Originally posted December 11, 2009 by Chris Zarus of TequilaRack.
In reading the article below today, I find myself curious to know, and understand, the key differences and distinctions between this new “Luxury” Tequila brand and all the many others that have traveled this road before it. Perhaps you can distill it out of the below article or their website.
Please (really) post your comments back at the appropriate section below. I really want to know what I’m missing here.
I’m not trying to be a PaQui buzz kill, but much like life, unless a brand is born from “Luxury Linage”, it is a long, hard, “New Money” road to Luxury status. So, you’re either born with it or you have to buy into it. And, for the many owners of Tequila Brands out there, they just don’t have the resources, or the patience, to make their way into Luxury Brand status.
[Tweet “Unless a tequila brand is born from “Luxury Linage”, it is a long, hard, “New Money” road to Luxury status. “]
Therefore, the bigger question here, “What does it really take to make a Luxury Tequila brand?” is at the core of what many in the biz fail to grasp completely. They believe that if people like it and they price it the same as Patron, it somehow magically becomes so. It is by far a more complex sum of factors that eventually, equates to a luxury brand, …or not. It’s a dynamic process where the building of a luxury brand takes a lot of money, money, money, marketing, and time. Did I mention money?
So, just how does one go about building Luxury brand status for ones muy fabuloso Tequila?
Well, for those out there that care to know, here is the not so secret recipe to establishing a Luxury Tequila Brand:
1 Good quality Tequila recipe
1 Good quality & consistent set of ingredients
1 Good quality distillery
1 Set of replicable processes that will produce a consistent, quality product
1 industrial produced bottle, trademarked
1 Consistent Message
Great Global Distribution system
Time (10-20 years)
Preheat distillery, add quality ingredients, apply good Tequila recipe. Stir
Using replicable processes, make Tequila, set some aside in barrels to age
While waiting for Tequila, produce distinctive trademarked industrial bottles and closures
Use some of the money to buy into a great global distribution system
Fill Tequila bottles and ship to Great Global Distribution system
Sprinkle Consistent Message liberally with money, add Time
Wait (about 10-20 years)
[Tweet “just how does one go about building Luxury brand status for ones muy fabuloso Tequila?”]
As always, your thoughts and comments are most welcome. Now for the article:
Making People Happy Through Tequila? ‘PaQui’ Says ‘Si’
Dec. 10, 2009, Jeremy Nisen–HispanicBusiness.com
Dr. Javier Martinez was born in Mexico, but has lived in England. His journeys have taken him from the business sector into the study of politics, in which he earned his doctorate. But Dr. Martinez’s path has led him back home, at least in a career sense. While he currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and children, he’s heard and answered the call of his family business. Dr. Martinez is the President and CEO of Tequila Holdings, Inc., the company behind the new luxury brand known as PaQui.
PaQui, which is an Aztec word for “to be happy,” is Dr. Martinez’s answer to the opportunity he sees in the American alcohol market. It’s been on the market for only five months, but its creation was a long time coming.
Starting in 1997, from his position as an importer and distributor of bulk tequila brands, Dr. Martinez saw the shift in the premium tequila landscape, wherein brands like Patron began to take off.
“We, in Mexico, were not realizing how exciting the word ‘tequila’ is to the American consumer,” said Dr. Martinez. “I sensed potential was huge in the U.S.” At about 6 percent of the market, luxury tequila is the fastest-growing category, says Dr. Martinez, “but the base is small.” His segment of the market, he believes, could be 10 percent in the next 10-15 years.
Patron, says Dr. Martinez, got the packaging right. With PaQui, he sees an opportunity to make a similarly beautiful bottle, but pair it with a tequila that he feels “represents the best of the industry.”
“I thought, ‘Let’s bring tequila back to tequila,'” Dr. Martinez explained to HispanicBusiness.com, noting that his priority is to highlight the agave,
“Vodka is neutral, for example,” he said, “but tequila — particularly white tequila — is very rich in flavor and aroma compounds.”
PaQui is made with a process he calls “selective distillation,” a method that his company spent two years developing. The result, said Dr. Martinez, is “very drinkable, clean, smooth, and finishes with ‘I need some more!”
