MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
When Bacardi announced they were going to launch a cognac sometimes this summer 2012 in the USA (see, March 20, 2012 blog) I was not surprised as I knew they owned Baron Otard Cognac, and I thought this brand should have a bigger share of the American marketplace (still 50% of cognac consumption is in the USA). My surprise was that they stated they would not use the Baron Otard brand but rather create a new one. I really wondered why?
On May 9, 2012 Jay-Z attended a private event in New York to announce his endorsement of Bacardi‘s Cognac D’Ussé, a new VSOP cognac priced at $45 for a 750ML bottle.
Mr Carter also known under Jay-Z is expanding his list of endorsement deals in an attempt to become the first Hip-Hop billionaire. I cannot blame him.
There are five artists on the short list of soon to be billionaire: Sean “Diddy” Combs (rich from Vodka Ciroc, marketing firm, and clothing lines …), Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter (rich from Rocawear clothing, Live Nation, Reebok, HP, …), Andre “Dr. Dre” Young (rich from HTC headsets, …), Bryan “Birdman” Williams (rich from Young Money Cash Money productions with Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, …) and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (rich from VitamineWater …).
So why have another cognac?
This is Jay-Z 2nd endorsement of spirits, he had previously invested in Scottish vodka Armadale. A Scottish Vodka!! drinkarmadale.com
He is joining Ludacris in this rappers’ cognac venture. Ludacris with Cognac Conjure made a huge impact when endorsing and carrying very personally Conjure everywhere he went www.conjurecognac.com. I remember very well when it happened as I was at Vinexpo 2009 yards away when they got their first launch party. It was let’s say different, different than Cognac Houses tend to do things. I thought to myself “why not!”.
Perhaps Bacardi was inspired by Conjure’s success and the fact the company behind the scene Park Street Imports, LLC is right on their door steps in Miami.
One will have to explain why they are using the Croix de Lorraine which is (1) the symbol of Lorraine in France which is distinctively unrelated to the Cognac region and whose origin dates back to the French crusaders, (2) it is the symbol of France’s resistance during World War II, but also (3) the symbol of the free army forces in WWII and (4) strongly associated with the General De Gaulle, President of France between 1959 to 1969.
My guess is they used this insignia because Jay-Z has long been associated with the champagne called Armand de Brignac also known as Ace of Spades champagne, which is using a very flashy glitzy gold and chrome bottles with a large conspicuous ace of spade logo. Now, with this experience rather successful why not using this concept again and place another big logo on the bottle of cognac, and ‘voila’ would say a proper Frenchman. They did it and they can do it again. It also reminds me of the type of bling bling hanging around the neck of rappers. I suppose it will do well with the obvious target.
Now, next question is ‘Why calling it Cognac ‘D’Ussé’? Everyone knows that in marketing a new product everything is hard enough that no one wants to had more difficulties as it is, and the number 1 rule is to have a name that the target market can remember, spell, and pronounce. Let’s add identify, relate, etc… Well, I do not think this is the case with ‘D’Ussé’ but perhaps this is the idea, kind of like Häagen-Dazs. I mean who can spell that made up brand owned under a collaboration of Pillsbury and Nestlé. Cognac D’Ussé will also be known under Cognac Henri D’Ussé, however it does not identify a particular living individual. Humm!! The plot thickens.
Perhaps, the inspiration comes from the famous castle from the Loire river called ‘Chateau D’Ussé depicted in Frenchman Charles Perrault’s fairy tales ‘Sleeping Beauty’ made famous by Disney. www.chateaudusse.fr
I am also getting inspired now myself. Why not a Cognac Cinderella or Cognac Chat Botté? Charles Perrault’s other famous original fairy tails.
Bacardi owns the Baron Otard Cognac brand cellared in the Chateau of Cognac, a 15th century building overlooking the Charente River in Cognac originally purchased by Baron Otard in 1796 and previous home of Francois 1er, king of France in the 14th century.
I am personally very excited by this news as it shows that cognac is becoming a growing spirit category and Jay-Z’s endorsement is sure to provide even more growing interests for the cognac from consumers internationally. The question is not about good or bad, but rather about keeping the cognac interesting. And it should do this. This marketing move does not win an award for originality but it does bring more buzz and that is what cognac needs. I cannot wait to try Cognac D’Ussé VSOP, and others qualities soon that will be coming after…