Category Archives: Marketing

2011: The more things change

Looking back at the past year it is evident that the South African wine industry has seen many changes, controversies and closures but it is important for us to look ahead to the positives that the New Year brings. As stated by Deepak Chopra “All great changes are preceded by chaos”.

This year was not short on controversy, with the most notable of which being the Coffee / Caffeine Pinotage debacle and media onslaught after the University of Pretoria found high levels of caffeine in a few of the coffee Pinotage wines tested in their laboratory. The information was published as a letter in the Sunday Times on the 7th of August. After the publication everyone from WOSA to Harry HaddonNeil PendockOrielle Berry and Cathy Marston commented on the findings.

Another controversial topic that ignited debate in the wine industry was the release of a 96 page report titled “Ripe with Abuse: Human Rights Conditions in South Africa’s Fruit and Wine Industries” by an international company called Human Rights Watch. Once again the online media was abuzz with commentary from WOSAVinpro and Fairtrade SA.

The Backsberg Vino Varsity Challenge saw its third year with popular favourites Stellenbosch University failing to impress the judges and losing their undefeated two year champion status to arch rivals UCT. Also in its third year, the Nedbank Green Wine Awards saw a significant decline in the number of entries from the previous two years. The decline could be attributed to a number of reasons, such as the competition’s new home at Getaway Magazine or the fact that it remains a niche market.

2011 was a bumper year for wine festivals with many established festivals standing strong despite a decline in interest (such as WineX Cape Town) and others joining the party for the first time such as the debut Gugulethu Wine Festival. Though there was not a lot of interest from the producers (with less than twenty in attendance), those that did choose to attend were greeted by many eager locals keen to learn more about wine. Every wine journalist and blogger that could attend did and Neil Pendock and Cathy Marston (amongst many) thoroughly enjoyed the festival.

Though there seemed to be a wine festival every weekend, some managed to attract more attention than others. The second Swartland Revolution proved that the ‘cult’ status of the wines from this region is not for nothing. The weekend saw 250 people of a great diversity from across South Africa (and beyond) converge on the small town of Riebeek Kasteel with only one thing on their minds: wine. The well organised and punctual festival was well worth the money as the tutored tastings added value to what could’ve ended up being only a party.

With the world still trying to recover from the economic recession that shows no sign of letting up any time soon, the wine industry has had to adapt to the situation it finds itself in. The industry has subsequently seen a lot of change in the past year. From wineries finding new owners such as Klein Constantia and Mulderbosch to wineries going under the hammer likeQuoin Rock, there has been quite a bit of shuffling around.

Even the two biggest South African Wine Auctions decided to take on new directions. The 37th Nederburg Auction saw a fresh new look and feel with a comprehensive online strategy that stretched across Social Media platforms and a new website. The Cape Winemakers Guild also announced this year that they have introduced new selection criteria to encourage creativity and diversity amongst the wines from their members. This year’s public tasting already showcased some of the guild members’ more unique offerings which indicated that the members had already started experimenting before the announcement was made. This year the CWG Auction also boasted a record turn over of R5 286 700 (up by R1.4 million year on year) indicating that the updated criteria has stimulated some renewed interest.

2011 also saw the last printed publication of WINE Magazine in September and with many other printed publications going the way of the dodo, it is great to know that at least there is an online South African Wine Magazine in the form of Michael Oliver’s Crush!Crush! was also recently shortlisted as one of six finalists in the “Food and Drink Magazine of the Year” category of the 2011 Digital Magazine Awards. Crush! is also the only South African publication to be nominated.

WINE.CO.ZA saw a few big changes this year, with the move to our new offices in April where our entire team and warehouse is housed under one roof. Judy Brower and Kevin Kidson took a three month sabbatical shortly after the move. The team were left to their own devices but managed hold down the fort till Kevin and Judy’s return from Europe.

This year also saw the addition of two new members to the team. Mart-Mari du Preez joined the online shop in February and proved to be not only great at sales and logistics (our online wine shop continues to grow) but also a budding writer/blogger and wine enthusiast. 

