MARKETING/DESIGN/CONSUMER TRENDS/INSPIRATIONS Cognac & Brandy News for Consumers & Industry Experts
There are over 1000 brands of Cognac that have been created since the foundation of cognac about 500 years ago. There are about 400 brands still existing and many of these brands have existed for a long time, and even they have been in the same families for centuries.
Recently, new brands have come up. The main reason: the democratization of cognac, that is cognac is not anymore just an elitist old man’s drink, but now an artistic, entertaining, hype, and gucci-gucci spirit worldwide. The ascension and development of cognac brands have significantly changed and perhaps insidiously cognac is becoming a mass-marketed product like yogurt and detergent with I call the “deluxury concept”.
The good news is that cognac is still made the ‘good old way’. Or at least pretty much. It is not hand picked anymore … but this is OK. Distillation in pot stills are now longer using manual mechanism and wood or coal but computerized automated systems … but this is OK too. Ugni blanc grapes are used 99.99% of the times instead of folle blanche or colombard … not such a big deal. Vineyards are using modern pesticides, herbicides, and so called proven chemicals … Not too sure of this one. Aging, storing, selection of wood barrels, assembling, bottling, … are still pretty much the same.
So what is so different now? A good deal of attention has been on branding & rebranding, positioning and else. Marketing is muscling in!
Therefore, new brands have been created: Cognac Alizé, Cognac Conjure… even Cognac Gucci! But more significantly, a huge number of brand extension have been launched: Hennessy Black, Remy Red, … and Courvoisier Rose.
Old brands have been revived: Bisquit, Comandon, … and recently Mestreau from Cognac Grosperrin.
The cognac industry has seen some product line extensions with the creation of mixed drinks based on cognacs: Hpnotiq, Meukow Vanilla, … and more recently Courvoisier Rosé.
And in some clever way the know-how nested in the region of Cognac has revealed brilliant creations and business ventures using that experience for the benefits of new products: Grey Goose Vodka, Ciroc Vodka, Citadelle Gin, … and more recently Monteru Single Brandy.
Certain brands have even developped ‘brand extensions’ with for instance Courvoisier Edition Imperiale perfume.
I leave you to guess what the ‘Angry birds’ could be!