Mammon Winery, Inc is a wine company established by a man with the name Dionysus Mammon, Sr (Mann and Roberts). He was an immigrant from Greece who came to the United States in 1930 (Mann and Roberts). Mammon Sr. founded the company on a line of non-varietal jug wines (Mann and Roberts). Mammon Winery, Inc. found its strong hold in the market with this specialty line. Later, having finished a degree in enology, the study of wine making, Dionysus Jr. would join his father in the company.
Dionysus jr. began his wine making crusade by convincing his father to branch out and explore other options within the wine making industry (Mann and Roberts). This new line of exploration was in the form of premium varietal wines. However, in order to be successful in this venture, they needed a large increase of capital for purchasing the necessary vineyards (Mann and Roberts). Reluctantly, Dionysus Sr. took the company public and secured the required funds (Mann and Roberts). Forty percent of Mammon Winery Inc. became owned by the public (Mann and Roberts). For the first time, “outsiders” sat in on the board of directors (Mann and Roberts).
The issue most concerning Dionysus Sr. in regards to Mammon Winery, Inc. was how to present this new line of premium varietals. To use the Mammon Winery corporate name or to not, was the big debate over the labeling of the bottles (Mann and Roberts). When changing the look and scope of a particular line, using the corporate company name could be detrimental to the initial successful production of wines. Dionysus Jr.’s want to use a different name just as Canadaigua, Gallo, and Mogen David had done, was not an out of the ordinary proposal.
It offers protection to the Mammon Winery Inc. from the consumers of the other line attaching the “lower class” taste to the whole company (Mann and Roberts). Another issue is that Dionysus Jr. wanted to change the size of the wine to a pint rather than leave it in traditional wine bottle form (Mann and Roberts). The idea was that the easier to carry bottle would be more appealing to those in the middle to low economic class. It would make the new line of production more marketable for the pensioners on a fixed income. Dionysus Jr. was taking the company into a new area in which it could offer a product to the average consumer even if they were not big on drinking wine.
Mammon Winery, Inc. proposed to enter a new wine market for lower-end wines, which is due to the increase in unit sales in the fortified wine market. This is an attempt to enter the cheap wine market and cash in on profits that come along with it. The proposal has a target demographic of middle-to-lower class, or pensioners on a fixed income (Mann & Roberts). In order for Mammon Winery, Inc to come from the bottom of the barrel to the crème of the crop replies heavily on several key fundamentals.
The winery needs to identify and analyze the important issues of how can they capitalize on producing a cost efficient product that is entered into a market that is rising, and who is their chief demographic. Mammon Winery, Inc plans to introduce a low-end wine product that is made cheaply and sold by the pint (Mann & Roberts). It is recommended that the product to be sold by the pint to lower the cost, both for the company and consumer. It is planned to use rejected grapes from Mammon’s premium selection and the filling of their unused capacity is expected. In addition, it is noted that any grape is suitable and can insulate the company from bad grape years (Mann & Roberts). Mammon chooses to use less advertising, which will cut cost, and use wine gurus to entice consumers to their product.
The chief demographic is individuals on a fixed income – middle-to-low class. On the other hand, it was reported that a competitor’s lower-end product hit it big with the “yuppie” crowd of England (Mann & Roberts). The individuals with fixed incomes will find this product appealing and convenient.
Mammon Winery, Inc. will sell the cheap sugary wine at eighteen percent alcohol to retailers. They indicate that the projected audience is the perpetually intoxicated and further indicated that it is against the law to sell alcoholic beverages to the intoxicated but state it is not their problem and cannot control what the retailer chooses to do (Mann & Roberts). Mammon Winery, Inc. knowingly sold their product to a target audience of “winos” and chose to take advantage of the consumer by offering a much more affordable, cheap wine. This can be easily compared to the tobacco companies choosing a target demographic of individuals of non-smoking age by making their product appealing (Mann & Roberts).
For instance, both companies are holding back valuable information from the customer. Both products by both companies are addictive and can cause serious health issue, but still these companies greatly affect the target audience one way or another. This is because it pays or at least promises to pay (Sullivan 2001). A company may gain something, or may keep from losing something by selling to their target audience or unethically holding back information that may turn away consumers. However, the profit motive holds in both cases. It is noted by Mammon Winery, Inc. that profit margins would be at least ten percent higher on the lower-end product then their other lines (Mann & Roberts).
Therefore, the company’s urge to branch out in the wine industry by offering a new product is nothing beyond regular business practices. However, their intentional marketing of the product to those suffering from alcoholism or the homeless is an underhanded technique. They run into an ethical conflict as they must now combat their marketing techniques with significant contributions to charities.
These charities though, must also be chosen for a reason. Just as the tobacco industry chooses specific charities for good-will projects, so too will Mammon Winery, Inc. Mammon Winery, Inc. will also have to construct both a label and bottle that will effectively promote their new line. However, the targeted audience should not be able to be determined based upon its looks. The price will be adjusted for the targeted consumer, but beyond that, it should not be obvious in its aim. Therefore, the expansion of Mammon Winery Inc. is within reasonable business practices but will have to carefully combat its stated aim at a particular consumer with clever charitable contributions.
Mann, Richard A. and Roberts, Barry S. “Mammon Winery, Inc.”
Sullivan, Evelin. The Concise Book of Lying. 2001
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