Here is the interview given by the president of the Diamond Holding, Zaur Balagov, at an altitude of 337 m above Moscow at the top of the Ostankino TV tower, where the anniversary of the arrival of the brand "Valenki on the Russian market was celebrated in Russian scale and with European emotion.
A big laser show, promising to get into Guinness Book of World Records, in which felt boots did funny circled dances and climbed to the top of one of the highest buildings in Europe, the stunning fireworks in the best traditions of the great national holiday, and of course, pop stars, without whom no rich Russian feast can be held, with congratulations, songs and toasts in honor of the brand Valenki, which, once it had appeared, was immediately on everyone's lips ...
- Mr. Balagov, what inspired you to create such an interesting project and instill confidence in the victory?
- When you put a goal to create some kind of brand, it is very important to understand how the buyer will accept emotionally these products. Felt boots together with vodka, balalaika and hats with earflaps, have entered into Russian history as national symbols, a unique invention of our people. Felt boots are clear and close to any Russian person. This is the thing that warms the body and soul.
The Russian soul, with its openness, hospitality and warmth, and inspired me to create the brand VALENKI to tell the world about all the good and positive things that are in the Russian people. And I am absolutely sure that the VALENKI vodka will be well perceived by both the consumers of our country, and overseas buyers, as a truly Russian national product and a souvenir.
- The brand VALENKI is quite a young one, but has already announced its ambitions. Entering the market, you have been "lit up" in such a powerful PR-action as sponsorship of the World Cup, that can afford, according to our ideas, only industry leaders ... For what real progresses can you boast?
- Today, VALENKI vodka is represented in almost all the regions of the Russian Federation, and we successfully and quickly go to local and national chains. I understand that to create awareness of a new brand is impossible without strong PR-support, without investing in the promotion. That's why you will see us at the World Cup.
But not only there. In many cities of Russia, in Sochi and Irkutsk, Yakutsk, and Vladivostok in the best clubs we hold the VALENKI party, promotions with the VALENKI vodka, in order to quickly acquaint the audience with our high quality product.
The quality of our vodka is really excellent. We produce it at one of the most high-tech enterprises of the Russian Federation in the ecologically clean district of the Tula Region. The innovative system of filtering makes our vodka exceptionally soft and balanced on the palate. Plus, the electronic control of blending ensures the consistent high quality of the product that will satisfy the most demanding customer. No wonder that Valenki vodka was awarded with the Gold Medal for excellent quality at the International Exhibition "Prodexpo 2014".
Our marketing department constantly monitors the emotional and qualitative perceptions of the VALENKI vodka among different groups of consumers, and we have had the most positive reviews. It is very important to know the opinion of our vodka of connoisseurs and lovers of this drink, the opinion of leaders, public figures, pop, film and television stars, whose ratings and recommendations often have a significant impact on the average consumer and cause resonance in society. Therefore, you can often see celebrities at our corporate evenings and tastings. For example, today in Ostankino, our vodka is tasted and appreciated by Soso Pavliashvili, Vladimir Danilets and Vladimir Moiseenko, the popular duo "Rabbits", and Natasha Koroleva.
Valenki was tasted by public and state leaders Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Pavel Borodin, M. Shvydkoi, D.Gudkov, the lawyer G.Reznik, writers D.Bykov and V. Vishnevskii, the famous opera diva L.Kazarnovskaya and many others at our events. And we received very warm reviews.
I gladly drink Valenki myself with friends. I like to hold our bottle, I like the mild flavor, and aftertaste, it is easy to drink, and there is no headache in the morning. This indicates the high quality of the product itself. I'm sure lovers of this wonderful Russian drink, if try it once, they will only ever drink the VALENKI vodka.
Summing up, I can safely say that the market has accepted VALENKI vodka, and the buyer is quite loyal to our brand. The recognition of the VALENKI vodka, which is growing rapidly, and its highest quality, which we are proud of, is our biggest success over the past year!
- And you are sure that you will win with such a large competition on the alcohol market?
- A person who has a clearly thought plan and moves tirelessly and persistently towards his goal, wins on a highly competitive market. When you are focused on a specific purpose, and it is the meaning of your life, you will certainly reach it. As a Russian proverb says – An ambitious child will win a strong man!
We respect our strong competitors, but the competition does not frighten us. Competitors make us more creative and persistent. If we look, for example, at the history of Apple, Steve Jobs in his memoirs, notes that, despite the fact that IBM is a direct competitor and the largest company in the field of electronics, had a budget hundreds of times bigger to development, it did not scare of Apple, but made it more creative and innovative. The result is obvious, and there are no people today in the world, who are not familiar with the Apple logo.
We know and study our competitors, but look stubbornly and persistently for a buyer. It is the buyer who determines the winner, when choosing favorite items on the shelf.
And we see ourselves as leaders in the industry for the qualitative and emotional perception of our brand "Valenki" today.
- And finally, the main question - what will 2014 give to VALENKI and what are your goals as a global leader and a mastermind of the project?
- In 2014, I think and believe that the VALENKI vodka will consolidate its success, we will triple sales volumes. We are full of optimism and spirit in the near future to enter the markets of the CIS and Europe. And we are looking for well-established partners, through which we promote our Valenki. Many distributors from the markets of CIS and Europe are interested in our project at the last exhibition "Prodexpo 2014", and we are currently negotiating. And, of course, we place our VALENKI vodka at foreign exhibitions.
We are actively knocking on the HoReCa door, and hope to achieve significant results in this sector in 2014.
Our plan is to release some unusual accessories for the emotional perception of the brand. This, of course, will attract even more attention to our product.
And I really want to grow the culture of alcohol consumption in Russia, to the extent that people will drink real, aesthetically beautiful and high-quality vodka and have fun, not a headache or poisoning.
I hope that all lovers of this good and strong drink will know the brand name VALENKI in 2014. I want that our great country will be perceived around the world with our brand VALENKI, so Russian, high quality, kind, warm and spiritual.