Courvoisier's marketers came up with the idea of funding a social network in answer to the challenge of making cognac more relevant to a younger consumer.
Over a million pounds later, the result was the 'Courvoisier Future 500 network', or Future 500 for short, with The Observer as a media partner.
While it parallels LinkedIn with its own online platform, Future 500 was planned to be exclusive, with judges approving applications.
It admitted the first 500 members in November last year and has just added around 400 more.
Courvoisier also decided to go beyond online interaction by hosting monthly breakfast and evening events to encourage members to meet in person.
The idea is that by helping emerging, talented people in different fields to network and further their careers, Future 500 gives Courvoisier a more progressive image and introduces the drink to a new audience.