Successful Entrepreneurs

Robert Mondavi and The Mondavi Brand

Written by Richard San Juan for Gaebler Ventures

Robert Mondavi was an American winemaker who brought worldwide recognition to wines made in Napa Valley, California. Mondavi used innovative business methods to become a leader in not just the American wine industry but also global wine industry.

Since the company's beginnings, Mondavi has used innovative business methods to help position itself as a leader in the global wine industry.

Mondavi boasts many different brands of wine, spanning popular premium to luxury products and in several different varieties.

The company has strategically allied itself with other wineries to help gain a foothold in growing market segments. In addition, they have used pioneering techniques to help market the different Mondavi brands.

Even so with the wine industry growing and changing they need to continue to evaluate their business strategy to allow them to shift with a continuously growing and changing industry.

Let's take a look at some of the things that Mondavi has done right. Each of these techniques can be leveraged by other entrepreneurs to find success in their respective industries.

Offering a Variety of Products

Mondavi has a very diversified set of products. The price range for a bottle of wine offered by Mondavi ranges anywhere from the very cheap to the very expensive.

Mondavi's Woodridge line is their best seller, accounting for about 3/4 of the company's case volume. The Woodridge line has seen considerable success within the popular market segment over the years being one of the only wines within that segment to use the innovative practice of oak barrel ageing.

However, in recent years, competitors have used lower pricing, promotions, and marketing to help gain a share of the popular segment. Mondavi's second best selling wine, the Robert Mondavi Costal Brand, was initially created to satisfy the demands of retailers who desired a low priced product within the supper premium segment. While the Costal Brand has become the second best seller for Mondavi, it has not become a category leader in its ten years on the market.

Still, by having a diverse set of offerings, Mondavi hedges its risk in any one category and makes it easier for the company to get a healthy share of shelf space within retail outlets.

Partnerships and Acquisitions

Mondavi has partnered with and acquired other wineries in the United States and abroad to help diversify its products. Acquisitions such as the aforementioned Woodbridge have contributed greatly to Mondavi's accomplishments and company growth.

Moreover, joint ventures with other wineries such as Opus One have allowed the Mondavi brand to see success throughout the luxury market segments.

Smart Marketing Tactics

Mondavi focused on educating and socializing as a form of marketing to serious wine drinkers through tastings, seminars, and cultural events, as well as print advertising in wine and food publications promoting wine drinking as an aspect of sophisticated culture.

Recently, Mondavi used popular media outlets such as radio and television to promote the company's wine products. Furthermore, Mondavi is changing its advertising focus to try to convey wine as something that can be enjoyed anytime and not just on special occasions.

In an effort to drive future growth, Mondavi will have to continue to employ innovative marketing techniques to the broader customer base. For example, Mondavi might focus mainly on the premium wine offerings, due to the fact that they have the most growth potential.

An Emphasis on Innovation

Aspiring entrepreneurs should take from this article that the need for innovation is constant. No company can rest on its laurels and assume that past success will ensure future success.

A company or small business must continue to evolve as the industry changes so that it can take advantage of opportunities to develop and market new products to consumers. To accomplish this, sometimes it is necessary to enter into strategic joint ventures with other companies to gain an advantage.

The key to a successful business is to never stray from your core values and define the brand. This will lead to more brand clarity, customer recognition, and a quality image.

Richard San Juan is currently pursuing an MBA degree with an emphasis in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago. He is particularly interested in writing about business news and strategies.

Share this article

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


Business Glossary


Conversation Board

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Share your thoughts on Robert Mondavi and the Mondavi brand.

Leave a Reply

Questions, Comments, Tips, and Advice

Email will not be posted or shared
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code

Problem Viewing Image? Load New Code