Crafting Brand Identity:
A Global Wine Producer Enters China

The Background

Georgia is one of the oldest wine regions in the world and our client is one of the biggest wine producers in the region. They now produce wines and spirits for distribution through global distribution networks in both Georgia and overseas. They currently market a diversified brand portfolio including dry, semi-sweet and sparkling wines in markets such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Japan, Armenia, the United States, China, and Uzbekistan. Working closely with a Paris-based brand consultancy, Venga helped smooth the wine and spirit producer’s entry into China, creating local Chinese names for leading brands within their portfolio.

The Challenge

Strong trademarks are vital tools in winning new customers when establishing a brand in China. After all, the last thing an interesting, unique, or powerful product needs is a boring, unoriginal name. Instead, brands must identify distinctive names that differentiate them from competitors. There are several ways to create Chinese trademark names. Some brands opt for literal or phonetic translations. The most effective trademarks are generally those that hint at their brand’s defining characteristic and carry a similar sound or have a positive meaning in Chinese. In China’s over-crowded consumer markets, protecting one’s brand and trademark is of paramount importance. After investing time and money into establishing a brand’s reputation, no one wants to allow a rival to steal their name to market their own products or services. To diminish the risk of a competitor grabbing their trademark and goodwill for themselves, it is essential that clients formally register their chosen local trademarks before entering the Chinese market.

A Name for the brand in China

The Solution

Venga structured a step-by-step process that guaranteed the brand’s full involvement, and local stakeholders buy-in.

Discovery. This initial consultation phase is designed to help Venga’s professionals fully understand the brand’s history, DNA, current situations and business objectives regarding their future positioning. At the end of the day, we harvest all of the valuable elements that need to be built into a brand’s name.

Brand Essence Definition. We select brand essences that are relevant to local consumers to be articulated and integrated into individual brand stories. We develop a mood board for each brand in order to help guide our clients through the thinking process and demonstrate that we have accurately captured their brand’s meaning.

Brand Name Development. We approach brand naming from various angles in order to ensure the different options work across all major Chinese speaking markets. We then present the client with a carefully screened list of selected name options complete with rationales, back translations, and even pronunciation guides before finally shortlisting the three strongest contenders. This entire process demonstrates the breadth and depth of our thinking process.

Linguistic Screening and Brand Identity Check. We conduct initial checks to confirm our proposed names have not been used by any direct competitors. This enables us to avoid unexpected delays during the thorough legal search and registration at the finalization stage.

Local Buy-In. A key step in the launch of any brand in a new market is ensuring that local teams all share the same brand vision. We manage feedback from all parties so that all proposed names are clearly understood by local distributors.

Brand Identity Design. Once a final name has been agreed on, we design a brand identity with customized typographic treatments that will work cohesively with each client’s original trademark.

The Result

The final approved names captured the individual brands’ original essence both in terms of how they sounded and the meaning each name carried. Versatile and usable across all touchpoints throughout Greater China, the agreed brand names will help the client to cement a strong foundation for further brand building. Further post-launch work seems almost certain. In addition to guidance on legal registration of the name and brand trademarks, tasks will include brand story development, localization of the brands’ websites, adaptation of tasting guides and PR and social activation programs.

What They Say…

“Great creativity highly appreciated by the local teams.”

– Marketing Director