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Leading the brandy resurgence: tactics for brand differentiation via packaging

Leading the brandy resurgence: tactics for brand differentiation via packaging

Tactics to entice consumers to discover Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados, and other brandies

lineup of brandy bottles created in 3D software by Outshinery on a light green background
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Creating a compelling narrative around brandy through innovative branding and packaging strategies is pivotal in enchanting consumers and establishing deep brand loyalty. By weaving a story that resonates with their target audience, brands can significantly enhance their market presence.

The following insights delve into how modern brandy, including distinguished varieties such as Cognac, Armagnac, and Calvados, are effectively utilizing these strategies to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Through thoughtful design, engaging storytelling, and a focus on the unique qualities of each brand, these companies are setting new standards in how luxury spirits connect with consumers.


  • Innovative branding and packaging: Capitalizing on unique, eye-catching packaging and branding techniques to create a memorable brand identity.
  • Engaging storytelling: Crafting stories that resonate with the target audience, integrating the brand's history, production intricacies, and heritage to build a strong emotional connection.
  • Highlighting product uniqueness: Focusing on the distinctive qualities of each brandy type—Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados, etc.—to showcase their uniqueness and appeal to niche markets.
  • Elevating through luxury positioning: Leveraging the prestige of the brandy category to position products as luxury items. This includes crafting premium packaging, exclusive limited editions, and engaging in high-quality storytelling that aligns with the desires of discerning consumers seeking more than just a drink, but an aspirational lifestyle.

A closer look at the brandy segment

In the world of spirits, brandy occupies a special place, presenting a complex blend of history, flavor, and artisanship. This intriguing spirit draws a sophisticated crowd, particularly with its esteemed variants like Cognac and Armagnac.

  • Brandy: a sophisticated spirit from wine or fermented fruit juice, known for rich flavors and smooth finish.
  • Cognac, Armagnac, and Calvados: These are exclusive types of brandies, each produced in its own specific region of France, and are highly regarded worldwide. Cognac is known for its rich, smooth taste, crafted in the Cognac region. Armagnac, from the Gascony region, offers a more robust and earthy flavor. Calvados, distilled from apples in Normandy, brings a unique fruitiness to the table. All three are celebrated not only for their exceptional quality but also as symbols of sophistication and status.
California brandy bottle with a modern label next to a more traditional small batch brandy bottle next to a more traditional bottle
Brandy bottles are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, though they are most commonly offered in a 750mL format.

The state of brandy in 2024 and beyond

The brandy market faces a mix of challenges and opportunities as of 2024 and beyond. Brandy and Cognac experienced a decline in volume consumption in 2022 due to economic pressures, supply chain issues, and competition from other spirits.

Despite this, optimism remains with the entrance of new producers and innovation by established brands. Cognac's valued timelessness and versatility, along with a focus on quality and innovation, cater to changing consumer preferences, especially among Generation Z.

brandy  bottles in 35cL and 750mL bottle sizes from France and Greece
Brandy, traditionally associated with France, is now captivating adventurous drinkers worldwide. Distilleries are facilitating this exploration by offering smaller bottles, such as 350mL sizes, making it more accessible for consumers to sample.

Emerging packaging trends for the brandy segment

Deep-rooted heritage and modernity

Many brands steeped in the production of these distinguished spirits balance classical allure with modern sophistication. By weaving the history and traditions of brandy, Cognac, and Armagnac into their branding, these brands connect with aficionados who appreciate the depth and legacy of their drink.

Simultaneously, incorporating contemporary design elements appeals to a new, younger audience, bridging the gap between generations.

high-end 15 years old Australian brandy, front and back
To enhance the value of the exquisite liquid it contains, label designers are advised to include detailed information such as age, barrel type, or lot number. This level of transparency helps justify the premium price to consumers.

Commitment to craftsmanship and quality

The emphasis on artisanal methods and exceptional quality is a hallmark for brands within this sector. Highlighting the meticulous care in distillation, aging, and blending processes in their branding narratives solidifies their commitment to quality.

This dedication reassures consumers of the exceptional experience each bottle promises, aligning with the expectations for luxury spirits.

beautifully design brandy bottles from the USA and Canada
Brandy brands are increasingly leveraging sophisticated language to highlight their craftsmanship and quality, more than any other spirit category. This vocabulary features terms such as "handcrafted," "traditional," "aged to perfection," "small batch," and "tribute to the past," among others.

