How a Day Celebrating One of America’s Favorite Cocktails Can Open the Door to an Entire Industry
When was the first time you experienced tequila? Let me guess — a shot on your 21st birthday? And what was your experience? Perhaps a burning sensation, followed quickly by the taste of salt and a lime. A notorious first experience that for many Americans is inherently bad, it’s no surprise that it could deter you from ever trying tequila again. Because of this, the tequila industry has a unique challenge with Americans — one that much of Mexico, and the entire tequila industry, would like to change. Luckily, in as fast a moving world as we live, old is new, ugly is cool and second chances are a bound for many consumers. And when given a second chance, how can tequila companies capitalize on a moment that reintroduces them into a category? Three words. National Margarita Day!
How can you change perceptions?
We’re often hired to help stakeholders see companies differently. Whether it’s overcoming reputational challenges or asking an audience to challenge their long-held views, consider the triggers that may get an audience to rethink your offering.
Will sharing a piece of unknown information convince your audience to question their established beliefs? Maybe it’s focusing on specific barriers, and how a client can be the solution to overcome them. Or perhaps it’s finding a unique way of getting an audience to retry a product, under different circumstances, in a new environment. You don’t enjoy shooting or sipping tequila? Great, try it in a margarita or a paloma. Cultural moments, such as National Margarita Day, provide an easy entry (or reentry) point for consumers, whether it be for newcomers, or those with long-held beliefs looking to experience something new.
Understand your audience, and who they trust.
Sometimes, it’s less about a product, and more about who is delivering the message. Take tequila … in an exploding category where audiences are finally receptive to retrying an old college favorite, a spirits snob who is looking to discover each aspect of the drink — the agave, the natural sugars, the yeast — may engage differently than a tequila novice looking to discover a better margarita. Who will your audience be more receptive to — a tequila buff whose family may have worked the Agave fields for generations, or a bartender at your favorite trendy cocktail bar? Often the product takes a back seat to the person delivering the message. And a moment in time provides a platform for a spokesperson to reach a captive audience.
Experience something firsthand.
Consider a time when something sounded so awful, but once you buckled down and experienced it, your life (and perspective) changed forever. Maybe it was sushi, maybe it was skydiving, maybe it was tequila. As PR practitioners, we’re always telling people what they should do, how they should feel, information they need in their lives – but are we getting in front of them and putting product in hand? Experiences do matter. And whether it’s taking a group of editors down to the tequila region of Mexico to celebrate National Margarita Day, or a laundry class with a well-known celebrity homemaker trialing a new fabric softener, the experience can build a brand loyalist for life.
Do me a favor. This National Margarita Day (February 22), take your time, find a quality tequila, and give it another chance.