Carla van der Merwe took over as WineNews Editor in April and Social Media maven in August, proving she can multi-task like the best of them. WINE.CO.ZA managed to reach several milestones with our Social Media this year with Dusan Jelic managing to get first 1000 and then 2000 Twitter followers while Carla brought the total up to 3000 in November. Our newsletter subscriptions also increased by roughly 1000 new subscribers this year.

WINE.CO.ZA strives to be constantly ahead of trends and embraces new technology, having released free QR-codes for South African wines in September and spotlight focus areas for our Global Partners and Partners in November.

Since the launch of our new website development option in July 2010 our entrepid developer, Garth Hapgood-Strickland, has developed 40 new websites for our clients. Some of the wineries that the sites were designed for include BadsbergBramptonDeWaal Wines,ExcelsiorKen ForresterKleine DrakenLourensfordMiddelvleiRaats Family WinesRaka WinesRidgeback WinesRooiberg WinesRuderaRustenberg WinesSteenberg Vineyards and Waterstone.

Here’s to a festive season filled with good wine, great conversation and amazing memories!

This article was first published on WINE.CO.ZA, please click here to see the original article.

T-time with Ken Forrester

It’s not every day that one gets the opportunity to be in the company of an iconic winemaker such as Ken Forrester, and therefore I was quite elated at the invitation to spend the afternoon with a group of journalists having ‘T’ at the Mount Nelson.

The story of the Ken Forrester ‘T’ is an interesting one, as this Noble Late Harvest came about as a birthday gift for Ken’s wife Teresa in 1998. Sadly the first vintage of the wine was never produced.

The current vintage, the 2009 T Noble Late Harvest, therefore marks a decade of the wine’s existence and was the reason for celebrating at the Mount Nelson.

The ‘T’ is produced from a single vineyard Chenin blanc block on the estate and is very labour intensive to produce as many successive pickings (except for the 2001 and 2009 vintage) are done throughout the harvesting period. Ken notes that the picking starts at the end of February “when the botrytis starts to form a ring in the center of the grape” and has continued as late as the end of May in previous vintages.

The production techniques that are used to produce the ‘T’ are very intricate and labour intensive as only 40kg of grapes are pressed at a time in a 400kg press. The wine then gets placed in a large 4000 liter barrel where it is allowed to start fermenting before being showered with dry ice.

The start-stop process of fermentation allows for layers of complex flavours to form as a result of the layers of multiple wild yeast at work. This tireless process does not always yield positive results as it is a bit of gamble, and as Ken muses “this is the kind of wine, that if you were to make it for a boss, you’d get fired as it’s an all or nothing wine”.

After understanding the process of production in the wine, we were all treated to a veritical tasting of six vintages of the ‘T’ from 2000 to 2009.

We started our tasting with the youngest of the lot and worked our way back:

2009 Ken Forrester T Noble Late Harvest

Alcohol % – 12
Total Acidity (g/l) – 7.7
Residual Sugar (g/l) – 135.8
Ph – 3.61

On the 2009 vintage Ken noted that it (along with the 2001) was a great year for Chenin Blanc in South Africa with favourable conditions for botrytis similar to that of the Loire Valley.

The 2009 was very fresh with guava and baked apple characteristics.

2008 Ken Forrester T Noble Late Harvest

Alcohol % – 11
Total Acidity (g/l) – 7.8
Residual Sugar (g/l) – 154
Ph – 3.54

The 2008 vintage was never released due to limited quantity.

The flavour profile was very similar to the 2009 with the bit of bottle aging aiding in the wine opening up with a fuller fruit component. With characteristics of honey, apricot and baked apple.

2006 Ken Forrester T Noble Late Harvest

Alcohol % – 13
Total Acidity (g/l) – 7.8
Residual Sugar (g/l) – 137
Ph – 3.68

The 2006 vintage had started to develop the deeper honey colour and was quite a developed wine, though it had no cloying or stickiness.

