Moët Hennessy TR on “deepening the connection” with Chinese consumers

By Faye Bartle |

 Moët Hennessy Travel Retail

The launch of Hennessy’s CNY pop-up at Changi.

Moët Hennessy Travel Retail tells TRBusiness why the Lunar New Year is a crucial opportunity to connect with Chinese consumers and how the luxury cognac Maison is strengthening its connection with this “important demographic”.
 
With the festival falling on 10 February 2024, the Year of the Dragon celebrates the most legendary creature in the Chinese zodiac, and Hennessy is igniting a wave of activity especially for the occasion.

A series of striking pop-ups are being unveiled at key locations around the world, featuring an immersive blend of retailtainment and craftsmanship.

As reported, TRBusiness was on location in January for the grand unveiling of the activation launch at Changi Airport and swas able to experience first-hand the striking design and curated experiences available, such the innovative molecular pearl tastings.

The jewel in the crown is the special Chinese New Year collection created in collaboration with Chinese artist Yang Yongliang, which features at each of the pop-ups.

“Lunar New Year holds particular significance for Hennessy as it resonates deeply with our diverse consumer base,” said Moët Hennessy Travel Retail.

“It serves as a momentous occasion to connect with our consumers and travellers, providing them with a meaningful and celebratory experience during the festive season.”

Chinese consumers play a “substantial role” in Hennessy’s travel retail business, give the Maison’s long and storied links to China.

Its inaugural cognac shipment arrived in the country in 1859. Furthermore Hennessy’s association with Chinese culinary arts began in 1910 through its distributor (at the time) Louis Rondon, and has since evolved into the incredible food pairings and more that consumers have come to know from the brand.

 Moët Hennessy Travel Retail

Senior executives from Moët Hennessy, Changi Airport Group and Lotte Duty Free toast the Changi launch of Hennessy’s Chinese New Year pop-up.

Below, Moët Hennessy Travel Retail gives us a deeper insight into how the Lunar New Year and connecting with Chinese consumers for a key part of its strategy….

What share of your GTR business is currently provided by Chinese consumers and how are you looking to grow this as outbound travel accelerates in 2024?

Moët Hennessy Travel Retail: Chinese consumers play a substantial role in our travel retail business within the world.

As we navigate the recovery phase in travel retail, our emphasis is on strategic initiatives tailored to key occasions like Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival, to deepen our connection with this important demographic.

These initiatives are designed to further enhance our engagement with Chinese shoppers, offering them distinctive experiences during these significant moments.

Recognising the evolving preferences of consumers, particularly the Chinese, who highly value experiences, we are elevating our offerings by incorporating immersive and technology-driven experiences.

The introduction of the ‘Senses of Hennessy’ experience is a prime illustration of this commitment.

This innovative concept offers a 360-degree sensorial journey that engages guests through sensory films, captivating visuals, enticing aromas, and enveloping sound waves.

This approach allows shoppers to explore and understand our cognacs in a simple, immersive, sensorial, and digital manner, aligning with the preferences of today’s digital-savvy consumers.

Why is Changi Airport the ideal location to launch your Lunar New Year activities?

Changi Airport is one of Asia’s most iconic and busiest hub airports and offers a powerful platform for engaging with shoppers, particularly during the Lunar New Year.

We’re fortunate to have strong partnerships with Changi Airport Group and Lotte Duty Free, which have allowed us to deliver something truly memorable.

Additionally, beyond Singapore, we have extended our Lunar New Year presence to key locations in Asia Pacific, including Zhuhai, Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Melbourne as well as Dubai, Istanbul and several others around the world.

 Moët Hennessy Travel Retail

A view of the striking dragon design that weaves it’s way through Hennessy’s Changi Chinese New Year pop-up. 

This allows us to bring our immersive Hennessy experience to a wider audience, ensuring that the spirit of the Lunar New Year is celebrated in diverse and strategic travel hubs across the region.

You are unveiling a new T3 shop-in-shop at Changi, adding to your current T1 shop-in-shop at the hub – why does Moët Hennessy invest in this shop format and what tools do you draw upon to maximise success?

As a leader in luxury wines and spirits, Moët Hennessy recognises the significance of presenting our brands in immersive, standalone retail formats.

Our investment in shop-in-shops at Changi Airport, including the new addition in Terminal 3 to complement the existing one in Terminal 1, is driven by our commitment to creating inviting spaces that resonate with both seasoned connoisseurs and newcomers to the world of fine cognacs.

These boutiques aim to reinforce our direct-to-consumers approach by providing travellers with an immersive and transformative experience, distinguishing our brand in the airport environment and maximising our success in the channel.

Moët Hennessy is known for offering a personalised luxury experience to travellers – how do you see preferences and behaviours among travelling consumers evolving in 2024?

In light of a cautious travel outlook affecting traffic recovery, Moët Hennessy remains committed to one of its core principles of crafting experiences. Our strategy involves enhancing retailtainment offerings, exemplified by our current pop-up activations, to consistently surprise and delight customers.

Through these efforts, we aim not only to retain existing consumers but also to attract new enthusiasts to the brand.

 Moët Hennessy Travel Retail

Vanessa Widmann, Managing Director Travel Retail Asia Pacific Moët Hennessy; Changi Airport’s vice-president for Commercial Airside Planning and Leasing, Chandra Mahtani; and Jeff Jeong, Managing Director of Lotte Duty Free Singapore.

For instance, the introduction of ‘Senses of Hennessy’ in our pop-up at Changi Airport exemplifies our dedication to immersive and sensorial experiences.

At Changi T3’s shop-in-shop, ‘Hennessy Hands’ personalisation service of our carafes offers a unique and personalised touch. The pop-up also features tasting bars where consumers can indulge in an experiential journey of Hennessy’s finest cognacs. This initiative provides customers with an opportunity to explore and engage with our products in an interactive manner, creating a memorable and bespoke shopping experience.

Further enhancing our offerings, we present rare editions such as Hennessy Paradis and Richard Hennessy, providing enthusiasts with exclusive and limited-time opportunities to indulge in exceptional cognacs. For aficionados seeking a truly customized experience, our ‘Art of Gifting’ for Hennessy X.X.O allows customisation, adding exclusivity and a sense of place to our offerings.

These initiatives not only address the trend towards retailtainment but also address the growing demand for personalised experiences, allowing consumers to better understand and connect with our brands. In an era dominated by digital advancements, our commitment to providing unique and engaging experiences ensures that every touchpoint reflects the luxury and sophistication synonymous with the Hennessy brand.

Finally, what are Moët Hennessy Travel Retail’s key goals for 2024?

Our primary objectives encompass sustaining our market leadership position and actively expanding our consumer base by attracting new enthusiasts to the brands of the portfolio.

READ MORE: Hennessy sets up several Chinese New Year pop-up stores across Asia Pacific

READ MORE: Hennessy opens new boutique at Haikou Meilan International Airport

READ MORE: Year of the Dragon promotions kick off at Changi Airport and Jewel

READ MORE: Hennessy fires up dragon-inspired pop-up at Changi

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