Troy Patterson Analyzes the Latest Tequila News

Wine, beer, and other potent potables.
May 3 2013 5:22 PM

Patrón Saint

The latest tequila news, analyzed with the help of a business book by a woman calling herself “The Widow Patrón.”

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2. Oversized and over the top hats and fancy dresses aren’t the only things to make a big splash at this year’s Kentucky Derby. The Bonita Sprits Company and their celebrity partner hip hop star, actor, and now emerging entrepreneur Xzibit will turn up their ultra-sleek and luxury top shelf tequila, Bonita Platinum, in this year’s gift bags for several high society socialites and celebrities.

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“Hip-hop is a community that has embraced Patrón as its drink of choice, even rhyming about the brand in its music,” Edelstein writes, in a sentence that is very nearly charming in its awkwardness. She refers to the free media of hundreds of rap-lyric name drops as an “open architecture marketing style” and turns to FUBU founder and Lil Jon drinking buddy Daymond John for insight into the phenomenon: “It works because it’s organic. … It wasn’t necessarily marketed to us; it was adopted by us, and people like that sense of discovery.” One might add that the name Patrón—which means godfather and which conveys mafia-boss implications with or without translation—speaks to all subcultures that fetishize the Corleone work ethic.

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3. As part of Azuñia's aggressive strategic focus on developing a boutique brand into a marketing powerhouse, a new look and feel of the Azuñia bottle has launched into the market place. Available in April, the new design will align the brand with the concept of modern meets authentic. The new package incorporates, textured paper labels, wood caps, and hand crafted glass bottles to accentuate the award winning tequila.

A booze-biz axiom has it that the Patrón customer is paying top dollar not for the liquor but for the bottle. Edelstein is at her most delightfully direct in explaining precisely how right the saying is. Bringing the lessons of Galliano, Absolut, and for that matter Coca-Cola to bear on their approach to package design, Patrón and its widow devised a handcrafted bottle meant to evoke the luxury of perfume. “No one had ever spent that much on packaging in the spirits industry—it almost matched the price of the contents. … If additional investment was required to create a sense of luxury worthy of Patrón, so be it.” Consider her words a warning if you’re tempted to shell out a couple hundred extra pesos for Patrón’s apian logo this weekend, or for Azuñia’s “wood caps.” You’re better off selecting a bottle of a comparable product preferred by authorities such as Wine Enthusiast magazine and Talib Kweli: “We off of that Patrón, we sipping the Don Julio.”