VITAE 1998

The debut of Quantum X in the wine brand world. In 1998, when the time of big budgets was finally over (RACKE brands like Blanchet, VIALA & Co. needed DM 7-14 million spendings year after year to function at all ...).

The assignment started with basic and trend research to see what the world and the market needed, what the times demanded and what was still missing.

The need for tranquillity and deceleration (escapism) was already clearly apparent in 1998, shortly before the transition into the new millennium. In the course of the radical studies, this led to the PUR approach, which offered the consumer a bottle without contents; in other words, the proverbial liberation from consumption for little money...

The trend research assignment took us to Paris, Frankfurt and other places; in Paris we discovered the invention of PopUp Stores, where young designers and artists took over empty shops in order to draw attention to their creations of art, fashion and product design.

In Frankfurt, the simple labelling of a jam jar ("Strawberry 1998" instead of "Happy Red sugarfree" on a plain little note on the jar) became the design godparent for the d├ęcor and an indication of purism and craftmanship.

We also identified a tendency towards spiritualisation and mysticism at the time. Design studies such as the product duo "Angelus" (white wine) and "Mephisto" (red wine) emerged from this.

The wide-ranging radical studies to clarify alternative concepts and designs led to market research in several development stages, which eventually selected the finalist: eight out of ten users spontaneously reached for VITAE, the product they had never seen before.

In the end, VITAE was an eclecticism from the various currents we identified: completely reduced in appearance, the users associated the cross-shaped sign, the amphora-like bottle with the handcrafted cord at the neck as a product that had been "made and packaged by monks of religious orders" ...

We developed communication for VITAE primarily in the form of strong trade communication (BtoB) in the most common professional media of the beverage industry.

There was virtually no BtoC communication and nobody was talking about the web and social media at the time anyway.

Instead, we were challenged to develop a product in wine that was completely self-explanatory, that told its story through the packaging without (million-dollar) communication on top.

In the end, the design of VITAE was not characterised by "louder, faster, more colourful, more" but by minimalism and reduction, which guaranteed it enormous brand recognition and corresponding shelf impact.

To support the highly independent product presentation, we developed strong POS media such as individual wooden shelves for the presentation of goods in secondary placement and tasting worlds in food retail.

The success story: VITAE sold over 1 million bottles in Germany (food retail) alone in the first year.
The development time from kick-off briefing to market launch was 6 months.