CASSIES Bronze: Selections Chartier goes where no wine has gone before

The brand promoted the world’s first “pairing-centric” range of wines and execeeded its first-year target within the first four months.

chartier_grafika-145_3-4_5Off to a Good Start

Situation Analysis: The Quebec wine market is highly fragmented with over 8,000 wines currently offered in SAQ stores alone. In such a crowded market space, new products struggle to stand out. Sélections Chartier had developed the world’s first “pairing-centric” range of wines. With four wines to be launched in 2013, and another two in 2014, the way wines were presented to consumers had to be re-thought to break through the vast array of offerings.

Insight & Strategy: A segmentation study identified seven wine-buying groups, five of which (discoverers, socialites, hipsters, cccasionals and regulars) accounted for 90% of the SAQ clientele, and were deemed open to innovation. However, these groups lacked product knowledge and bought wine for social reasons that would fit their evening’s purpose: usually sharing and enjoying with others. The need to please others, combined with their lack of wine knowledge, made wine shopping overwhelming.

Confidence in making the right choice could be instilled by simplifying the decision process down to one single question: what meal are you having tonight? Instead of focusing on the typical wine jargon of vintage, producer, or region, messaging would focus on promoting the wines’ food pairing attributes.

Execution: The communication strategy was designed to address consumers at key moments along the path to purchase: awareness and initial research phase pre-visit, as well as the intent and consideration phases during the store visit. When in-store, the target groups avoided consulting experts for advice due to their lack of wine knowledge and vocabulary. Thus the consumer needed to be guided with signage and the bottle’s label, which became the cornerstone of the communication strategy.

Each wine’s label was designed to be a pictorial representation of the food type (e.g. fish, seafood, chicken, pork) the wine had been developed to complement. To generate awareness pre-store, a three-phase approach was used, beginning in September 2013. In Phase one, anticipation prior to launch was generated across Chartier’s social platforms (Instagram, Facebook & Twitter). For Phase two – the launch of the first four wines – a PR campaign, supported by social and launch events, focused on François Chartier’s “star power” and the product’s unique scientific approach. Phase three was the launch of two additional varieties in May 2014, supported by a BBQ season newspaper ad campaign.

Results: The first full year target of 72,000 bottles was surpassed within the first four months with sales exceeding 175,000 bottles nine months after launch. Since launch, all six wines have maintained a spot amongst SAQ’s best-sellers.

Cause & Effect: Apart from the small newspaper campaign in May, there was no media budget but the campaign garnered extensive media coverage, with over 50 articles published. The $20 price point was high for the target market, more used to paying between $13 and $15 per bottle. Some price discounting of $2 to $3 per bottle was activated during key holiday periods.

Client: Sélections Chartier
President: François Chartier
Agency: Sid Lee