The bouquet was one of biscuits, caramel and vanilla with the taste resembling that of ruby grapefruit, with the sweetness and acidity in balance.

2005 Ken Forrester T Noble Late Harvest

Alcohol % – 13
Total Acidity (g/l) – 7.8
Residual Sugar (g/l) – 137
Ph – 3.68

The 2005 vintage was beautifully fresh with a screaming acidity and the colour only just starting to set into a rust coloured hue. Ken admitted that the 2005 vintage was currently his favourite.

2001 Ken Forrester T Noble Late Harvest

Alcohol % – 13.51
Total Acidity (g/l) – 8.2
Residual Sugar (g/l) – 132.2
Ph – 3.53

The 2001 vintage was a perfect year for noble as their was an early onset of botrytis which resulted in only one picking of the single vineyard. The quality of botrytis was also similar to that found in the Loire which made this vintage a stand out year. The colour on the 2001 vintage was also much lighter than it’s younger 2005 and 2006 counterparts.

2000 Ken Forrester T Noble Late Harvest

Alcohol % – 13.2
Total Acidity (g/l) – 8.0
Residual Sugar (g/l) – 131.7
Ph – 3.53

The 2000 vintage was a very hot year which resulted in over ripe fruit and therefore a very sticky and sweet noble. The colour was also extremely dark on this vintage with the defining characteristics being treacle and molasses extract on the nose and burnt / caramelised apple on the pallet.

The distinguishing differences in each of the six vintages that we tasted just further proved the significance that varying vintage conditions have the wine that is produced, especially when the wine is made from a single vineyard.

The beauty of each bottle of wine is found in the fact that it is the photograph of a vintage.

This article was first published as a blog post on WINE.CO.ZA, please click here to see the original article.

WOSA 2011 USA Workshop

On Tuesday, 6 September; Wines of South Africa hosted a workshop on the intricacies involved in entering the USA market. The title of the workshop was “Demystifying the American Market – Critical Pathways to Success”.

The opening speaker was Wines of South Africa’s Market Manager for the Americas and Africa, Mr. Matome Mbatha, who introduced the day’s proceedings to the delegates. He started off by saying that “the US market is very important but it poses a challenge due to strict legislation”. Matome then continued by saying that though the market is tough it does offer many opportunities as “it is the fastest growing market in terms of consumption”.

Andre Shearer, the CEO and Chairman of Cape Classics, was the speaker for the day and raised quite a few interesting points with regard to the US market. Andre started off by saying that the US market will help define the South African global brand just as it helped to define the Australian global brand. He continued by pointing out that the Australian market is not as successful as they once were and that their wave of success is receding. This creates an opportunity for South Africa to promote our wines due to the gap in the market.

Andre did however also caution that the American consumer is not as familiar with South Africa as the British and European consumers and those we would need to introduce them to both our country and wines collectively. Andre also pointed out that the lack of a coherent brand image for South African wine puts us at a serious disadvantage.

Other new world markets such as New Zealand, Australia and Argentina have been successful in the US due to them creating a collective brand identity around their cultivar strengths. For instance New Zealand has a price point monopoly in the US with regard to Sauvignon Blanc; similarly Argentina dominates the Malbec market and Australia the Shiraz / Syrah market.

Andre also went on to mention that we should perhaps focus on Chardonnay as the South African identifying cultivar as recent write ups in the US by influential wine critics such as Neal Martin have created a buzz. He also mentioned that Chardonnay makes up 30% of the US wine market and that this cultivar has proven to be South Africa’s most consistent white grape with regards to style and quality. Andre then stated that “if South Africa wants to develop a great weapon in the US, we should focus on Chardonnay to raise our profile in the US”.

After Andre’s very interesting talk on the US market we had the opportunity to taste eight of the best selling wines in the US to be able to identify what to look out for in our wines that would appeal to the US consumers. All eight wines were bold and had a great aromatic expression. Andre pointed out that “America is not a wine consuming country that prides itself on subtlety”.

