We did an interview with Alexandra Marquès, Directrice Générale of Lunedi, a marketing and design agency based in Paris. Lunedi is exclusively dedicated to premium products : Spirits and Wines, Perfumes and Cosmetics.
The company’s fields of expertise is brand strategy and concepts: brand analysis, new product conception, strategies. Lunedi is also into product design where they cover designing bottles, ice buckets, and bottle service sets. The company is also servicing Corporate Identity creation, labels and logos – up to packaging: Permanent, on shot, On trade, Off Trade, Travel Retail.
What is the difference between designing perfumes and cognacs?
There are strong links between Perfume and Cognac bottle design as far as premiuness is concern. We are usually working for the same type of consumers. People buying premium perfume brands are also buying premium spirits. Tendencies, Consumers’ Habits, codes, distributions (selective, Travel Retail) are similar. However, designing a bottle of perfume has very different technical constraints compared to a spirit bottle.
Learn more about Cognac Prestige by Bisquit Cognac
The glass constraints and design possibilities are not the same. The smaller size of a perfume bottle vs the bigger shape for a spirits imposes design adaptations (stability, moults possibilities etc).
Moreover, the design has to fit with the consumer ritual. The gesture using a bottle of perfume is not the same as for a spirit bottle. The designer has to keep this important fact in mind.
Handling is one of the key point when it comes to spirit design.
What’s the process for creating a cognac bottle design?
- Step: The very first step is the brief. It is a very important step. We have to work in close collaboration with the brand to perfectly understand the target, the new product objectives and universe. At this stage, the marketing competences of the agency are important as both Lunedi and the client have the same language and way of thinking. We are also able to advise the client on marketing strategies and we can open new perspectives to the client.
- Step: Then, back at the agency we first re work on the brief to select determine several relevant creatives universes for the new projects. At that stage, words, colors, materials, visuals places… all these elements are mixed on what we call a “concept board” that help use to visualize the creative universes relevant for the project.
- Step: Then we create the designs, 2D plans and roughs. Rough is important for us a it helps to visualize the shape in its whole. It is also a good way to show the client the shape we have in mind.
- Step: it is the first presentation. We present the designs to the client and he selects its favorite proposal.
- Step: the design optimization. It is an important stage, that can take several weeks. It is the moment for the client to inject his personal inspirations, constraints and new needs (not yet known at stage 1). So we adapt the design.
- Step: Execution. Once the design is finalized we create technical plans for the different suppliers that will actually produce the design.
What makes a good cognac bottle design?
I think the most important thing is to create a seductive approach. The consumer has to be attacked by the shape and has to feel proud of using it. Again the way the consumer will handle the bottle is a key point. The contemporaneity of the shape is also very important. I had a beautiful cognac bottle in my hands the other day, but it would not pour correctly.. It spills the cognac. Why is that?
I can’t say without seeing the bottle but it must be because of a “too flat top part of the collar”
What’s the big “no-no” when it comes to cognac bottle design?
I think being too “specific” can be a problem. I mean, if the inspiration comes from a very specific and anecdotic element, the shape may has some difficulties to last throughout the years and can be seen as very “ old fashion” in a few months. The Contemporaneity is important. The shape has to remain contemporary. Cognac brands are not launching new designs every year. It’s a design that lasts.
How does cognac bottle creation work for China?
As you may know China is currently a very big market for Cognac brands and it is true that Chinese consumers have specific needs and codes when it comes to cognac and premiumness.
To give you a very precise example, Lunedi designed the new product of Bisquit cognac for China ie Bisquit Prestige. We designed the shape as a trophy as Chinese people explained us they consider having smaller hands and it is important for them to be able to grab the bottle easily. They don’t like oversized shapes. The color choice for bottle and pack was also important : Red and Gold are their favorites.
And we adapted a Guala closure for the cap as the Chinese consumers wanted a secure cap with no possibility to refill the bottle when empty.
By the way: The new Prestige has nothing to do with the old Bisquit Prestige – it’s a totally new blend, a new product.
Sophie & Max: Thank you Alexandra for this interview.