Will Renaming ‘Brandy’ to ‘Arbun’ affect Armenian Cognac Sales?

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The Armenian government approved today a name-change for one of Armenia’s most recognized products, a key export – the Armenian brandy.

“Arbun” is a made-up word, which supposedly, is derived from the Armenian word for “drunq”, which sounds as “Arbunq.” Still, the word sounds odd even for the Armenian ear, and is certainly a marketing disaster for cognac producers in Armenia.

This has been a forced move, as, apparently France, the world’s biggest cognac producer, claims it has exclusive rights to the production of that drink. Pressure from France and WTO have forced the Armenian authorities to agree to the name change, even though I personally think the government should not give in without a fight.

Meanwhile, we have yet to see, how will the unfamiliar drink called “arbun” sell in the markets, where they expect to see the fine Armenian brandy – branded “Ararat” cognac.

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6 thoughts on “Will Renaming ‘Brandy’ to ‘Arbun’ affect Armenian Cognac Sales?

  1. Hmm… It looks more like they rearranged the letters in brandy, changing the y for a u and dropping the d…

    Anyway, marketing geniuses at work! Sounds tasty… ;)

  2. There is a EU law called “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO). Armenian “cognac” has no closest resemblance to brandy coming from French region of Cognac. In the same way you can not name a ham “Blackforest ham” if it is not produced in Blackforest region or a cheese Stilton if it doesn’t come from one of the three designated areas in the UK. This is to protect the producers and the consumers.
    In Armenia I used to purchase salami produced by Geghard called Braunschweiger. It was a nice salami, expensive but of very good quality. However it has absolutely nothing to do with a real Braunschweiger which is a liver sausage.
    Why Geghard didnt give it a good name like Geghard salami and exported it with a PDO logo?

    If we think we have good brandy we shouldn’t have any fears. The producers need to spend some money on marketing. As for the name I think it is stupid, they could just name it Armenian brandy or Ararat Valley brandy. To secure a PDO.

    • Just to add if Armenian “cognac” is not sold in EU it is not subject to PDO. The beverage is mainly sold in Russia. Government has a good case to fight back, considering that and also the term Armenian Cognac is used as a brand name before PDO regulation. However as we all know that how incompetent the Armenian government is, we should be surprised. The best they could do was negotiate a decrease of font size in word Cognac and eventually drop it from labels after a year or two. Nobody would notice it. The name Arbun will confuse buyers. They will think it is a new, lower quality product.

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