Saturday, February 22, 2014

Venus, Mars and wine



The words "female-focused marketing" are wonderfully incendiary - at least to some women and a smaller number of men who want to believe that males and females come from the same planet. The very notion of targeting one sex rather than the other is thought to be demeaning and likely to lead to further gender stereotyping. I'm not going to go into that argument here because I'll be posting a full-on debate about it between Felicity Carter of Meininger's and myself in a few weeks. 

In the meantime, here's a first class example of a well-handled, female-focused product. Chloe is best known as a high-end fashion brand that belongs to LVMH. Now the canny Wine Group has launched a wine under that name, using packaging that owes a fortune to the worlds of fashion and cosmetics. 

My friend and business partner, Catherine Monahan, who sent me the picture above tells me that it is selling well in the US at at a premium price of $15.99. That would place it above the £12 mark in the UK so the likelihood of it crossing the Atlantic any time soon is probably small. Which is a bit of a pity because I can imagine the combination of negative reactions it will get from wine traditionalists who'll entirely miss the point by asking where the wine comes from and the grape it's made from (when did anyone bother to ask those kinds of questions about a fashion item?) and from feminists who'll complain of being patronised. Meanwhile, I reckon the Wine Group will be laughing all the way to the bank. 

9 comments:

  1. $15.99 isn't very premium in USA even if £12 is in UK. Hope it flies. Hats off to anyone who can sell wine. Most consumers really don't care if a wine expresses its sense of place. Almost only winemakers and wine writers/bloggers do. There is a niche for them too but it's a niche.

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  2. Hey Robert
    I reckon if they're smart and they want to (I'm going to phone Rufus) they could do it for GBP9.99 and do it very well. And if the grocers don't want to buy it they would be daft... because for once, along comes a brand that makes women feel something about themselves when they purchase it - just like buying a Chanel lipstick makes you feel vs. a Rimmel one. It's great branding, let's see how they market it... but if I were a UK grocery buyer, I would be on the phone right now to Rufus Weston.

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    1. Catherine, thats System A thinking for you. Shame on you! ;)

      http://www.harpers.co.uk/opinion/jerry-lockspeiser-when-it-comes-to-liking-wine-preconceptions-are-everything/354808.article

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  3. Recall the days of sickly roses aiming at that market...

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    1. That was then and this is now. And Chloe is a far more sophisticated effort.

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  4. Great find, Robert! I'm constantly amazed at the wine traditionalists ability to focus on the business issues that simply don't matter. Agree entirely with your post.

    However, I'd love to see Chloe launched in your neck of the woods.

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