A celebrity owned tequila joins a beverage alcohol powerhouse
Sidney Frank Importing Co. (known for Jägermeister and the creators of Grey Goose Vodka) has been named the exclusive importer of Casamigos Tequila. The brand is owned by actor/director/producer George Clooney, nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gardner and real estate mogul Mike Meldman.
Usually, I don’t think very highly of celebrity owned or endorsed spirits products but this one sounds to me like a winner.
The previous winners — few and far between
I can only think of a few such products that have made it with dozens falling by the wayside. The top of the list is P Diddy and Ciroc. He has a stake in the brand and works hard at marketing it. Add Dan Akroyd and Crystal Head Vodka to the list – while not a home run, it has a presence and a following. Bringing up the rear is Skinny Girl, which came out of the starting block strong with Bethany Frankle, but seems to me to be languishing.
Will this one make it?
In my opinion, yes.
First, Sidney Frank Importing Co. (SFIC) is a significant player in the booze business with the infrastructure; sales and marketing players; and distributor network that’s top of the game. The gents running it are seasoned veterans and brand builders and so, put a double check mark next to trade marketing box.
But, the consumer is the ultimate judge and most critical component of brand success. Casamigos will need to challenge some pretty tough top shelf competition including Patron, Don Julio and, strong newcomer, Avión (my personal favorite). Oh, and let’s not forget Mr. Diddy’s new tequila venture, DeLeon Tequila.
What are some of the key elements of successful new entries? Awareness, curiosity, discovery and willingness to try.
Imagine this… you’re in a bar with friends and someone says, “Hey, let’s have some tequila.” Someone else says, “Great idea, I’d like to try that new George Clooney tequila.” Another says, “Oh, I love George Clooney, great actor and seems like a decent, down to earth guy. Let’s buy a round.”
So… thanks to SFIC’s clout, the bar or restaurant will have Casamigos in stock. And, thanks to George Clooney, the consumer is very likely to try the brand.
In the brand building equation, if there is uniqueness and relevance (Clooney and tequila) awareness will very often lead to trial.
The most important elements in the equation, however, are brand adoption and loyalty (sustained usage). If the quality of the tequila is high and Mr. Clooney helps in the promotion, I think the brand will be around for the long run.
So, move over Diddy, there may be a new player in town.