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- Preserve the Luxury or Extend the Brand? (Harvard Business Case Study)
Should Chateau de Vallois stick with what it does best or branch out and begin producing a new brand?
This HBR Case Study includes both the case and the commentary. For teaching purposes, this reprint is also available in two other versions: case study-only, reprint R1101X, and commentary-only, reprint R1101Z.Many luxury brands are able to command high prices because of their excellent quality, solid reputation, and limited availability. But it can be tricky both to maintain that cachet and continue to grow if the next generation of consumers is completely priced out of your market. Fictional winemaker Chateau de Vallois, a traditional estate with centuries of experience in producing luxury wines, faces that dilemma and is now considering whether to launch an affordable brand. A new wine of good quality at a lower price could attract younger fine-wine drinkers who might then upgrade to more expensive wines later on. On the other hand, the estate must be careful to preserve its exclusive image and avoid damaging the perceived value of its existing high-end wines. Should Chateau de Vallois stick with what it does best or branch out and begin producing a new brand? The authors of this fictional case study are Daniela Beyersdorfer, who is a research associate at Harvard Business School’s Europe Research center, and Vincent Dessain, the center’s executive director. Commentary is offered by Corinne Mentzelopoulos, the owner and CEO of Chateau Margaux, a first-growth estate in the Bordeaux region of France; Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, the vice chairman of Baron Philippe de Rothschild, a family firm that manages both first-growth and branded wines; and HBR’s readers.