In America, the driving forces behind the Veuve Clicquot champagne brand are the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classics, held each year in New York and Los Angeles. These events are attended by global celebrities, the British royal family and other top influencers.
On October 17, I had the opportunity to attend the Sixth-Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Los Angeles at the Will Rogers Polo Club, the last existing polo venue in Southern California.
To kick off the event, award winning actor Cheyenne Jackson sang the National Anthem and Victoria Justice threw out the ceremonial ball toss.
The event had sold out as more than 5,000 spectators watched world-renowned polo player Nacho Figueras of team Black Watch take on team Veuve Clicquot for an exciting and action-packed match. For the first time ever, Nacho's wife Delfina Blaquier played alongside Nacho on team Black Watch and was awarded MVP of the game, leading her team to a 9-5 victory.
But what made this event so spectacular from a branding perspective?
I had a chance to speak with Vanessa Kay, Senior Vice President of Veuve Clicquot USA to get a better understanding of what her secrets were in creating one of the most sought after events in the country.
These are the 7 secrets that cultivate high demand in the Veuve Clicqout brand:
1. Find a unique opportunity.
Vanessa took a look at what could really set the Veuve Clicquot brand apart from other champagnes. After taking a look at history and an even closer look at the sport of polo, they looked at the facts. Polo was once a sport that had its place at the Olympics, but was last seen at the games in 1936. Thus, polo slowly became a sport of the past. However, while studying the history of the sport, they saw synergies with polo and champagne. Due to their findings, seven years ago, Vanessa began the revitalization of the polo movement with their annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic.
2. Get the right people there.
By having a brand name with such a rich history that was built by founder Madame Clicquot Ponsardin, "The Grand Dame of Champagne," and combining it with the comeback of a sport that focused on the glamour of horses, they created a sense of curiosity. This attracted some of Hollywood's elite to attend while walking in on the red carpet. Vanessa understood that where the elite go, the press followed, so this opened up the opportunity to bring more media opportunities to the Clicquot brand.
3. Create a sense of community.
Attendees of the event were able to lay out blankets and lawn chairs, have picnics, play games like life-sized Jenga and Connect Four, toss bean bags and stomp on divots with their friends and families--all while basking in the sun and enjoying the sport of polo.
The event is generally 21+, but a few celebrities were able to bring their children, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, January Jones, Rachel Zoe, Selma Blair, Jaime King and Oli Hudson. Average consumers and celebrities alike sipped champagne and danced to music played by a DJ.
4. Change perceptions.
Champagne is perceived as a celebratory drink reserved only for the finest of occasions. Wine, on the other hand, is a drink that people feel they could drink on an every day basis in the comfort of their own homes. Vanessa feels that by doing these types of events, she can change the perception of champagne being a celebratory drink into a drink that is shared with friends, family and loved ones on any and all occasions.
5. Start a trend.
While polo is still fairly unknown in the United States, it is making an impact on both of the coasts. Being backed with the brand of Veuve Clicquot, polo is becoming even more exclusive.
When consumers share their wonderful experiences on social media and the press puts the events in their publications, demand increases. The last Polo Classic held in New York was such a sought after event, they sold out within the first four minutes of releasing the tickets.
With that kind of exclusivity, imagine just how many more consumers this brings to their brand.
6. Create a culture.
Branding doesn't stop at the event. By creating a brand that is synonymous with success, people want your merchandise and they want to show it off. Vanessa set up multiple photo opportunities on site with props ranging from branded picture frames to a pinwheel wall to inspire visitors to share photos on social media. She also set up booths to sell everything from champagne, food, sunglasses, fans, hats, beach towels and duffel bags. The more in tune to your brand a consumer is, the more happy they are with representing your merchandise when they go out to live their every day lives.
7. Give it everything you have.
Vanessa's team put in their all to set up the event. Everything from parking and shuttles to the red carpet to the general admission area was set up flawlessly. This created the ultimate experience where everyone was able to fully enjoy the event and leave home happy and ready to share their experiences.
Each year, Vanessa and her team at Veuve Clicquot are winning the hearts of a new set of customers.
Have you been able to bring about high demand to attract more customers to your business?
I'd love to hear more. Comment below!