Pernod Ricard China

Oct 27, 2010 5 Comments by

Gwenaële Chesnais, Senior Wine Education Manager Pernod Ricard China explains the organization of Pernod-Ricard within China, the concept of Decentralization as a unique business model, what makes the Chinese market so special and the importance of Education to build brand awareness

ZW: Can you present yourself and your role within Pernod Ricard China?

GC: I majored in Marketing and hold a Chinese Language Master from Paris Oriental Languages Institute (INALCO). I have been living in China for 13 years and I have been working in the wine industry the last 10 years, essentially in Marketing. I am currently responsible for Wine Education at Pernod Ricard China.

ZW: What is your daily job?

GC: I manage the Brand Ambassador Team based in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. We handle internal training programs for Pernod Ricard China employees, trade education programs, industry and consumer tasting events and all wine education tools preparation and production. I also look after partnership with wine schools and relationships with wine experts and educators.

ZW: How is Pernod Ricard organized in China ?

GC: Pernod Ricard China’s headquarters is in Shanghai, with a distribution network covering more than 100 cities across China. Our six regional offices are located in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Wuhan and Chengdu. National functions such as marketing, communications, human resources, finance, etc. are based in Shanghai, while the regional teams are mainly responsible for local sales and marketing activities in collaboration with the HQ teams.

ZW: Is there an Asia global brand strategy and where is it decided?

GC: “Decentralization” is Pernod Ricard’s unique business model, and the close collaboration between the “brand companies” and “market companies” within our Group’s global network is the key to success. Within Pernod Ricard, “brand companies” are responsible for defining global brand positioning, strategy, advertising campaigns, etc., while “market companies” are responsible for developing and implementing regional/ country strategies in line with the global guidelines and at the same time effective on the market. In short, our brand decisions are made as close as possible to the market and consumers, whichever country we talk about here.

ZW: How is the wine department included in this structure?

GC: Following the rapid growth on both our imported and Chinese wines, the Wine Education function was created in 2009 to support distribution and marketing activities for our wine brands.

ZW: What makes China market different?

GC: China‘s wine market is very fragmented with different consumption patterns across the country. In terms of taste, there are preferences depending of the regions. For example, there is a higher acceptation of more tannic or peppery wine in Sichuan than in Guangdong or Shanghai due to the cuisine background. In Shanghai, consumers would prefer more supple wine such as a merlot varietal wine.

The market is also rather immature in terms of wine knowledge and very driven by brand. It is mainly the Chinese wine brands which have made significant investment in Advertising for years that are benefiting of a high awareness among consumers. For imported wines, it has been a long way with usually more limited budget but we are proud to say that Jacob’s Creek has one of the highest awareness in the imported wines segment. In general, besides promotion and activation through visibility which are traditional marketing tools, I believe Education is a good way to build the brand for long term. Holding tastings and wine dinners to the right consumer target and using the right speech will win your audience.

ZW: Are you distributing wine brands that are not owned by Pernod Ricard?

GC: Yes, we do. The original idea behind the wine portfolio was to have a portfolio covering the key countries of origin for wine such as France, Australia, New Zealand, Spain etc…in order to meet consumer demand across the various segments of the wine market.

Since Pernod Ricard doesn’t own any French wine brand, we looked for a Bordeaux and a Burgundy brand and partnered with respectively Michel Lynch and Louis Latour for distribution of the wines in China. Both are family-owned brands with strong identity and with a great international presence which matched with Pernod Ricard China strategy.

Ari for Zhongguo Wine

See other interviews:

Interview with Gwenaële Chesnais, Senior Wine Education Manager, Pernod-Ricard China

Interview with Stephane Toutoundji, famous winemaking consultant

Interview with Yann Soenen, Regional Director for Champagnes Mumm and Perrier Jouët

Interview with Nicolas Touchard, Brand Ambassador for M. Chapoutier

Interview with Rai Cockfield, Managing Director of Altruistic Boutique Wines

Interview with PENG Jia, Director of the World Wine Education in Shanghai

News, Wine Marketing in China

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5 Responses to “Pernod Ricard China”

  1. Making Wine for the Chinese Market | Zhongguo Wine says:

    […] Interview with Gwenaëlle Chesnais, Senior Wine Education Manager, Pernod-Ricard China […]

  2. FWP Selection says:

    World is small.. Gwen used to work for FWP for a long time before ;)

  3. Maison M. Chapoutier | Zhongguo Wine says:

    […] Interview with Gwenaëlle Chesnais, Senior Wine Education Manager, Pernod-Ricard China […]

  4. A Wine School in Shanghai | Zhongguo Wine says:

    […] Interview with Gwenaëlle Chesnais, Senior Wine Education Manager, Pernod-Ricard China […]

  5. Marketing Chine says:

    Very interesting interview. Thank to share!

    I would like to know who are the main customers for perno Ricard’s wine ?

    I would like to know where the Jacob’s Creek is mainly distributed?

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