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Competitive Drivers in Marsala's Wineries



The objective of this article is to identify and evaluate the competitive strategies of niche enterprises selling traditional protected designation of origin (PDO) wine in domestic and international markets. This study employs the multidimensional scaling unfolding technique to analyze the perceptions of 24 representatives of wine-making firms located in the Marsala area (Sicily, Italy). The cognitive maps highlight management choices regarding the competitive driving forces between 2007 and 2011. The results of this study reveal firms’ two main competitive strategies. The first strategy focuses on managing the functional assets; depending on the competitive environment in which the enterprises operate, the outcome seems to comply with Hotelling's model. The second strategy seeks to successfully exploit positional assets—such as the ability to manage intangible resources that have a strong emotional component—that are perceived to strengthen a firm's competitiveness by differentiating it from similar enterprises [EconLit citations: D220, L100, L290]