When it comes to selling ultra-premium vodka, sleek and sexy bottle design is often what separates the top shelf sellers from the dust collectors. That’s why the Aristocrat Group Corp. (OTCBB: ASCC) is so excited about the early response to the name and label design chosen for the debut vodka to be produced by its brand management division, Luxuria Brands.
For weeks, the company has quietly been soliciting feedback from liquor sellers, bar staffers and vodka connoisseurs on the design of its new spirit’s label. The informal focus group research has yielded a positive response beyond Luxuria’s most optimistic expectations, says CEO Robert Federowicz.
“Everyone we’ve spoken to loves it,” he said. “We absolutely cannot wait to get this product into bars and on to store shelves. We are convinced we have a hit on our hands.”
Bottle design, including the vessel’s shape, color and labeling, is a common way for new products to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace. The white liquor is America’s most popular spirit, accounting for nearly a third of the market by volume and half of its growth. U.S. sales of super-premium vodkas, which typically retail around $30 a bottle, have risen 32 percent in the last two years to $1.2 billion, according to industry trade group the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS).
"Once the consumers sample our product, the quality will win them over,” Federowicz said. “Until then, the packaging has to make him want to pick it up off the shelf.”
ASCC envisions the success of its debut vodka as the foundation of its growing brand management business.
“We plan to release all the details on the new product’s name and branding as soon as we get the application back from Washington, D.C.,” Federowicz said.
Luxuria Brands is currently readying two separate vodka brands planned to allow the company to compete in a highly profitable sector alongside LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (EPA: MC), Diageo PLC (NYSE: DEO), BEAM Inc. (NYSE: BEAM) and Brown-Forman Corp. (NYSE: BF.B).