Traveling Vineyard: Pivot to Virtual Selling

Michael Rodriguez, PhD Campbell University
March 15, 2021
North America
Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Sales
4 pages
direct selling, virtual selling
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No business is immune to the massive changes resulting from COVID-19, but leaders who develop an entrepreneurial mindset - from executives to their independent salesforce - prove agile at adapting to crises.

Rick Libby, Founder and self-titled Chief Grape Stomper and Head Cheerleader of Traveling Vineyard explains. "We've done a 180° pivot. Our Wine Guides started selling virtually, which we didn't think was possible," says Rick. "I'm such a believer in our field, in their creativity and ability to survive. They show us the way; all of the great ideas we've implemented during the crisis have come from them." 

An entrepreneur at heart, Rick envisioned a unique business model that would bring the authentic winery experience into living rooms across the country. In 2001, Rick was charged with conceptualizing a new way to market wine for Phoenix Vintners, a company that had been selling wine via mail-order catalog. After attending a Pampered Chef party for a family friend, he wondered, “If this works well for kitchenware, why not wine?”

DSEF would like to recognize and thank Dr. Mike Rodriguez for creating this teaching case for our Fellows community. "The objective of the case is for students to learn how direct selling can help drive the economy from a virtual entrepreneurial environment and apply the Business Model Canvas (BMC) to Traveling Vineyard's business model," says Mike. "It can be easily adapted to business topics ranging from intro to business, to sales, entrepreneurship and crisis management." 

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Understand how direct selling can lead by example in today’s virtual environment.
  2. Understand how Traveling Vineyard adapted an existing business model.
  3. Apply the Business Model Canvas (BMC) to Traveling Vineyard.
  4. Understand the digital tools Traveling Vineyard Wine Guides can utilize in direct selling.