business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports this morning that French vintners, many of whom are facing economic challenges that threaten their businesses, are taking a fresh look at the importance of brand marketing.

“Until recently, such words might have been considered heresy in France, where many winemakers have an almost religious attachment to the idea that wines must reflect the specific attributes of the land on which they are grown, not the global characteristics of a brand. French law requires quality wines to be labeled accordingly, listing details like the region, the vineyard and the producer. But many consumers in markets like Britain and the United States now prefer to choose their wines according to the grape variety, like cabernet sauvignon or Riesling, rather than the name of the region where they were grown, like Bordeaux.”

So, in order to try and regain its stature as the world’s greatest source of wine, the French wine industry has decided that its problems are not related to quality or ambivalent feelings about French politics, but rather a simple lack of understanding about its products. Various companies are spending tens of millions of dollars to reverse this trend, creating brand identities that are seen as more contemporary.

KC's View: