HOW TO CREATE A PRIVATE CHAMPAGNE BRAND
Over the past couple of years, hundreds of people have contacted me asking for information about how to create a private champagne brand, so it may be helpful if I outline some of the essential steps involved and some of the resources you will need if you are considering embarking on a private champagne brand project.
Every project is different, and it is impossible, in this short article, to address all the possible variables, related to the champagne itself and to the design of separate elements of the packaging.
Equally, every client has his or her own vision that drives the project, is located in a different country or region and has their own budget, so I cannot offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution – which is fine because that’s not what most clients are looking for.
Nevertheless, in my experience, some basic concepts apply to every project.
My view is that there are, broadly speaking, three parts to a private champagne brand project
- The creation of the product itself
- Marketing and sales
I’ll deal with them in reverse order. To some of you these topics may seem obvious, but to others they may be things you have not considered in any detail before now.
The investment required is another important topic. It is dependent on your ambitions and on the choices you make in each of the three areas mentioned above.
Marketing and sales
I’ve never worked with any client that sets out to lose money. You probably want to make a profit and for that to be possible you need customers who are willing to pay the price you are asking for your champagne. So, the first questions are
“Who will you sell to?”
“Are there enough people in this group to satisfy your sales ambitions?
“What are these people looking for in a champagne?”
“How much will these people be willing to pay?”
How to I communicate with these potential customers - via a web site, live events, knocking on doors, or some other means?
“Why will they be willing to try your champagne for the first time and what will make them order again and again?”
That’s quite a lot of questions already and there are many more once you start to research the issue of marketing.
In short, you need to know your target customers and what they want
I strongly suggest that time sent finding answers to all these questions at the very outset of the project is time well spent.
In every country of the world, alcohol is treated as a controlled substance subject to specific taxes and regulations. You cannot just decide to sell alcohol one day and start the next, so the first thing to look in to is the legislation relating to alcohol in your country or state – in the USA the regulations vary from state to state.
- Do I need a licence and if so, which one/s?
- What taxes and duties (at both federal and state level) will be charged on the champagne?
- How will this affect my costs and profit?
Next come some logistical questions
- Where will I store the champagne?
- How will I deliver it to the customer’s location?
- Is that location a private address, a restaurant, a bar, club, hotel or some other location?
All this all relates back to the first issues about who your customers are and where to find them.
In many ways this is the least challenging part for both you and me
It’s relatively easy for me because I use a process that I have developed over several years now and it is not complicated, although it is complex. By that I mean that it involves many variables and requires a great deal of attention to detail.
Here are the seven steps
- Briefing – getting clear on exactly what you want: the type of champagne, the number of bottles, the design of the bottles etc. It’s at this stage that we assess the investment needed to complete the project. This will be a minimum of a few tens of thousands of US dollars and could be a good deal more depending on the scale of your ambitions.
- Sourcing – finding a champagne maker who can supply what you want.
- Brand registration – if you want to own the IP in your brand, you’ll need to register the name with the authorities in Champagne.
- Labelling – whatever the design you’re looking for, there are certain mandatory texts that must appear somewhere on the bottle, and these vary from one country to the next.
- Packaging – From the cork to the shipping carton, the number of possible options is almost infinite, and each element must be given the attention it needs.
- Production – it’s a question of managing costs and lead times to ensure everything is ready where and when it’s needed.
- Delivery – transporting the finished product from Champagne to its destination.
If you have the necessary time, and skills you can manage all these things yourself. On the other hand, I can manage the entire process for you which makes it much easier and quicker.
If you decide to use my services, you can benefit from the experience I gained from living and working in Champagne for nearly 20 years and from the extensive network of contacts I built up during that time.
I offer three services:
Proof of Concept – a series of Zoom calls to explore your options as regards the champagne, the packaging and the costs, to give you the information and confidence you need to make a decision to go ahead or not.
Monthly consulting - If you want to take a hands-on approach, you can handle some aspects of the project yourself and draw on my experience for a month, or several months, as needed
Turn-key service – I manage the entire production process on your behalf using the seven steps outlined above, leaving you free to use your time in other ways whilst everything is done for you.