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Carefully analyze the market, the customer needs and actually available solutions

Vitium wine tasting at home from the best wineries

Please introduce yourself and your startup Vitium to our readers!

Hi everybody, I’m Matteo. I was born and grew up in the middle of the vineyards of north-eastern Italy. My dad owns a small winery and I’ve been helping him with the winemaking since when I was a kid, so I know how much effort and passion you need to produce good wine, but at the time I didn’t feel like that was my future so I studied marketing and after my graduation I moved to big cities, Milan, Como and then Köln to follow my career opportunities. Now I’m back to Italy, working to grow a successful company that delivers to wine lovers around the world, the authentic Italian products that I missed so much when living far from home.

How did you get the idea to Vitium?

I lived in Cologne for a year, and it was then, while cooking for my friends and telling them about Italy, that I really started realizing how much I was missing the places where I grew up, the food I used to eat, the wine I used to produce and drink. As the subscription businesses were growing fast, and the food subscription boxes were hot in Germany, I thought I could open an Italian-food delivery service and provide to other Italian expats great ingredients directly from the producer. Almost immediately I decided to deal with wine instead, which has always been part of my life. 

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?

It was though and it still is, but I believe in the project so nothing has stopped me, and never will. I have experience in marketing but all the bureaucracy connected to delivery and taxation was completely new to me. A second wall to climb was communication, even for a marketing expert like me. In fact, I can explain in detail my project and deliver its value proposition well when speaking with somebody, but it’s way different to set up a website and be short (as people’s attention doesn’t last long nowadays) and precise, otherwise, nobody will convert.

Who is your target audience?

Wine lovers, the curious ones who crave for new productions, interested in tasting limited products, curious to learn the stories and background of some among the most ancient and traditional Italian wineries. Besides them, our customer may also be lovers of Italian culture and cuisine, as we send recipes and hints about the world of Italian food with every bottle we ship. If you like good food and wine and every now and then you want to live an experience instead of just eating or drinking for physiological reasons, then you’ll love our service.

What is the USP of your startup?

We join our knowledge of small wineries with the competence of a professional Italian Sommelier to pick the best wineries and wines and develop a customer-centered Italian wine exploration every month. We tailor a wine subscription on our customer needs and preferences and use their monthly feedback on our boxes to learn about his tastes and improve the wine-offer for the following month. All the wines we deal are produced in limited quantities and have a long and interesting story that we tell in our digital (paper-saving) Tasting Guides, which also give tasting notes and serving and pairing suggestions. It’s a continuous discovery, a little trip to Italy every month.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?

I work from home so I get out of bed at 7.00 and walk my dog for a bit until I’m completely awake. I start reading the usual business and wine blogs while sipping my morning coffee, searching for something interesting for an article or product development.

I then consult my agenda and follow the pipeline trying to uncheck as many bullet points as possible within the day. This may be website updates and maintenance, contacting clients or partners, interviewing potential customers and such. The afternoon is mostly dedicated to performance analysis, planning social media activities for the following day or planning trips to new wineries. Sometimes on top of all that, there’s content creation: videos get the priority, as I enjoy better video production, article writing is always the last thing as I don’t really like it. I work some hours after dinner and usually go to bed with my mind still full of buzzing ideas and improvements for the service, the website, the communication.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Vitium in five years?

I see a large and passionate community, which I will manage with the help of wine specialists from all over the world (oenologists, Sommeliers, winemakers), and a wide network of partner wineries to which we provide new energy and visibility. I also see the community gathering every now and then for an Italian winery tour, during which they could meet the makers of the small masterpieces they have previously received, but also discover corners of Italy where tourists usually dont’ get to know.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?  

I’ve been through tough times and for some time I took on a personal level every critic to my project, but that’s wrong. 

I would suggest to anybody willing to start a business, to carefully analyze the market, the customer needs and actually available solutions (competitors) and to find an unserved niche of the market, or a spot where his background can make the difference. If the opportunity is clear, he should go for it but plan wisely the development and investments without letting any critic let him down, learning everything he founds useful but discarding the rest (at the end of the day, he should be the one better knowing his stuff). Last, but not least, always be close to your customer, engage it often and listen to everything they say.

More information you will find here

Thank you Matteo for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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