Podcasting can be a fantastic way for brands to create engaging content that helps them reach out to key partners, as well as lovers of their products, and that’s certainly the case for Moët Hennessy’s recently-launched show engageMH: The Power of Mixing Podcast.
Created and helmed by the company’s director of trade engagement Angela Sauvé, the podcast gives corporate buyers of the group’s luxury wines and spirits - as well as particularly dedicated fans - an insight into their heritage and pedigree, as well as tips for how to use them to create stunning cocktails. We spoke to Sauvé about going from podcasting novice to newly-minted convert, the use of podcasts as an engagement tool, and the Olympics of mixology.
How would you describe your podcast?
The Power of Mixing Podcast is something I'm really proud of. Moët Hennessy is the wines and spirits division of LVMH, and we know that people are really eager to learn about the exceptional brands, the heritage, the craftsmanship, and we've heard the request for people to get a peek behind the curtain.
People enjoy hearing from real-life brand ambassadors and representatives and industry pioneers who are passionate about the wines and spirits industry. And so that's what engageMH is all about - it's about inspiring people to celebrate, to tell the stories of our incredible brands and introduce them to people they may know - very famous faces in the industry, as well as up-and-comers. We give people an opportunity to have a platform to share their expertise and their journey.
Why did you start your podcast?
I’m part of a newly formed team at Moët Hennessey USA, which is the trade engagement and advocacy team, and we are an all-female-led group. We're focused on storytelling and educating, and that is happening for both internal colleagues at our company, as well as external audiences - people in the trade who are enthusiasts of our incredible portfolio.
So we knew that we had an opportunity to create and share these stories, this rich heritage and craftsmanship, in a medium that was really dynamic, and to do more to support our brands and our teams. So a podcast just seemed like a natural evolution of what we were already doing as a company.
What advice do you wish you’d been given when you first started?
This is pretty funny, but I was not an avid podcast listener until recently. I fully recognize the power of what a podcast can do. So the first advice that I received was, one, to become a podcast fan - and I took that advice. Then the second one, which I really appreciated, was from people who had successful podcasts.
They all told me that you have to have patience, because it's going to take time to discover what your show format is; what length should your podcast be? What is the flow? Who is this going to intrigue, who's going to want to listen in? You may have one idea of who it's for, but it might evolve. So patience was that second key bit of advice. You have to be patient.
How many people does it take to create an episode of your show?
So on my trade engagement team, there are three of us. I’m the main host, and my co-hosts are Laura Catlaw and Rich Buchanan. We always feature a special guest, and that special guest could be a couple people that help organize that, or it could be one. We also always feature a mixologist or an industry veteran, who will teach the audience how to mix an incredible cocktail.
And then finally, we have an incredible production team here in New York City, MCM Creative. We have an incredible team of audio engineers and editors. So shout out to Gabe and Nick and the whole team; Gab is one of our main liaisons and Maria. So we have four dedicated members there, but we get the attention of the full creative team. So, let's say more than 10, depending on the episode.
Do you monetise your podcast?
This is all part of our evolution and expansion of brand storytelling. Our primary goal is to connect on a genuine and personal level with the people who are passionate about our brands - whether they’re members of the trade, like a mixologist, a bartender or a sommelier, or if they're a wine enthusiast.
So, I think naturally, when you begin to appreciate a brand or understand it more, you're probably more eager to try it, so then it does inevitably become a sales tool. But at the heart of it, we really view our podcast as an engagement tool.
How do you promote your podcast?
We do have a YouTube channel, engageMH - we call ourselves a vodcast - and then we're available on Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts. And we also have an Instagram page.
Who listens to your podcast?
I think it's anyone who's interested in the categories that we have, and the brands that we have. So, it's a bit of everyone. We're finding a growing audience within our industry; people who are working in what we call a trade account. So maybe they're working at a liquor shop or a wine shop. I was just having dinner the other night here in New York City, and I was speaking to the sommelier and his team behind the bar.
And they were so excited to hear about our podcast, because they said ‘we are always looking for more exciting ways to train our staff. So this is great. I'm gonna have my staff listen to your scotch episode’. That's amazing. So we get a lot of the industry people but then, of course, we have a lot of fans who are just fans of the brand. We just launched our seventh episode about Hennessy, and we're starting to see that engagement from brand enthusiasts.
What have you learned about yourself since starting your podcast?
The patience that the people who craft our products have to create it - that story has to be told and shared. It's so interesting, it's so relevant and especially as one of the millennial generation, we want to know about that authenticity, we want to know what it takes to create something like Hennessy or a glass of Moët & Chandon. So I learned that my team and our special guests are incredibly talented storytellers. I mean, I knew that, but being able to see that talent in this new engaging medium is really special.
And when we've requested special guests to come on, when we request our bartenders or our mixologists, we ask our mixologists to make a cocktail sitting down. So it's sort of this kind of cocktail Olympics, if you will, but it just shows, the talent, the creativity, and the ingenuity. So it's not so much about what I learned, but the affirmation of knowing that my team was so incredibly talented.
What was the last podcast you listened to?
The VinePair Podcast - I have my alerts set, I know when the new episodes come out, so shout out to my friends at VinePair; I love them. I just think they cover such a wide range of topics within our industry, that range from beginners to maybe a little bit controversial, and I love it. I think they do such a great job with the podcast.