Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

My View: Creating a South African wine brand

Published:  18 January, 2007

It's isn't easy creating authentic South African brands which are consumer friendly enough to become global, but it is important.

If you compare a long-term successful Australian brand like Penfolds to most South African brands, Penfolds stands out because it was created for the Australian market, became a success there, and then was exported.

Traditional SA brands don't export well. They have hard-to-pronounce or Afrikaans names. Thus, the South African wine category tends to be comprised of brands that have been created for the UK. The benefit is that the names are easier to understand but they lack authenticity. This constrains one's potential to develop real, long-term brands.

We realised this five years ago and while we are not yet in the top five SA brands, we are committed to a long-term brand-building programme. It takes time to create a meaningful and strong UK and global presence.

SA brands should invest and engage in their home market. We have one of the fastest growing SA brands in SA, helped by our events, weekly roadshow tastings and marketing. Brands that mean something at home and then adapt to different markets are inherently more robust.

Community, whether local or global, is about sharing. It is about caring and engaging with your customers. They are not "a demographic" they are real people with real needs and aspirations - not ABC1/C2/D/E. Wine is an emotional purchase, not a rational purchase, and this should be recognised by brand developers.

Catherine Monahan

Sales and marketing manager

Orbital Wine