It’s a far cry from the tequila many people aged 35 or older may have experienced. The perception imparted in the 1980s and 1990s by lower market brands, notorious for causing headaches, is what PaQui — and indeed the Mexico-based tequila industry in general — is attempting to overcome.
“The consumer trading up,” said Dr. Martinez, “for less quantity, more quality.” Those making high-end, premium tequila are attempting to answer that call.
For the neophyte premium tequila drinker, Dr. Martinez says “the ‘silvera’ first.” That will give the best idea of what the agave plant tastes like. From there, consumers can figure out how they prefer drinking it — trying it neat or with ice or in a margarita.
“One of the advantages of good tequila is that it’s very mixable,” Dr. Martinez advised. “You can mix it with almost anything and retain the characteristic of the tequila. Even in a margarita, you can tell what brand is being used. It’s an amazing spirit, unlike any other.”
After trying the silvera, Dr. Martinez said should a consumer want to experience “more exotic flavors,” try the “reposado,” which is slightly aged and retains some flavors imparted by the wood barrels used in the aging process. After that, one should try the “anejo,” which has been aged even more.
Source: HispanicBusiness.com (c) 2009. All rights reserved.
Read the rest here:
Originally posted December 11, 2009 by TequilaRack.
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6 thoughts on “PaQui Tequila: Just Another Self Proclaimed Luxury Tequila?”
I think you have the correct basic recipe for
“luxury” brand creation.
Only issue I’d question is the 10 – 20 year waiting/building period. A great “luxury” brand could be built MUCH quicker if the CONSISTENCY was a big part of the equation. Unfortunately many new brands have taken production shortcuts to their final product(s) and their inconsistency and generally “lazy” flavors run rampant in the marketplace.
A truly “worthy” luxury” brand will rise to the top and stay there if they seed the market correctly by identifying trend-setters to promote the brand AND they keep the quality up for the duration of the brand-building (I believe this may be the toughest part).
Stay the course new LUXURY brands! And send tasting samples to “point people” like me, at http://tequilawhisperer.com
Can you think of 1 brand that took less than 10 years to get to critical mass?
At issue here is what you consider the term “luxury” to mean. A superior liquid? or a regular product that spent millions of dollars and decades of marketing to build a brand name.
The intent with PaQui is to focus on creating a superior liquid, which should be the hallmark of any “luxury” brand. PaQui has only been in the market for 3-4 months and yet demand for it continues to rise because folks who pay premium prices, expect high quality product and not just a pretty package.
Having interviewed several tequila brand owners over the years, I’ve discovered two schools of thought in brand building.
The slick, gimmicky and impersonal “deep pockets” style, and the “old school” way.
With “deep pockets” a bored investor finds a pre-existing tequila that he can slap his private label onto a pretty bottle; hire a PR firm to target his market; use social media in a mediocre fashion; and find influencers to blog reviews.
His goal is to be the next Patrón and to sell out for millions of dollars so he can go onto the “next big thing.”
The “old school” brand owner/distiller understands that building a brand takes time, dedication, and not forsaking quality for quantity. He is careful about his alliances, and for him, social media not only means using Twitter, Facebook, and influencers, but building relationships one handshake at a time.
His goal is to produce a tequila that he can proudly add his name to, and serve to his friends and family.
In either case, I’ve seen where there is a heavy investment in either time (just met with an agavero/tequilero who has been working for 16 years to finally get his tequila into the US market), or money (one owner of a popular brand confessed to me that he had invested $20 million in his tequila).
Which process produces a more enduring tequila brand?
I’m convinced that taste–not price–is the final judge.
“Can you think of 1 brand that took less than 10 years to get to critical mass?”
Not being privy to sales numbers of these Companies (and not exactly knowing what constitutes CRITICAL MASS) I could offer up at least 2 possibles:
Cabo Wabo & Prartida.
Lipp, these are perfect examples of the equation/recipe that I have outlined above where these brands have inherited their Luxury Lineage from their brand owners, rather than having to be built entirely by marketing like Patron. Another example will be Tequila Fortaleza. Again, luxury is much easier to inherit than to build.
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