Steve Graf and his co-founders Baron Ziegler and Emily Peterson started Valkyrie Selections with two primary goals in mind: to sell enough wine to fund their consumption and to bring a few new wines to market.
In just 10 years, Graf and his team transformed Valkyrie Selections into a multi-million dollar business, importing 200+ wines from family producers in Spain, France, the UK, and—coming in 2021—Australia. Their winemaking team now also produces wine in California, Oregon and Washington. Valkyrie’s 50+ trusted distributor partners now move up to 150,000 cases per year across 46 states.
Here are three ways Valkyrie Selections uses SevenFifty’s Portfolio Manager to scale their national import business:
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1. Identify and Secure New Distributor Partners
Steve Graf: Finding the right distributor is kind of like dating. You’re looking for someone with whom you share a lot of common interests and viewpoints. It’s about finding a partner that’s growing at the same pace as you, one that has a similar trajectory as yourself.
When you approach a new distributor, you want to know if they have something already competing with what you’re offering. You want to know how your products fit into their overall portfolio. SevenFifty is very handy because those distributors who use it list all of their products so you can see if you’d be a good match. It’s an invaluable filtering and refinement tool.
Often when we are considering producing or importing new items, we can quickly check the portfolios of some of our key distribution partners to see what the competition looks like. This will usually give us a sense of how “needy” the market is for the product. Pricing is another quick tool we use SevenFifty for—to either get a sense of competitive set pricing on a prospective item or to manage our existing products’ wholesale pricepoints across our network.
Securing the right distributor partners is essential for long-term success. With SevenFifty, you get direct access to 1,000+ national distributor portfolios. Search for products in any category or price range to understand how your product fits into potential partner portfolios.
2. Maintain Product Presence and Positioning in the National Marketplace
Steve Graf: I oversee the curation of our portfolio as a whole. With SevenFifty, we can upload labels and technical information about each wine. It’s beneficial for when on- and off-premise buyers search for particular categories or wines; they can see the most up-to-date information.
If I’m visiting multiple accounts, I can easily create a list of the wines I’ll be showing that day, put them in the order that I want, and include pricing and technical information. It’s important to have as much information as possible. Especially when we deal with large corporate buyers, they want to know pricing for particular products across multiple states. SevenFifty is a one-stop shop for all of that.
Locate your products in the national market. Make sure buyers only see accurate product information in markets where your brands are sold. Make updates to your product images, descriptions, and sales collateral on SevenFifty at any time.
3. Learn How Competitors Price and Position Their Products
Steve Graf: With SevenFifty’s Portfolio Manager, I get a good sense of how many products are in a particular category and what the pricing looks like. In New York, I can search by supplier, look at each of their products, and see their pricing. It’s really handy, especially in a price posting state because you get a real sense of where everyone is in the market.
SevenFifty is great as you consider bringing new producers into the market. You can see what else is out there and how you need to go about your strategy.
Find out how your products stack up against your competitors across 45 states. Search for competitor pricing and positioning information in key markets. Learn how you can make your products stand out in the national marketplace, where over 90,000+ retail and restaurant buyers do business online.
SevenFifty—the nation’s leading online marketplace for wholesale alcohol—is where importers, producers, distributors, and retail buyers connect and do business in a modern world. View Valkyrie Selections’ Supplier Profile on SevenFifty.
Join the thousands of importers and producers already on SevenFifty. Register for free at SevenFifty.com.
SevenFifty is an online marketplace and communications platform that helps importers, producers, distributors, and retail buyers connect with each other and do business in a modern world.