This investigation into small-to-medium sized wine businesses empirically tests linkages among differentiation strategies and financial performance over time. Using a two-by-two model, we examine the impact of differentiation strategies on profitability and growth. Financial and operational data from a proprietary database of 71 United States wineries, encompassing five continuous years (2006-2010), provide longitudinal robustness. Management decisions regarding resources and capabilities are used to cluster the sample firms into a two-by-two differentiation strategy model. Those wineries sourcing over 50% estate grapes and distributing over 50% direct-to-consumer have higher gross margins compared to other clusters. Direct-to-consumer distribution decisions impact growth. Results of this research indicate that distribution channel choice-direct-to-consumer-positively impacts gross profit margin and winery growth rates. Supply chain choice-sourcing estate grapes also positively impacts gross profit margin. This study uses reported financial data that have not been made available to researchers.
Competitive strategy Differentiation Financial performance Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) Wine industry