The eight wines which we tasted were chosen because they are market leaders in their categories in America, all the wines were purchased in large quantities and were commercially successful.

The wines were as follows:
(For more information on each wine please click on the wine name)

2010 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand which sells at a retail price of $14.99
2009 Bogle Chardonnay from California which sells at a retail price of $9.99
2009 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay from California which sells at a retail price of $19.99
2010 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier from California which sells at a retail price of $13.99
2009 Purple Moon Merlot from California which sells at a retail price of $3.99
2009 Folie a Deaux Menage a Trois Red Blend from California which sells at a retail price of between $9.99 and $12.99
2010 Alamos Malbec from Argentina which sells at a retail price of $10.99
2009 Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon from California which sells at a retail price of $16.99

Andre ended his talk by saying that we (South Africa) should be celebrating what we can do and that we should “consciously decide what we can achieve with good wines in terms of our image in the US”.

It is a pity in my opinion that Andre’s message was only heard by a handful of producers in a half empty room at Backsberg. The inside information and industry ‘tips’ which were dealt were of great value to those lucky enough to hear it. What is even more surprising is the fact that the event was over booked (on paper more than 100 people paid to attend) yet only a marginal amount actually pitched up.

Please click here to view images from the event.

This article was first published on WINE.CO.ZA, please click here to see the original article.

La Vierge wines seduces followers at tweet-up

The Twitter chatter for the first WINE.CO.ZA and La Vierge Wines international, two countries, four cities tweet-up started days before the simultaneous intercontinental event took place on Thursday, 30 June.

The first tweets to go out were from wine.co.za’s very own Twitter account to get the participants to start a buzz on Monday, 27 June. Soon thereafter popular wine review website Real Time Wine posted a competition to their followers on their Facebook and Twitter feeds for seats to the three South African venues (which were filled up in only a few hours).

The evening started with some frustration as most of the mobile networks were experiencing loss of signal which resulted in static twitter conversations with tweets getting out long after they’d been sent or not at all. But this didn’t seem to hamper the tweeters too much as a total of 388 tweets containing the trending topic #LaViergeWines were sent as well as a total of 110 tweets mentioning La Vierge’s Twitter handle @LaViergeWines.

The four cities of Amsterdam, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town all started at the tweeting at the same time but soon it was clear that each team proffered their pace. The Cape Town team seemed to be the most active users with the top five users (calculated on amount of tweets) having been present at the Cape Town tasting (@LaViergeWines, @kungfukittypow, @StefanLuka, @winecoza and @carla_wino).

The tasting kicked off in Cape Town with the 2010 La Vierge Noir which was served with a French Onion soup topped with a cheesy crust and Johannesburg chose to enjoy theirs with duck spring rolls. The top flavour components identified in the 100% Pinot noir were rosewater, strawberries, Turkish delight and mushrooms with the most entertaining tasting tweet made by @dannyrocketer: “Pinot Noir! Like being stroked by a strawberry ghost! In the mouth.”

The next wine on the menu was the 2010 Last Temptation Riesling which showed peach, apricot and floral characters with a fresh acidity as noted by the tasters. Pretoria paired their Riesling with oysters whereas Cape Town chose to pair it with a selection of cheeses. One of the stand out tweets on the Riesling was made by @kgbwine: “Surprisingly beautiful match of blue cheese and Riesling. Brings out the melon, apricot type characteristics loooong finish”.

As the decision to switch to the next white was announced @Merlot_Girl commented on the cheeky names of the wines: “From temptation to original sin, oooh how indulgent & sexy”. The 2009 Original Sin Sauvignon Blanc was next out the bottle and lead to an interesting discussion with both Marc van Halderen (Winemaker) and Krige Visser (General Manager) on labels and the decision that La Verge made to break from convention to create a collection of wines with different personalities rather than a range with identifiable traits.

The characteristics identified in the Sauvignon blanc were asparagus, green pepper, apples and passion fruit and @samswaine summed up the winemaking / marketing team’s sense of humour perfectly with her comment: “La Vierge original sin sauvignon blanc. I’ve just smelt it, not even tasted it. Better than an orgasm!”

