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Maybe it's time for new rules.

By Rob KinslowSr. Strategist, Brand Communication, KHJ Brand Activation

Louis XIII of France was kind of an odd monarch to name a cognac after. The boy king was crowned at the underage age of eight in 1610. Later he became known as "the chaste king," because he stayed married to the same woman and was never known to have any mistresses. Not the randiest of royals.

So why does the Rémy Martin family name its most expensive cognac after Louis XIII? According to legend, the family settled in the Cognac region of France during his reign and had close ties to the king. The name is also intended to connote rare antiquity: each bottle is a blend of 1,200 cognacs ranging from 40 to 100 years old across three generations of cellar masters and aged in centuries-old barrels. They're sold in carafes that since 1936 have been handmade by Baccarat, the legendary French masters of crystal ware. In other words, to sip Louis XIII cognac is to feel like royalty.

And therein lies the moral of my story: when you connect the dots, when you understand the context, you can appreciate the story behind Louis XIII cognac and thus its value – and that perhaps a 750 ml bottle might be worth every penny of the $2,000 asking price. It might even be considered a bargain.

Such a value proposition is not unlike that of a silver-coated catheter that reduces urinary tract infections, a renal denervation device that lowers uncontrolled hypertension, or a premium biomarker test that prevents thousands of dollars in unnecessary cancer treatment. In each case there is good news for the patient in terms of health, for the doc in terms of performance, for the hospital in terms of outcome, and for the insurers and chief financial officers who see red every time a surgeon cuts into a patient unnecessarily. A costly item but in fact a bargain. Everyone wins.

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