How Krug digitally uncorks information about its champagne

Using a simple identification number on each bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée, the luxury brand has been able to provide information about individual bottles to its customers. 

Founded in 1843, the House of Krug has always struggled to tell the story about its champagne due to its complicated method of production. In order to ensure continuous years of good champagne, without depending on the outcome of each harvest, the founder of Krug decided to take many different wines from different years and blend them together. This created a champagne which the house believed was the best champagne every year, irrespective of external elements.

But a single bottle of Krug Grande Cuvée is blended from 120 wines and is never the same. This makes it very difficult for the luxury brand to tell the story about each bottle because it could not differentiate the bottles.

“We were not able to communicate the philosophy – we were a small house lacking in awareness and not using digital to be visible,” said Aude Beauvallet, head of international digital marketing at Krug.

“We had a story, and in a digital era it was unwise not to connect to the public,” she added. “We were lacking in awareness, and even if we had it, we were suffering from a dusty image.”

Speaking at the Luxury Interactive Europe event in London this week, Beauvallet explained how the brand decided to print an identification number on each bottle.

“The Krug ID is not simply a number,” she said. “It unlocks the story of the bottle, the story of the whole house of Krug and it differentiates two bottles from two different years.”

Beauvallet described how the brand answered the questions of variety, authenticity and quality, while providing modern customers with the transparency they crave when consuming food and drink.

The brand initially allowed customers to learn from the Krug ID by entering it into a mobile app which would relate information about the bottle such as the wines used, climate, challenges when bottling and tips to store and serve, as well as food pairings.

“In 14 months we had 10,000 downloads – you think it’s small? But for us it is huge,” she said.

“We linked the bottle to the consumers via digital, which is even more important in the wine and spirit industry because we don’t own our distribution, so this allowed us to create a link with consumers and put the product at the heart of the relationship.”

The brand has now released it should not limit the Krug ID to just an app and has been experimenting with social media. 

“Why don’t we use it to reach a larger audience? It was evident the Krug ID is the entry point to digital.”

The Krug ID can now be used on all social networks and customers receive bespoke content about their bottle depending on the platform they are using. You don’t have the same expectations on Twitter, than on Google or Instagram,” explained Beauvallet.

She said the brand is currently trying to understand how to make the experience more fluid, such as using Apple’s Siri functionality so customers can receive a vocal answer about their bottle. 

“It becomes a function more than an app – digital gives customers access to the content and a luxury brand must have an outstanding experience even in digital.”