The last of the whites the 2010 Jezzebelle Chardonnay was also a big hit, even with those who didn’t normally enjoy Chardonnay. The reds kicked off with the 2009 La Vierge Nymphomane Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec blend that showed herbs and fruit and was paired at Balducci’s with Lamb barbeque-relish burgers.

When the next two wines, the 2009 La Vierge Anthelia Shiraz / Mourvedre and 2009 La Vierge Satyricon Barbera / Sangiovese / Nebbiolo were tasted the twitter chatter started to die down as the noise level in Balducci’s started to rise. The conversations were mostly centred on the nudes on the Satyricon label which refers to a Roman novel of lust and desire.

The evening ended with the last few tweets proclaiming their favourite wines and their enjoyment of the event. @Blackdelilah‘s tweet summed up the sentiments shared by all: “When visiting Hermanus visit @LaViergeWines, unpretentious, sexy, fun but most of all damn good wines”.

To view a selection of images from the intercontinental tasting please click here. For a list of the venues used for the tasting and the names of all the tasters at the tweet-up please click here.

This article was first published on WINE.CO.ZA, please click here to see the original article.

A new take on the “wine rack”

I found this quirky invention online and even though I’m a girl I can definately see that the guy (I’m almost certain a guy invented this) that designed this did it for the love of wine.

The rather plain looking bra is quoted as “a sports bra fitted with a bag for liquids that can be filled with up to 750 ml of wine, a.k.a. an entire bottle, thus creating the illusion of big chest”. To read the entire article click here.

For a laugh, check out the picture below.

She looks like my kind of girl, fun loving, out going and with a passion for wine.

Marketing Shiraz to the East

The spicy and fruit filled notes often found in a Shiraz makes it the perfect wine to market to countries such as India and China where most dishes are of a spicy nature.

Australian Shiraz’s are already very popular in the East and with a similar climate and ripening period, South African wineries should grab at the opportunity to market their wines to both India and China.

I found four Shiraz’s that would be perfectly suited to an Indian curry or great Chinese food, the nominees are:

Kleine Zalze Family Shiraz 2006

With its blackcurrant, spice and ripe fruit flavours on the nose and intense, spicy plum and dark fruit flavours on the palate, this wine is a perfect companion to Indian or Chinese Cuisine.

Grande Provence Shiraz 2007

With a complex and powerful nose of white pepper and coriander and a palate that is concentrated and balanced with plenty of lush, dark fruit, sweet vanilla and spice makes this a beautiful example of South African Shiraz.

Asara Shiraz 2007

The cherry and blackberry fruit aromas that complement the spicy wood flavours on the palate and hints of cigar box smokiness on the nose make this a flavouful and affordable Shiraz to pair with your next spicy meal.

Circumstance Shiraz 2007

Waterkloof’s elegant Shiraz shows pure aromas of red berries, violets and spices, enriched with a hint of cocoa. This cool climate Shiraz is a subtle and elegant wine that will pair well with a Chinese slightly spiced dish.

The Ethics of Marketing to Children

A recent study done by a South African company, Youth Dynamix, has shown some interesting results which lead to an article in yesterday’s Sunday Times.  

The Sunday Times article titled, Material world reels in the young, painted a picture of South African youth as more materialistic than the previous generation. The study done by Youth Dynamix studied South African tweens between the ages of seven and fifteen and used a range of four different methodologies. The BratTrax 2009/2010 study (the fourth study of its kind done) showed that 85% of the respondents interviewed believed that money made them happy.  

The children in the study fall in the age cohort[1] of the Generation Y market. The members of Generation Y are children of baby boomers and, depending on the source were born between 1977 and 1994, or between 1982 and 2000. The members of Generation Y can be divided into three sub segments: Gen Y adults (ages 19-28); Gen Y teens (ages 13-18) and Gen Y “tweens” (ages 8-12). (Schiffman and Kanuk; 2010:410)  

The Gen Y tweens spend and influence roughly $1.18 trillion in purchases worldwide, know brand images better than an advertising expert, spend a lot of time online and affect their parents’ brand choices. (Schiffman and Kanuk; 2010:411) The result of these findings is that a lot of money, more than $15 billion, is being spent annually to directly target and advertise to children.  

Parents aren’t helping the situation along, as fast-paced lifestyles have resulted in parents from middle and upper-middle income homes, are using money to compensate for their lack of involvement in their children’s lives.  

I have no direct experience as a parent, and therefore can’t attempt to understand the delicate nature of the relationship between parents and their children. But I have witnessed many hysterical fits and tantrums in shopping centres, which clearly indicate who the controlling force in many South African households is.  

In conclusion, I would like to paraphrase a quote by education specialist Janine Shamos from the Sunday Times article, “We have manoeuvred ourselves into a situation where we are going to have a mentally and physically unhealthy generation who are confused by what they want and need”.     

Sources:     

Schiffman, L.G. & Kanuk, L.L. 2010. Consumer Behaviour. Tenth Edition. Pearson Education, Inc. New Jersey.  

Naidoo, S. 2010. Material world reels in the young. Sunday Times Newspaper. South Africa.  

    


[1] A cohort is a group of individuals born over a relatively short and continuous period of time. (Schiffman and Kanuk; 2010:410)

Wine Packaging Trends

In doing research for an assignment on new wine packaging trends for class, I have come across a few more noteworthy trends in the wine industry and am happy to note that quite a few of them have been adopted here in South Africa.

PLASTIC WINE BOTTLES

According to an article on Business Day, the South African Wine and Spirit Board this year approved the use of an innovative PET soft bottle produced by Mondi for bottling wine. The article continues that the PET bottles are fully recyclable and have a much lower carbon footprint than glass.

Backsberg is the first winery in South Africa to adopt the use of the new plastic wine bottles. Their Tread Lightly range consisting of a Sauvignon Blanc and a Merlot will be the first certified wine sold in the PET bottles. Backsberg’s proprietor, Michael Back is quoted on their website as saying that “The enjoyment of a great bottle of wine should never be at the cost of the environment”. And I agree.

WINE POUCHES

The Saflite pouch was developed by the South Africa company Astrapak Flexibles together with its first commercial user, The Company of Wine People. According to an article posted on PackingNews.co.uk the three-layer packs – with outside and middle layers of metallised PET and an inner layer of linear low-density polythene – come in 250ml and two-litre sizes that can be flattened when empty.

The Company of Wine People website cites sustainability as a key driver for the implementation of the pouches. It also claims that a single pouch’s carbon footprint is 80% smaller and represents 90% less waste in a landfill compared to two 750-mL glass bottles. The company currently packages its Arniston Bay range in the pouches.

WINE IN A CAN

According to can manufacturer Rexam, the can is the most recycled drinks pack in the world and are 100% recyclable and infinitely recyclable, with no loss of quality. This is great news for manufacturers who are continuously seeking out new ways to impress the growing number of environmentally conscious consumers.

Australian company Barokes Wines are the inventors of the innovative and patented Vinsafe™ wine packaging system which enables premium quality wine to be canned with stability and longevity. They boast several awards and patents in a number of countries. Elkan Wine Company was also the first and (so far) only Chilean company to produce wines in aluminium cans. I have yet to see wine cans in South Africa, but I’m sure they’ll make their way here eventually.

NEW WINE CLOSURES

According to an article on the Glass News website, Zork wine closures were introduced in the U.S. market in 2008, and since then, have won over dozens of wineries with their wine-protection benefits, practical features, and eco-friendly attributes. The Zork low-density, linear polyethylene closure consists of three components: an outer, tamper-evident cap, an inner foil oxygen barrier, and a plunger that “pops” like a cork when extracted and is easily reinserted.

