Brand review

'First luxury Mediterranean vodka ' is all about the look
27 August, 2008
Page 20 
Brand

Akvinta

Critique by

Angela Pirrie, director

Charteredbrands

Product

There seems to be an endless stream of new products when it comes to vodka, each one claiming its own uniqueness with increasingly contrived propositions. Akvinta's claim is that it

was the first Mediterranean Luxury vodka. Made from Italian wheat and Croatian water, this super -premium vodka is the brainchild of Croatian company, Adriatic Distillers.

Packaging

Vodka has been presented in all shapes and sizes, and the new Akvinta is not ostentatious or elaborate like some, but has won numerous awards for its style all the same. The wine -shaped bottle is no different from Grey Goose or Citadelle, but its clarity sets it apart, made of "a special kind of crysta l-clear glass". The overall look has artisan qualities with a contemporary twist.

Positioning

Akvinta prides itself on its taste and positions itself as the connoisseur's choice. The website encourages consumers to drink vodka neat to appreciate the subtleties in taste of the spirit, enjoying it as you would a fine wine. Product differentiation lies in the rather extravagant, quintuple -filtration process where the spirit passes through  five natural elements: charcoal, marble, silver, gold and platinum. The brand positioning is followed through in the name, which is built around the product's key attributes of purity of water , the association with wine and the quintuple filtration - aqua, vinum and  quinta.

Pricing

Akvinta is indeed a luxury vodka at £35 per 70cl bottle. The pricing is on a par with the boutique brands and designer creations of the category. Each time a new premium vodka is launched the pricing boundary is challenged in terms of what consumers are willing to pay for it.

Marketing

In the UK Akvinta has targeted the on -trade, attending various trade shows and hosting "pleasure parties". It has won various awards for its packaging design, but hasn't performed so well on taste. For a brand that believes itself to be the "best -tasting pure vodka in the world", the quality of the liquid must be able to deliver to expectations.

Overall

Since its launch in early 2007, the brand has proven popular in its home country. However, whil e vodka is the most popular spirit in the UK, Akvinta's sophisticated proposition will restrict its appeal. The size of the market opportunity with such price and positioning is limited. The tenuous connection with wine is not the most compelling idea, although it does challenge consumers' perceptions of vodka. Akvinta may be the first Mediterranean luxury vodka , but are any more likely to follow?

Comment

Dominic Roskrow

The serious business of bourbon

This is most odd. I’m standing with two American gentlemen in the corner of a very swish steak bar staring at a surreal painting of what we’re being told is a ship exploding as it sails towards a lighthouse. I think.

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