A SNIFTER OF LUXURY


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The demand for luxury brands is increasing in India. Brands Illustrated’s Srishti Taneja gets up, close and personal with Noemie Levieux, the brand ambassador of Remy Martin in India

Tell us something about yourself?
I’ve been brought up in France and have now spent four years in India. Ironically, it was only when I arrived in India that I fi rst became formally associated with French wine and spirits. Unknowingly of course, I had actually charted this path into the world of wine, spirits and luxury right through my childhood. I was born in the heart of champagne, in the city of Reims and spent most of my time growing up in Burgundy. If that wasn’t enough, I then moved to Bordeaux for my higher studies. All along, vineyards, wine and cognac were second nature to me and happily I never realised I would be able to build my profession around these.remmy-2

Since how long have you been associated with Remy Martin?
My association with Remy Martin extends far beyond my time in India and takes me back to memories of growing up in a typical French family where wine, cognac and the grape in general are quite acceptable for a little girl like myself in early teenage years – only for a taste though.

What is the target audience of Remy Martin in India?
We have seen that surprisingly Remy Martin appeals to men and women of all ages. While Remy Martin VSOP has been very popular with the slightly younger audience as a chilled shot, cocktail, as well as neat and on-the-rocks, Remy Martin XO continues to be loved by the more discerning as a post-dinner drink or even serve as its own occasion. Only the ultimate connoisseur remy-1 finds their calling in the fi nest and most complex of cognacs – LOUIS XIII. It is a blend of 1,200 eaux de vie originating from the Grand Champagne region which are aged for up to 100 years.

Creating popularity for luxury brands is a diffi cult marketing exercise. What eff orts do you think work out the best?
As far as luxury is considered, small is beautiful. We create beautiful showcases worthy of our Cognacs and ensure that our exclusive coterie of consumers are able to fully appreciate Remy Martin and LOUIS XIII in an intimate environment.

Luxury brands are better marketed in the fi rst world nations. As the brand ambassador, what diff erence do you fi nd in promoting a brand in a developing country like India?
I don’t necessarily agree that fi rst world nations fi nd better luxury marketing. I actually fi nd that India, being the home of Maharajas and extravagance in general, is more suited for luxury spirits. LOUIS XIII in particular fi nds a strong connect with India and even hosted the global launch of the Limited Edition LOUIS XIII Rare Cask 42.6 in Udaipur in 2013.

What steps are taken to connect with the Indian audience?
The love aff air of Cognac with the Indian audience is not a new one. The very fi rst bottle of LOUIS XIII was brought into India back in 1881 and we are constantly only reminding the Indian audience of this love through its heritage.

What are the problems you faced in the Indian market? What is being done to overcome them?
The entire industry has faced challenges with FSSAI regulations of labelling over the past 12 months, but everyone remains optimistic of future growth as the country as a whole continues to expand its horizons.

With India’s growing luxury market, do you see liquor industry growing at the same pace?
As per IWSR, the cognac category in India has been growing at a CAGR of over 20 per cent for the 5 year period leading up to 2013.

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