Consumer behaviour is fraught with misplaced assumptions and paradoxes designed to catch out unwary brand managers. But there are some powerful learnings for those willing to embrace the topic in all its contradictory glory
The more we understand wine markets, the more unequal they seem. While the bell-curve may reflect human height or skin colour, it is not a good model for consumer behaviour. Instead, there are a lot of people who do things a little, and a relatively small minority who do things a lot. As Einstein once said: “We are all very ignorant. What happens is that we don’t all ignore the same things”.
What this means is that consumer behaviour and shopping habits are far from ‘normal’ in a statistical sense. A few examples:
Popular items: In a shop, a small minority of items account for a large proportion of sales (lion´s head) while lots of items account for a small proportion (long tail)*.
Shopping trips: The most typical shopping trip is to buy one item while a minority of shopping trips are to buy many items.
Consumer knowledge: The most typical wine consumer recalls none to one wine brands spontaneously while only a minority can recall more than 5.
Profile of brand buyers: The most typical consumer of a brand only buys the brand once while only a small minority buy the same brand many times (in a set timeframe).