Distinctive and luxurious packaging

Luxurious packaging is quintessential in the brandy, Cognac, and Armagnac categories, reflecting the elegance and prestige of the spirits. Brands that employ unique bottle shapes, exquisite label designs, and premium materials in their packaging create an unboxing experience that captivates and delights consumers, reinforcing the luxury and exclusivity of the product.

two prestigious brandy bottles from the US that use a minimalistic yet precious packaging design
As is commonly the case with ultra-premium products, the principle of "less is more" holds true. Consequently, brandy packaging adopts a minimalist yet impactful approach, typically featuring a bespoke bottle and cap paired with a high-quality printing finish—often employing luxurious metallic gold ink or accents for added prestige.

Sustainability as a core value

With a growing consciousness towards environmental responsibility, brands that spotlight their sustainable practices distinctively appeal to the eco-minded consumer. Innovative packaging solutions that minimize environmental impact, combined with practices that conserve the terroir and support biodiversity, enhance the brand's value proposition.

The brandy market is expanding, introducing new regional and local flavors that make the product more accessible and appealing to younger generations of consumers.

Reflections on the evolution of brandy, Cognac, and Armagnac branding and packaging

The brandy, Cognac, and Armagnac market is in an exciting phase of evolution, merging tradition with innovation. Brands that blend their rich history with modern values and aesthetics are redefining excellence. Emphasis on sustainability, artisanal quality, and celebrating diversity is attracting a global audience. Through thoughtful branding and packaging, these spirits are enhancing the sensory and emotional experience, promising a vibrant future.

While challenges like declining consumption and competition exist, opportunities for growth lie in innovation, catering to new consumer preferences, and exploring new markets.

An exquisite liquor bottle, boasting a unique shape and bespoke closure, elegantly set against a light green backdrop

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What makes brandy, Cognac, and Armagnac packaging distinct from other spirits?

The packaging of brandy, Cognac, and Armagnac often features elaborate designs and materials that reflect the luxury and refinement of these spirits. From custom bottle shapes to intricate labeling and the use of high-quality glass, each element is carefully chosen to convey the exclusivity and heritage of the product.

Why is sustainability becoming important in the packaging of these spirits?

Sustainability addresses the growing consumer demand for environmentally responsible products. Brands that incorporate sustainable practices in their packaging not only contribute to environmental conservation but also strengthen their market position by appealing to eco-conscious consumers.

How does packaging influence the perception of these spirits?

Elegant and luxurious packaging significantly enhances the perceived value and quality of the spirits, influencing consumer choice. It creates an expectation of the tasting experience, positioning the product as a premium offering in the marketplace.

What are the latest trends in packaging for brandy, Cognac, and Armagnac?

Current trends include the integration of elements that tell the spirit's story, the use of sustainable materials, and innovative designs that stand out on the shelf. There's also a focus on personalization and limited editions that offer a unique consumer experience.

How do brands blend tradition with innovation in their packaging?

By maintaining iconic elements that reflect the spirit's heritage while incorporating modern design trends and technologies, brands manage to honor their history while appealing to contemporary tastes and preferences. This approach helps attract a diverse audience, including traditional enthusiasts and new explorers.

What role does packaging play when gifting these spirits?

Packaging elevates the act of gifting brandy, Cognac, and Armagnac, transforming it into a luxurious and thoughtful gesture. The packaging's quality and design reflect the giver's consideration and the specialness of the occasion, making it an unforgettable experience.

Recommendations for photographing these spirits

When photographing brandy, focus on lighting, background, and bottle positioning to highlight the spirit's rich color and texture. Companies like Outshinery are transforming product imagery through digital rendering, providing a creative and impactful way to visually present brandy. This method enhances marketing strategies and resonates with the innovative essence of the brandy industry, captivating consumers and enriching brand stories.

premium brandy bottles from North America created in 3D software by Outshinery
Capturing the essence of alcohol through photography presents a real challenge, yet online platforms such as Outshinery offer distilleries a revolutionary way to obtain high-quality visual content without the hassle of shipping physical samples.
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