Alexandre Haleigh is the marketing manager for Moet Hennessy Eastern Africa. He speaks about how the brand is fairing in the Kenyan market.
How long has the Hennessy brand been in Kenya?
Hennessy has been in Kenya for a long time. From long ago, people were importing Hennessy brands to different countries from France, but we officially entered the Kenyan market eight years ago and we have a marketing office here. We don’t sell directly though; we just do marketing and push the brand into the market.
What’s the difference between various Hennessey brands?
It’s the age of the eaux-de-vie component. The VS (Very Special) eaux-de-vie component in the blend is at least 2.5 years old, while VSOP and XO age is between five to 15 years and 15 to 30 years respectively.
The more the liquid stays in the cask the more it sucks in flavours in the wood. The more the liquid sucks in the flavours of the wood, the better the quality and taste. It doesn’t really mean that because it’s older it’s better; it means that it only has more aroma and flavour.
How long has Hennessey been in existence?
Hennessy has been in existence for 252 years.
What do you think about the Kenyan drinking culture?
Hennessey has shown growing interests in Kenya. It is now the third largest African market after South Africa and Nigeria. Kenyans love to have fun and yes, my observation is that they love Hennessey.
Why did Hennessy settle on photographer Mutua Matheka to spearhead the Never Stop, Never Settle campaign?
It was important that the cast not be actors, but real people who are out there every day, making things happen. These individuals are not satisfied simply to be the best at what they do, they are constantly seeking new challenges, pushing themselves to newer and higher goals.
They want to have a meaningful impact on the continent whilst also being passionate about what they do. They are perfect ambassadors for the Hennessy brand. They truly never stop, never settle.
What’s the campaign all about?
It tells the story of individuals who are driving this change, by transforming their creative passions into thriving business ventures, and in so doing, boldly challenge us to see the world through fresh eyes, a world where the old rules no longer apply.
According to you, what the best way to drink Hennessey?
The best way is to drink with big square shaped ice in order for it not to melt fast into the drink. Once the ice melts off, it opens up and destroys the flavours. But it also makes the drink easy to drink, in case you feel as if it’s too strong.