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Krug ID app creates mobile reference network for Champagne lovers

French Champagne house Krug is telling the story of individual bottles through a new mobile application that scans a bottle’s identification code found on its label.

A Krug ID is found above the barcode on the back label of each bottle of Krug’s Champagne and can be typed into a Web site portal to learn more. With the app, Krug IDs can be scanned at a moment’s notice and will be better suited for the mobility of today’s affluent consumer.

“The essence of any coveted brand is the story it conveys,” said Scott Forshay, Austin, TX- based luxury digital marketing consultant. “The effective generational articulation of heritage, craftsmanship and creative innovation combine with a vision of an aspirational lifestyle to seduce a highly desirable audience and inspire desire for association.

“Seduction of mobile targets requires precision planning and careful orchestration,” he said. “Traditionally the brand narrative has been told in a unidirectional fashion through artfully produced photography and film, but the consumer was only capable of experiencing the story in a disconnected way.

“The luxury consumer seeks priority access to, and deeper levels of intimacy with, the brands they most covet. The lure of exclusivity is the most effective.”

Mr. Forshay is not affiliated with Krug, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Krug did not respond by press deadline.

Bubbling up
The Champagne brand shared the link to its app on social media with a post that summarizes what the Krug app can do.

When downloaded, Krug enthusiasts are asked to make an account where the consumer enters basic information as well as her favorite Champagne and other areas of interest. For instance, a consumer can select all of Krug’s Champagnes such as Grand Cuvée or Rosé and hobbies such as wine making and travel.

Once an account is set-up, the consumer can read through Krug Stories where both the brand and other app users post about bottles they have recently tasted. When a user posts to the Krug Stories forum, the type of Champagne and that bottle’s unique Krug ID number are listed to create a virtual collection long after the cork has been popped.

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Krug ID app, iPad version

To enter a Krug ID the user scans the numbered code found on the Champagne’s back label. A Krug ID “celebrates every bottle as its own glass-encased work of art,” according to the brand, and tells the story behind that specific bottle.

The purpose of this is to create Krug Champagne that can be explored for years to come. Understanding and appreciating the array of wines included in Krug’s Grande Cuvée will be simplified and recorded in a way that was previously not possible.

Each 6-digit Krug ID follows the same pattern with the first number being the quarter the bottle left the cellars and the following the year. According to the brand they are the first Champagne house to use this reference system.

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Example of an scanned Krug ID, iPad version 

When a Krug ID is scanned, the consumer can read about its elaboration, creation and details of the dedication involved in making that type of Champagne. The information is narrated by Krug’s Chef de Caves Eric Lebel.

Also, the app includes food and music pairing tips as well as serving and storage recommendations. Consumers can also read the latest review of Krug Champagnes on the app.

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Bottle information for Krug Grand Cuvée 212021, iPad version 

Most importantly, the Krug app allows Champagne connoisseurs and Krug enthusiasts a community network where they are able to access the thoughts and opinions of a worldwide fan base.

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Krug ID app users log, iPad version 

The Krug app is available for Apple mobile devices and can be downloaded for free here.

Raising a glass
Krug consistently incorporates creative touch points that aim to connect with consumers in ways not immediately associated with drinking fine Champagne.

For example, Krug celebrated its annual Grande Cuvée blend with a live tasting event in London that married the sound of Champagne bubbles and live orchestra music.

During April 7-11, Champagne and music lovers joined Krug in unveiling its latest recreation of its Grand Cuvée while enjoying the music of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and tasting the 2014 vintage at The Loading Bay in Shoreditch, London (see story).

Also, Krug Champagne enhanced the sensory experience of its enthusiasts with a shell-shaped listening device designed to amplify the sounds of the spirits’ bubbles to create a new sensation for drinkers.

To introduce the Krug Shell, envisioned by French designer Ionna Vautrin, the Champagne brand developed a Krug Sounds portion of its Web site that accompanied enthusiasts on a unique experience as they learn the concepts behind Ms. Vautrin’s design see story).

Drinking Champagne is a social activity often saved for celebratory occasions. Including a social aspect to its mobile app allows Krug to extend this brand code beyond traditional touch points.

“Mobile, as a medium, is innately transitive in nature, serving as a persistent interface for consumers to navigate an ever-evolving digital ecosystem of retail touchpoints and become, themselves, active participants in the storytelling experience,” Mr. Forshay said.

“The Krug execution effectively conveys the relentless pursuit of quality and craftsmanship of the label by telling the story of each bottle’s vintage, origin and history,” he said. “The inclusion of mobile-specific native functionality such as camera integration for bottle ID scanning provides utility and efficiency to the user experience in manners unique to the device.

“[Krug] also recognizes that the experience of luxury Champagne is a communal one. By tapping into their legion of brand loyalists and creating a community accessible to Krug ID members, the label effectively utilizes the experiences of passionate consumers to educate, inform and inspire its audience.”

Final Take
Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York