Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the engagement of Australian consumers when buying and drinking Champagne. Design/methodology/approach – The paper identified seven variables a priori that were expected to influence consumers’ decisions and then used exploratory interviews to investigate how Champagne consumers were influenced by these. The authors interviewed Champagne marketers, sellers, educators, connoisseurs and aspirational consumers. The interview protocol allowed respondents to identify other variables. Findings – The paper identified two new variables that, inter alia, influence Australian consumers in their Champagne selection. These were the kudos that comes from the people they serve or give it to and their sentimentality about previous experiences of Champagne consumption. The two new variables are the focus of this paper. Research limitations/implications – The exploratory nature of this research means larger studies are needed to confirm the preliminary findings, particularly in other, non Anglo-Saxon cultures. Practical implications – Champagne houses could place greater emphasis on kudos and sentimentality in their marketing campaigns; additionally cultural issues could affect how the two factors operate in different markets. Originality/value – Kudos and sentimentality have not been previously emphasised in the wine consumer behaviour literature.
Qualitative Market Research: an international journal / Vol. 16, No. 2, pp.150-164