Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Really interesting observation from Alcademic's brilliant blog about the launch of Belvedere IX and their on premise strategy:

"It wasn't until the new Belvedere IX product launched that I noticed the marketing switcheroo happening with some ultra-premium vodkas. For a while, Belvedere has been running those Terry Richardson photos with Vincent Gallo portraying Belvedere as the vodka of choice for downtown young rich partiers. It was clear they were trying to modernize their image away from a stuffy, "important" vodka into a fun one.

Then they launched Belvedere IX, a product enhanced with ginseng, guarana, acai, and other herbal uppers. Not only is this clearly aimed at the nightclub market, the initial release was only in nightclubs. I love the bottle, but was surprised at the approach.

It finally occurred to me that the marketing strategy was to overtake Grey Goose as the club vodka of choice. I don't know the actual numbers, but Grey Goose is probably 90% of all bottle service sales. The Belvedere photo above looks more like it's taking place in a diner than the VIP booth at a club, but the parallels are there. And this product may be the first ultra-premium "enhanced" vodka, or at least the first one with a strong unflavored ultra-premium vodka behind it."

It's going to be fascinating to see if this catches on at. Grey Goose, as Alcademic's observes seem to have switched their focus to the off trade. Strategically this makes a lot of sense given that the recession is driving people out of bars and into at home parties.

I am still struggling to cope with the look of IX. Is it me or does it look hideously cheap and tacky? But then again when was I appointed arbiter of good taste?



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