WINE IN A BEER BOTTLE

I saw this at a braai the other night and had to share. A South African company Boer and Brit have come up with a new packaging design for one of their wines. The Bob’s Your Uncle Red Wine Brew, is packaged in a 500ml beer bottle with a crown cap closure. The wine is sligtly sweetened to allow for more easy drinking (straight from the bottle). Though this idea will have to grow on me, the website does boast that you can return the bottle for a deposit and “save a tree”, which is a plus point for me.

That’s all I’ve got for now but watch this space for more wine trends.

Hello Kitty Wines

Hello Kitty has elected to label a range of wines from Italy with their signature mascot. The Italian farm in question producing this new range of wines is boutique Italian winery Torti Tenimenti Castelrotto based in the Lombardy region. The range sports cutesy names such as Sweet Pink, Devil Red, Angel White and a Brut Rosé.

Each wine boasts the slogan “Our favourite girl has grown up”, along with hers truly in a differently themed outfit on each bottle. The sparkling wine even boasts a Hello Kitty pendant with an Italian flag coloured ribbon in tow.

When I happend upon this while surfing the net, I couldn’t help but be a little appalled. The whole notion of linking my pink childhood companion to an alcoholic beverage was disturbing. Until I took a step back and looked at the new venture from a marketing perspective.

The Hello Kitty brand has been around for over 35 years and just as I was; it too was forced to grow up. Though the Hello Kitty brand is still going strong, it has had to create brand extensions into adult products through leveraging on pre-existing brand knowledge. This new route that the brand has chosen to pursue is wholly focused on nostalgia. The kids of yester year who refuse to believe that they have grown up are definitely the marketing team’s prime target market.

I still can’t help but wonder whether creating this new brand association between the Hello Kitty brand and wine won’t ultimately harm the brand.

Though there are very positive advantages to brand extension, such as improving the odds of success for the new product, there is also one major disadvantage – brand dilution.

Brand dilution occurs when consumers no longer associate a brand [Hello Kitty] with a specific product [children’s toys] or highly similar products and start thinking less of the brand. (Kotler & Keller, 2006:44)

So in closing, this new marketing venture can turn out to either be yet another success for the cash cow that is the Hello Kitty brand or it could be disastrous. All I know for sure is that it tugs on my childhood memories and I definitely want to buy some.

For stockists (unfortunately mostly American), please click here.

Sources:

Kotler, P. and Keller, K.L. 2006. Marketing Management. 12th edition. Pearson Prentice Hall: New Jersey.

Keller, K.L. 2003. Strategic Brand Management. Pearson Prentice Hall: New Jersey.

Keller, K.L. Brand Synthesis: The Multidimensionality of Brand Knowledge. 2003. Journal of Consumer Research. Vol. 29

L. A. Weekly

Cnet

Popwatch

Personal Money Store

Serious Seats

A Champagne tribute to Andy Warhol

French champagne house Moët et Chandon, most famously known for their premium Dom Pérignon brand, has announced that they will be releasing a limited edition series of bottles in honour of American Pop Art icon Andy Warhol.

This co-branding exercise will merge two conflicting ideas of luxury and popular culture, to create a very vibrant and colourful range of champagne bottles.

Andy Warhol’s alternative take on art resulted in his quirky style that blurred the lines between popular culture and traditional art. Warhol’s out of the box thinking resulted in his signature silk-screen style, which was used as inspiration in the design of the tribute Dom Pérignon bottles and packaging.

The collection of bottles are from the 2000 vintage of Dom Pérignon and are the result of a collaboration between the Andy Warhol Foundation, Dom Pérignon and the artistic talents of the Design Laboratory at Central St. Martin’s School of Art and Design.

The range includes bottles in blue, red, violet, emerald-green, lilac and yellow. The six colours that were selected also pay homage to Warhol’s distinct colour palette and succeed promoting his dream of making the world an ever more vibrant place.

The range will only be available in October, in limited quantities at roughly R1200 ($150) a bottle so keep your eyes peeled in stores or order it online to ensure yourself a piece of luxurious popular culture.

There is also a promotional video on YouTube.com, click here to check it out.