Beaujolais Nouveau and a Lesson in Branding

This week the Beaujolais nouveau 2007 has arrived and this gives me the chance to run out and buy a bottle of "Pisse Dru". You might not be familiar with this brand but it is easy enough to find in French supermarkets. Perhaps the name limits its popularity in other countries.

When I first saw this I wondered if somewhere in an obscure corner of France there is an unfortunately named Chateau Pisse, result of some ancient tradition and meaning something quite innocent. But it turns out that the simplest explanation is correct. It means what you think it does, even in French.

Actually the name does not mean literally "Thick Piss" because it recalls a rustic French expression of approval "Ca pisse dru", that a winemaker might say after tasting the first wine out of the cask. This is roughly the equivalent of the UK English expression "The Dog's Bollocks", which has nothing to do with dogs, of course, just a slang expression indicating approval.

But at least it is clear that the producer chose this name deliberately, and is not among the ranks of the careless marketers who choose some unfortunate brand name simply out of ignorance. I am sure I have said this before, but unless you are deliberately choosing a "funny" name -- Shitbegone brand toilet paper comes to mind -- you must check your ideas in all potential markets.

Lectures, Workshops, Coaching and Writing

For lectures, workshops, one-to-one coaching and writing about this and other communication topics you can contact Andrew Hennigan by email at, through his website or by phone on 0046 730 894 475 or 0033 6 79 61 42 81.


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