England, don’t be shy, be proud of your bubblies, go your own way ! (Why « Britagne » may not be the right generic name for an english " champagne ")

(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr) Finding a name is not that evident. Take the example of a group. A bunch of people are brainstorming for names. The band members are already so deaf they keep saying, "The who?". Finally, someone suggests the Who as their name. And the legend of the Who band was born. When it comes to choosing a generic name, you may think twice before promoting it. The recent release of a sparkling wine from the British producer Coates and Seely as ‘Britagne’ has already started a debate in England to find a generic name for the British bubblies. The clever marketing approach of Christian Seely, Managing director of the wine division of AXA Millesimes and also the co-founder of Coates and Seely, was to bring out the ‘Britagne’ name and to see how the english community would react. In fact, this debate is necessary if english sparkling producers want to be recognized for producing high quality bubblies. But the road is still long if you consider generic names such as Cava or Spumante that already have some history but still suffer the comparison with Champagne even if, in terms of quality, tremendous progress has been made over the last 20 years.

Is "Britagne" the right generic name for english bubblies? The answers to a few questions could help drawing a first quick conclusion:

1) Is this name easy-to-understand ?

2) Is it hard to pronounce ?

3) Is it meaningful?

4) Is it similar to competitor’s names?

5) Is it emotional ?

6) Is it visually evocative, does it create a mental picture?

7) Does it carry the product qualities and values?

8) Does it empower, engage or enlighten?

A great name is a strong asset for a powerful organization. When you select an uncommon name, it’s unlikely that consumers will confuse your product with something similar. In the industry, most companies don’t focus enough attention on choosing a memorable name. Typically in the industry, people closest to the product development effort are the ones proposing the candidate names. This usually leads to overly "technical" names focused on what a product does. In our example, the estate came up with the "Britagne" name because, in their mind, the wine could be compared to Champagne even if it is "Brit". Great product name in fact for this estate that gained and will certainly continue to gain much PR from this name. But a great product name does not mean a great generic name. "Britagne" will make the Coates and Seely's production recognizable among the rest of the competition but "Britagne" may not be the right generic name that english bubblies need. "Britagne" will always be seen as a play on a French word giving the image of English imitating the French. Unlike the drug industry, where finding a generic name means finding a name for a low cost version of the more expensive brand name product, english bubbly producers must find a generic name that should help them to reinforce the image of a high quality and a unique production. Distinctive from the Champagne name, this generic name needs to create its own environment. English bubbly should not be a "me too" wine, it must be a singular wine with a specific origin and taste. The generic name "Britagne" may fail in that attempt.

(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr)