This famous cognac, which is the pride of the country, did not appear thanks to a Frenchman. Immediately, the retired captain registered his own company, located in the same Cognac.
A century later, the Hennessy cognac house, which by that time had already become famous not only in Europe, but also in America, had its own emblem. It turned out to be transferred from the family coat of arms of the Irishman - a hand in armor was holding a brought halberd. It is interesting that in those days in France itself they did not know about such a drink as cognac. So, thanks to Richard Hennessy, the name of the provincial town became a symbol of a noble and refined alcoholic beverage.
Thanks to his Irish roots, Richard Hennessy quickly mastered a very important British market that has traditionally been defied by French winemakers. This made London a real center of global brand expansion. The company was particularly successful when it entered the American market in 1794. The fact is that the North American States won independence from the British largely thanks to the French. That is why the goods from this country enjoyed almost political support.
By the early 1790s, Hennessy owned 40% of all French cognac exports. The company invested colossal funds for those times in the production and distribution of its product - 150 thousand pounds. As a result, much more eminent and well-known competitors were left behind.
In 1800, the company and the earthly world were abandoned by its founder, Richard Hennessy. The son of an Irishman, Jacques was able to significantly improve the family business, moreover, he gave him the same name that is known all over the world today: Jas Hennessy & Co. But it was not easy for Jacques - at the beginning of the 19th century, Europe was engulfed in the Napoleonic wars, which did not contribute to the development of trade. The foresight of the founder helped, who, even before the start of Napoleon's campaigns and the continental blockade of England, transferred trade affairs to the Belgian ports of Bruges and Ostend. This territory retained immunity from hostilities.
Napoleon lost power, and Hennessy had two unusual dealers in England. The first was the French grind of the Marquis de Talleyrand, who distinguished this cognac. The second was the cholera epidemic that broke out in 1832. British doctors recommended the drink to their patients as a preventive and disinfectant. This is how French cognac, in particular Hennessy, became popular as a pleasant medicine. Also, the brand's position has strengthened in England thanks to a special order from the future king, and then Prince Regent, George IV. He asked Hennessy to make a drink specially for him using old cognac alcohol of light color and exceptional quality. In English it sounds like "very superior old pale cognac" or V.S.O.P. The result pleased the monarch, together with him all the British high society paid tribute to the Hennessy brand. And the abbreviation itself stuck, today it is used by many other manufacturers.
By 1840, thanks to a London trading agency, up to 90% of the brand's products were exported. Many royal houses, including Russian emperors, have become clients of the company. Elite cognac began to be supplied to St. Petersburg since 1818, and after 10 years a sales office was opened there. The descendants of Richard Hennessy did not confine themselves to North America and Europe, they began to purposefully conquer the whole world. The brand's products appeared in Asia and Australia, which was quite unusual for the essentially conservative cognac market. The company's management was able not only to adapt its product taking into account the national characteristics of different countries, but also to find sources of creative inspiration in foreign cultures. For example, the rounded Hennessy branded bottles are for many a reflection of Japanese artistic traditions.
In 1864 in France, thanks to the head of the company, Maurice Hennessy, the country's first factory for the mass production of cognac appeared. It was then that the famous brandy trade mark was registered one and the first. Mr. Hennessy in 1865, in order to protect his product from counterfeiting, introduced another novelty - the drink began to be sold not in barrels, as was traditionally before, but in bottles. In the 1860s, thanks to the brand, the star system appeared, which still exists today. They indicated the age of the cognac spirits used in the blend. In 1870, Maurice Hennessy introduced the world to a new brandy, which appeared thanks to a mixture of old spirits from family stores. This is how Hennessy XO was born. The second half of the name comes from eXtra Old, which means "very old". The novelty created a sensation, laying the foundation for a whole class of alcoholic beverages. The current Hennessy XO contains over a hundred cognac spirits, each of which has at least ten years of aging. Some of the samples were generally produced over a hundred years ago.
In the 1880s, French winemaking was on the verge of collapse - the entire berry harvest was destroyed by pests, phylloxera. Only in 1888, special grape seedlings that could withstand phylloxera were brought to Cognac from distant Texas, this helped to overcome the crisis.
The Hennessy brand was the first among cognac producers to use new marketing techniques, which are now called "image advertising". The owners of the company did their best to ensure that any crowned family in Europe, all important social events were accompanied by a bottle of Hennessy. As a result, the brand began to be associated with success and luxury, and its consumers were considered the “cream of society”.
A similar strategy was continued in the first decades of the 20th century. Hennessy marketers noticed that the places of kings and princes began to be occupied by the rich, who by any means sought to get into the high society. This phenomenon was used to its fullest - advertising was full of images of actors, writers, ballerinas and just celebrities with a glass of Hennessy in their hands. The presence of this brand on the menu of the most fashionable establishments, hotels and cruise ships has become mandatory. There were proposals even to exhibit bottles of elite cognac in museums, which was taken seriously by many. But even more unexpectedly, the ad worked in the United States. There, in the days of Prohibition, they suddenly remembered the medicinal properties of this cognac. Indeed, this is exactly how England was conquered in due time. Now "Hennessy" is being sold in American pharmacies according to a similar scheme. Naturally, it was recommended to use the drink exclusively for medical purposes.
In the second half of the last century, mass production reigned. This had a bad effect on the manufacturers of elite and prestigious products. In 1968, the company shipped the millionth box of its cognac, and already in 1971, the head of the company, Kilian Hennessy, after long doubts, nevertheless sold his share of the family business to the Moet & Chandon house. The new owners have already become famous for their champagne. Claude Moet began trading in fizzy drink at about the same time as Richard Hennessy was engaged in cognac. And 17 years after that deal, Moet @ Chandon decided to join the largest holding company Louis Vuitton, which specializes in creating luxury goods.
The head of the company, Bernard Arnault, quickly set things up, making LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy) one of the largest in Europe. By integrating many different companies into a single scheme, Arnault was able to enable brands to retain some of their independence in decision making. This also applies to Hennessy - mergers and acquisitions did not break the traditional management structure and corporate identity of products. But nepotism is very atypical for modern business. Today the company is managed by the eighth representative of the glorious dynasty - Maurice-Richard Hennessy. The main winemaker and keeper of the cellars is the seventh descendant of Jan Filho, who assumed this position in 1800.
We can safely say that the Hennessy house successfully combines incompatible things. Not only are premium products targeted at the picky user entering the market, but the brand is also a leader in the mass cognac market. So, in 2001, Hennessy sold a record number of bottles - 35 million. In its niche, the brand controls a third of all sales, twice overtaking its closest competitor in terms of volume.