for small-scale wineries, and the ways in which the Coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally disrupted small-scale wineries’ typical marketing practices, routes to market, and approaches to engaging with their consumers. These conditions form the background to the project aims, which were to: scope the current state of play of Midlands and North regional wineries’ digital marketing tools and content; and identify innovation opportunities through digital storytelling. To deliver on these aims, a mixed method, cross-sectional study was conducted via desk research, a qualitative content analysis ‘audit’ of regional wineries’ digital marketing content, and an online survey and semi-structured interviews with winery representatives. We review insights from existing research on storytelling and the generation of value for small-scale wines, and two salient scales of stories, for individual wineries and for regions. We then report findings from the digital marketing audit, reviewing main digital platforms, key digital innovations and innovation opportunities since the start of the pandemic, and emergent themes that indicate opportunities for an emergent, credible regional wine story that resonates with the region’s winery stakeholders.

Roundtable discussion: opportunities for collaboration and next steps

Event co-organisers

Professor Jennifer Smith Maguire,
Professor of Cultural Production and Consumption, Sheffield Business School
CHEFS (Culture, Health, Environment, Food and Society) Research Cluster Lead, Sheffield Hallam University

John Dunning,
Principal Lecturer in Hospitality Management, Sheffield Hallam University

Valentina Kirova,
Head of Research Area in Agility, Innovation And Digitalisation (AID), Excelia Group