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Branding a Foreign Location in an International Market Sam Heitner Director Office of Champagne, USA Overview Traditional branding vs. location branding Challenges of international markets How Champagne communicates in the United States -- case study

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branding a foreign location in an international market

Branding a Foreign Location in an International Market

Sam Heitner

Director

Office of Champagne, USA

overview
Overview
  • Traditional branding vs. location branding
  • Challenges of international markets
  • How Champagne communicates in the United States -- case study
  • What others can gain from Champagne’s experience in the US
branding vs location
Branding vs. Location
  • Historically branding has been focused on specific products:
    • Coca-Cola
    • Budweiser
    • Disney
    • British Airways
  • When specific locations have been involved, most branding has been travel related and been led by countries or major entities:
    • Jamaica
    • UK
    • Ireland
    • I Love NY
trademarks support this
Trademarks support this
  • Trademark system is designed to protect names and brands.
  • Has no allowance for the idea that a location has any effect on the value of a trademark
  • In fact, trademarks can be sold. Something that one cannot do with a specific location.
yet locations are very brandable
Yet locations are very brandable
  • They are unique
  • Have specific conditions that distinguish them from others
  • Branding often enables locations to increase value or prices for products
  • Examples include:
    • A city and tourist destination (Villa Gessel)
    • An agriculture product (Vidalia onions)
    • Wines (Champagne)
branding locations requires
Branding locations requires:
  • Bringing the unique attributes of the place to life
  • Distinguishing it from others.
    • Note: not necessarily claiming superiority over others
  • Targeted communications to particular audiences that relate to their specific needs and interests
international challenges
International challenges
  • Most people are wary of outsiders
  • Most regions have communicated to an internal audience for many years
  • One must break through both barriers:
    • Speak to consumers in their own language
    • Go to where they are
    • Know -- and use -- their local influencers and natural allies to help you communicate
champagne
Champagne
  • Champagne is a region 90 miles north west of Paris
  • Famous for growing the grapes and perfecting the system required to make a specific sparkling wine called Champagne
  • It’s unique northern climate and chalky soil combine to produce a specific environment that makes Champagne
  • In fact, the soil, air, water and other environmental conditions actually affect the taste of the grapes and, therefore, the wine.
  • Only grapes from specific plots within the region can be used to make Champagne.
how champagne communicates in france
How Champagne Communicates in France
  • In the EU and many countries, the word “Champagne” can only appear on wines from Champagne.
  • Most French citizens have been to Champagne at least once in their lives. They understand the unique nature of the place.
  • Therefore, within France the Champagne region focuses on wooing wine critics, educating consumers about the different types of Champagne, the distinct nature of particular vintages, etc.
  • In short, they communicate to the French people in their native tongue.
the importance of the us market
The importance of the US market
  • Champagne has always been a region that exports a large portion of its wine
  • In 2004:
    • UK: 35 million bottles
    • US: 19 million bottles
  • The US is one of Champagne’s key priorities as wine consumption is increasing. US consumers are willing to spend extra for quality.
  • Yet, the name “Champagne” is not protected and is used by many lower quality sparkling wine producers
in the us we refocus tone message
In the US, we refocus tone & message…
  • The Champagne community has two goals in the United States:
      • Promote Champagne consumption
      • Protect the Champagne name
  • The US consumer is very wary of France and French people
  • Therefore we:
    • Highlight US examples (Napa, California, Oregon, etc.)
    • Speak with an American voice
    • Focus on Champagne’s unique environment and growing conditions
  • We always remind consumers that “Champagne Only Comes from Champagne”
in the us we refocus targets
In the US, we refocus targets…
  • We target communications to reach:
    • Consumers -- High income, college graduates
    • Wine business
    • Media -- particularly lifestyle, political, business and travel reporters
  • As advertising and communicating in the United States is VERY EXPENSIVE.
    • Only target consumers who are potential Champagne purchasers or who will be in 5 years
all communication is targeted
All communication is targeted
  • Media
    • Trips to Champagne
    • Monthly updates on the state of the grapes
    • Monthly updates on shipment figures
    • Interviews with winemakers traveling to the US
    • Targeted outreach to non-wine writers who reach the target demographics
      • Travel writers
      • Business press
      • Political writers
      • Lifestyle reporters
all communication is targeted16
All communication is targeted
  • Wine trade
    • Wine education seminars
    • Support materials
    • Special events at trade shows
    • Alliances with US wine growing regions
    • Speaking to them in US “environments”yet where they can enjoy the beauty of the French product
all communication is targeted17
All communication is targeted
  • Consumers
    • All media and wine trade communication influence US consumers.
    • Yet reaching consumers directly is imperative.
    • Retailer tastings
    • Materials available for wine clubs
    • Education seminars
    • Radio
    • Television
    • Magazine advertising
measuring success
Measuring success
  • Since the campaign commenced:
    • Only French region to increase shipments to US
    • More Americans than ever site “importance of location” when making a wine purchasing decision
    • Many fewer media clips misusing “Champagne” and many more mentions of the Champagne region
    • A greater variety of Champagne brands are now on the US market
lessons learned
Lessons learned
  • Champagne effectively communicates about their unique location in multiple countries
  • They are effective because Champagne:
    • Proudly proclaims its uniqueness
    • Has support of all in the region
    • Changing messages, tone and materials to suit the target countries
      • Targeted media
      • Targeted advertising
      • Targeted events
      • Educating new wine consumers about Champagne
lessons for other regions
Lessons for other regions
  • Highlight unique attributes differentiates one in the mind of the consumer
  • Yet one must understand the target market and customize all materials, activities and events to match that audience
  • While proudly proclaiming what is special about these places
  • Include and represent all major sectors of community
what does one gain by launching a comprehensive branding campaign
What does one gain by launching a comprehensive branding campaign?

These efforts can be time consuming and difficult, yet they can:

  • Increase international recognition of locations
  • Enable some to increase the value of products from the region
  • Help all players in the region (directly and indirectly)
branding a foreign location in an international market24

Branding a Foreign Location in an International Market

Sam Heitner

Director

Office of Champagne, USA