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Exploring the differences between new and repeat visitors to North Carolina wineries: implications for winery marketing strategy development

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The purpose of this paper was to test the proposition that the distinction between new and repeat winery visitors would provide a meaningful basis for winery market segmentation. A survey of over 900 respondents to North Carolina wineries provided the data. The research found that new and returning winery visitors differed along many dimensions such as age, the number of nights staying in the area, primary purpose of the trip, the proportion of day-trippers versus overnight visitors, motivation to visit the winery, satisfaction with the winery's wine quality and wine experience, and information source use. These results suggest that the market positioning focus for older, returning winery visitors should be to continue to improve winery amenities (e.g. ambience, retail store, tasting room, restaurant, tours, wine club, etc.) and wine quality to keep them coming back. In addition, marketing effort focusing on educational programs and special events (e.g. wine and food pairings) may be quite attractive to returning winery visitors. For new winery visitors, the winery should be promoted as something fun to do. Perhaps tracking visitors with a registration form and following up with winery brochures and directing them to the website would generate favorable publicity.
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Keywords: discriminant analysis; market segmentation; marketing strategy; winery tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations:  John A. Walker College of Business, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, 28608, USA

Publication date: July 3, 2015

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