|Blog: what the king of bling can teach Champagne|
|Thursday, 15 December 2011 15:12|
Champagne producers certainly have a thing or two to learn from their French neighbours in Cognac about remaining true to their luxury roots.
Oozing glamour and sex appeal, Cognac is leader when it comes to capitalising on consumer's growing appreciation for luxury. In today's austere times, the spirit has succeeded in holding onto to its premium image and maintaining a price tag to match.
Ahead of Harpers' third annual Champagne Summit in February - addressing how the category can keep the fizz and glamour alive - we put leading Cognac house Rémy Martin on the spot to find out its secrets to success.
"Around the world Cognac has been able to define a high standard of quality," believes chief executive Patrick Piana. "The power of attraction with Rémy Martin and other Cognac brands has been quality - that's undisputable. Second is energy. If Champagne is glamorous, Cognac is energetic. If one is high society, the other is much more global."
"Champagne is glamorous, whereas I think Cognac is much more than that. Cognac brings not only quality and aspiration but also an energy. That's an asset we have to leverage in the UK," he told Harpers.
Keeping prices high and not succumbing to short-term gains through price promotions is also vital, according to Piana. "We don't sell on price - your sustainability is not limited to your price. It's the ability to bring quality, authenticity and status through energy and an element of moving forward."
At the heart of Cognac's strategy is "generating value", Piana added, through emphasising to consumers all the reasons why Cognac deserves a high price tag - in the case of Rémy Martin that's due to using the "most expensive vineyards and grapes", he said.
Maintaining an aura of exclusivity is also key, with Rémy Martin launching a string of limited edition releases throughout the decades. Piana added that success is down to moving with the times and constantly trying to evolve all elements of the proposition; from packaging and taste, to marketing activity, reinvention of classic cocktails and appealing to younger consmers.
The Champagne Summit will take place on February 28, 2012 at Chiswell Street Dining Rooms. To find out more visit http://www.thechampagnesummit.co.uk/