In our discussions with clients on innovation and potential profitable avenues into which they should steer their businesses, we always look for areas in the business landscape where confusion reigns and mediocrity has become the norm.

Look at the South African wine industry as an example, where mediocre wines have been dumped on the local and world markets by careless opportunists and in some cases, have damaged the fine reputation of South African wines. I’m not talking about the seriously high-end wines, but the sub R100 wines, which I would venture, make up the bulk of the volume of wines sold in this country.

It is an industry loaded with the mystery of the production process and secret ingredients and practices that each wine maker uses to create his unique flavour and aroma. An industry where most of the bottles look similar and differentiation is done using a relatively cheap label and multiple wine tasting functions. It is an industry where the driver of price has become confused and the end consumer is no longer sure what she is paying for.

With most products, the consumer develops an element of trust that the product she buys today will be consistent with the one she buys tomorrow. But with wine it is always a case of pot-luck, because a 2015 might be very different from a 2017 of the same wine. Or for instance, a well-priced, sassy packaged Shiraz from a fancy sounding vineyard, may actually be awful, but once its open, its impossible to return.

In our view, this environment has much to offer the clever entrepreneur who is prepared to look at things differently and to capitalise on mediocrity by taking the elements of wine making and combining them into a winning product, cleverly packaged and at a fair price. Add to that, a product without any of the mysterious additives that cause unforeseen hangovers after only a glass or two.

Such a product may still be in the making, but there is no doubt that this will emerge in the not too distant future.

At Future by Design we have a team ready to facilitate these types of innovations using our proven methodology of converting ideas into commercially saleable products. If you are prepared to invest to create a new future for the wine industry, please get in touch with us.