National and regional economic health and growth have become increasingly dependent upon export sales as an engine of growth and as a source of the foreign exchange necessary for the import of the goods and services (Johnson, Scholes, 1998).
Each year, wine and spirits worth more than $1 billion are exported from New Zealand, Italy, and other European countries to all parts of the world. New Zealand Wine industry depends upon international economic environment that affects its prosperity. "New Zealand wine exporters achieved phenomenal growth and accounted for $168 million in 2000, comfortably exceeding $100 million by 2000 target set in 1997" (Case study). In New Zealand, the structure of the wine industry is quite complex. An intermediary plays an important role that varies according to region. All winemakers belonged to the New Zealand Wine Institute and had to acquire a license to sell wine. Some wine producers sometimes act as brokers and have standing contracts to buy specified quantities of finished wine on behalf of various importers.
They also buy grapes from growers to make their own wine, blending and bottling them under their own labels. Wine may be bottled and packed in cases by the producer. "Some institute members with export interests in specific markets had established special interest groups to develop marketing plans and ... exploit export opportunities within the chosen market" (Case study). The global market was divided into two parts: Tier 1 represented UK, the USA and Australia, and Tier 2 where there was a smaller presence including Canada, Ireland, Japan and Germany.
Coopers Creek is a medium-sized New Zealand winery that successfully competed on the international market and achieved initial growth and development. The initial success factors include cooperative relationships with export markets, the competition "for sales and market share was seen to be from other countries rather than from individual firms" (case study), sharing of information and technology between international wine producers, buying wine form other wineries to meet export demand, considering the requirement of each export market, sales through appointed agents.
Cooperative relationships with export markets helped Coopers Creek to obtain a strong position on the market and create its brand image. The internationalization occurring is seen as resulting from a combination of factors in the home country market, the (prospective) host country market, the global environment, and characteristics of individual firms. A small home country market like they New Zealand one and competition from outside tend to encourage Coopers Creek to consider exporting and entering foreign markets.
Coopers Creek is engaged in a network of business relationships comprising a number of different firms - export distributors, agents, foreign customers, competitors, and consultants as well as regulatory and other public agencies. These business relationships are connected by networks, where the parties build mutual trust and knowledge through interaction, and that interaction means strong commitment to the relationships (Hophe Woolf, 2003).
One of the most dynamic environmental forces affecting Coopers Creek'a marketing strategy is competition. Coopers Creek saw a country's market conditions as a major factor of competitive behaviour. Coopers Creek