What assets are most valuable when launching a new champagne brand?
A large number of people have contacted me recently to express interest in creating their own private champagne brand. Not all of these enquiries will lead to the successful completion of a project, but that’s perfectly normal because of the diverse nature of the people concerned and of their visions of what they want to achieve and why.
To assist anyone who is interested, in principle, in creating a private champagne brand here are a few key assets you will need and which you should consider before you go any further.
They relate specifically to champagne but I believe they apply to the creation and launch of just about any new product, the only exception being the creation of a product that does not have a commercial purpose and is meant,instead, for personal enjoyment – which, incidentally, is a perfectly legitimate and viable approach.
Here’s my list – not necessarily in order of importance
- A detailed knowledge of and interest in the product (champagne in my case)
You’re going to have to talk about the product and persuade people of its value.
- An understanding of the legislation regarding the import and sale of wine (your product) in your country.
Alcohol is more tightly regulated than most product categories, but whatever the type of product, it is essential to avoid costly errors caused by ignorance of the laws.
- An existing network of prospective customers, or a marketing plan that to find them.
Sales is the name of the game and to sell you need customers. Who are they, where are they, are there enough of them and how will you reach them? You need to consider all these questions before you start.
- A reliable system of delivery
The finest product in the world will fail if you can’t get it to your customers. Several countries have particularly complex regulations for wines and spirits, but whichever country you live in, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the regulations.
- Funds to invest
It may be possible to operate on a shoestring, but it’s easier, quicker and less stressful if you have some sensible financial backing. Consider whether you want an inexpensive brand that would compete on price (a difficult segment of the market) or a top-of-the range brand (needs more investment to start, but could yield greater profits).
- A team to help you
You may have to start on your own, but moral and practical support will be needed at some stage.
Please feel free to leave a comment and suggest anything you think I have missed out.