American Marketer

Events / Causes

Ferrari, Veuve Clicquot connect with high-net-worth consumers via events

May 28, 2013


Italian automaker Ferrari and Champagne brand Veuve Clicquot are raising awareness for their shared values of performance, high standards, creativity and boldness with a new events partnership.

The partnership entails global events, side-by-side appearances and a design collaboration that will help both brands target high-net-worth consumers. Many luxury automakers have partnered with fashion brands to launch special-edition models, but now it seems that they are branching out to partnerships with brands in new categories.

“This is an intelligent, strategic move for both brands,” said Jason B. Cohen, executive vice president at The O Group, New York. “Ferrari has made public its plans to limit production to ensure the aura of exclusivity it has carefully cultivated over the years, so it’s clear they’re focusing on enhancing the brand's image.

“For Veuve Clicquot, along with other ultra-premium wines and spirits, finding appropriate partners outside of fashion and entertainment helps communicate attributes consumers may not generally associate with their products - in this case, excellence in design, innovation and again, exclusivity,” he said.

Mr. Cohen is not affiliated with Ferrari, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Ferrari was not available for direct comment before press deadline.

Pair up

Ferrari and Veuve Clicquot are holding events to celebrate the beginning of their partnership in global markets.

Both brands will pair up for appearances at classic car events, Ferrari model launches and racing shows such as the Monaco Grand Prix that took place over the weekend.

New lifestyle events will be held by the two brands likely to target the social elite in top markets.

Ferrari and Veuve Clicquot also plan to collaborate on a design project, which has not yet been announced.

Veuve Clicquot

Ferrari “chooses its partners exclusively among leading companies,” according to chairman Luca di Montezemolo in a press release.

Both brands entered the partnership due to their common values, but it just so happens that the granddaughter of Madame Clicquot Ponsardin – who acquired the Champagne brand after her husband passed away in 1805 – was the first woman in France to receive her driver’s license and drive racing cars.

The theme of the partnership is the Art of Living or Art de Vivre.

“Brand partnerships work for luxury automakers, but primarily only a niche level,” said Courtney Albert, management consultant at Parker Avery Group, Atlanta. “The types of partnerships have a smaller overlapping audience to begin with and then the objective is to get that subset to buy into the partnership.”

Choose wisely

Quite a few luxury automakers have partnered with fashion brands to create special-edition models.

Last month, Italian menswear label Ermenegildo Zegna and Fiat’s Maserati entered into a long-term design partnership to produce 100 limited-edition vehicles and offer Zegna customization options (see story).

In addition, John Varvatos lent its design aesthetic to Chrysler for two limited-edition vehicles: the 2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition and 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition (see story).

Also, British automaker Land Rover created hype for its Range Rover Evoque by marketing a model by fashion designer Victoria Beckham (see story).

However, some partnerships turn out better than others.

“Luxury automakers need to carefully consider this kind of partnership and carefully define the parameters of the relationship,” The O Group’s Mr. Cohen said. “The recent Land Rover-Victoria Beckham partnership drew sharp criticism in the automotive blogosphere.

“In the case of Ferrari and Vueve Cliquot, staying focused on quality, craftsmanship and the expressive nature of each brand could pay off,” he said.

Similar to the partnership between Ferrari and Vueve Cliquot is that between scotch maker Chivas Brothers and Italian car designer Pininfarina.

The two brands together designed a new case for the Chivas 18 scotch whiskey. Select bottles of Chivas 18 are housed in a unique case called “The Drop” that was designed to resemble the creation process of a Pininfarina vehicle (see story).

The automotive brand partnerships that are most effective are the ones that stem from an initial connection between the two parties.

“Bang & Olufsen has collaborated with Audi for years, and now also with Aston Martin and some BMWs,” said Darren Floyd, cofounder of Fondue Mix, New York. “All of these brands are known for meticulous design, visual style and engineering.

“Successful collaborations generally are those that appear effortless and not forced,” he said. “By pairing together, each brand is able to offer more to their customers than each brand could on their own.”

Final Take
Tricia Carr, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York