Lafite in China – The 8 Strategy

Nov 11, 2010 3 Comments by

Lafite in China

This article will introduce you the Strategy of Lafite in China

For those a bit familiar with Chinese culture, you already know that Chinese are extremely attached to symbols and are quite superstitious. It comes to numbers first and foremost. Lucky and unlucky numbers are based on Chinese words that sound similar to other Chinese words.  The most famous unlucky number is 4 (si – 四) because it is homophonous to the word “death” (si – 死) whereas the luckiest number that every Chinese (the superstitious ones at least) tries to get on his/her bank account/license plate/telephone number is 8 (ba – 八) because it sounds similar to the word “wealth” (fa – 发).

You might wonder why I am telling you this. It seems that there is no relation between numerology and the wine business, right.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Actually, there is one when Château Lafite Rothschild decides to write the Chinese character for 8 on every bottle of Château Lafite Rothshild 2008. Let me remind you that Château Lafite Rothschild is already the most famous wine in China. (It is therefore the most copied as well…).

When we look at the evolution of prices for Château Lafite Rothschild 2008, we can see two major increases in prices. The first one is in April 2009. It is due to the release of Robert Parker’s score of 98-100. The second one is on 27th October 2010 when Château Lafite Rothschild released this information.

This is a smart move from Château Lafite Rothschild. They have been listening to the growing potential of the Chinese market for a while now. They have built a strong brand image on this market without any direct competitor. As most of Lafite Rothschild is now consumed in China, they adapt their marketing strategy to the culture of their main customers.


The Mouton Rothschild in China

Château Mouton Rothschild that has been featuring an artwork on its labels since 1946 is said to follow the move and asked a Chinese artist to design the 2008 label. Will it have the same effect though?

Featuring the figure 8 on any bottle of wine is not necessarily the key to enter the Chinese market. We see entrepreneurs coming to China with the 88 wine or the 888 wine or anything with a 8 in it and a red and gold label. Chinese are not stupid.

Lafite has built a strong brand image in China before doing such a move. Lafite has not entered the market with any Chinese character on the bottle. It is a two step process. They created demand, attraction, status for Lafite caring the values of wealth and prosperity. In a second time and for one particular year, they added a symbol geared directly to Chinese customers.

What I wonder now is if they will use the same marketing strategy for other years. They might feature a symbol representing the Chinese zodiac sign. But are Chinese consumers looking for a specially designed Lafite or for the original label? Second question: Will Lafite Rothschild take the risk to focus their strategy on only one market: China?

Ari for Zhongguo Wine

Other related articles:

-Lafite and China – The 8 strategy

-A Lafite Bubble in China?

-The Advantages of the International Supermarket Channel

-Importing Wine in China: An Oligopoly?

-Focus on the Wine Distribution in China

-The Wine Sign: Impacts on the Wine Business

-Wine Industry Value Chain

-The Wine Market in China: Overview

News, Wine Marketing in China

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3 Responses to “Lafite in China – The 8 Strategy”

  1. Nicolas says:

    thanks Ari! interesting article!

  2. Ari says:

    Thanks !

  3. Mouton Rothschild 2008 Label Revealed | Zhongguo Wine says:

    […] of the questions I was asking in one of my previous articles, Lafite in China – The 8 Strategy, is about to be answered. Remember, one month ago, Domaines Barons de Rothschild announced that all […]

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