Chandon is not technically champagne, since it is not produced in the Champagne region in France but in Napa Valley, California. Claude Mot, who founded the company in 1743, was famous for being a pre-modern marketing genius. He managed to convinced the kings mistress, Madame de Pompadour, that champagne was the only wine that had the power to make women more rather than less beautiful.
Chandon has crafted an elaborate game plan for capturing millennials—and pricing is just the start. To get the attention of their target audience, Chandon has given the classic champagne bottle a trendy makeover. Most champagne and sparkling wine companies design bottles that look much like they did two centuries ago, with simple labels emphasizing the manufacturer’s reputation and the quality of the juice inside. Chandon has opted for a more exciting look, wrapping bottles in colorful designs that stand out on the shelf. This year, for instance, Chandon put out three limited-edition bottles that are scrawled with the phrases “The Party Starts Here,” “Bring on the Fun,” and “I am the After Party.” (There were plans to include a fourth phrase, but the company’s lawyers thought it encouraged a little too much holiday boozing.) These designs cater to millennials in two ways: They offer an irreverent alternative to their parents’ boring champagne bottles, and they appeal to their desire for a unique experience by allowing them to pick a bottle that reflects their personality.