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September 12, 2005

Another Vine Grows in Virgin Soil

The Virgin brand's core idea is making "consumer's life easier - delivering better value for money, a better service, challenging the status quo, and injecting an element of fun into what have traditionally been dreary marketplaces."

Sir Richard Branson has been referred to as the king of über-stretch. Starting with Student Magazine, he has taken the brand to a plethora of product categories - airlines to mobile phones, jewelry, gaming, health clubs, cosmetics and now wine.

VirginWine

Has Sir Branson overstretched the brand with Virgin Vines wine, and do the new wines deliver on Virgin's core idea? Probably not.

Virgin Vines is a logical extension of the Virgin brand. The wines are targeted to younger consumers, most likely 21-35, which would include the Virgin Mobile and Virgin Cola target of 15-30.

And, for the most part, the new wines deliver on the Virgin brand promise.

  • At $10 a bottle, the wine is priced at the sweet spot to attract younger consumers.
  • One could say that a screw top is, broadly speaking, providing a better service since the wine is easier to open and more portable.
  • The Virgin Vine website is definitely "injecting an element of fun" in the wine market by reducing the often stuffy wine terminology to a light-hearted fun one.

    • Traditional Wine Term: Body
      What They Say: The overall texture or weight of wine in the mouth. Most influenced by alcohol, glycerin and, in the case of dessert wines, sugar. See “light-bodied” and “full-bodied”.
      Virgin Vernacular: What everyone shows off when they are young, and hides when they are older.
    • Traditional Wine Term: Depth
      What They Say: Refers to a wine that is demanding of more attention. It begins with subtle layers of flavor that go deeper into more complex and secondary flavors.
      Virgin Vernacular: A very sought-after yet elusive quality in a partner. An especially rare find in men.

If I do have one quibble with the Virgin Vines extension, it's the product name. The noun, virgin, usually refers to pure, chaste and unadulterated products, such as Virgin Wool and Virgin Olive Oil. In the case of spirits, it has traditionally applied to non-alcoholic drinks - a Virgin Mary, for example.

Is the Virgin Vine product name an oxymoron, or another example of Virgin adding the element of fun to a category?

Posted by William Lozito at September 12, 2005 1:01 PM
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1 Comment

We always consider naming something that under Virgin is a bad name strategy. In fact, how many people will sensitive to the name rather to the price and quality? Guess it is time for rewrite the history

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