The new look is via Brown-Forman Design Group in conjunction with Duffy & Partners, a brand design company. The packaging shows the Hacienda in the front and back of the square bottles and uses colored ribbons to differentiate the Blanco, Reposado and Añejo expressions to help unify the line extension.
The effort is being supported by a national advertising campaign via Draftfcb-Chicago. The print, out-of-home, point-of-sale and online push plays off of the lucky-charm connotation of the horseshoe brand iconography also featured on the new packaging. Tag: "Good Fortune Awaits."
John Hayes, SVP and managing director of Herradura Brands, tells Marketing Daily that while the label has been a long-established premium brand in Mexico -- it began in 1870 and, with Don Julio, is one of the two leading premium brands in Mexico -- it has been neglected in the U.S., where Patron dominates.
That changed, he says, when Louisville, Ky.-based Brown-Forman bought Herradura two-and-a-half years ago. "Herradura had been under-marketed outside Mexico, so we spent the first year just getting our arms around the business and understanding the brand," he says, adding that the growth in the market is driven both by super-premium tequilas as well as $25-$35 brands like Milagro.
Hayes says Herradura's target is 35- to-45-year-old males. "That's the sweet spot; Patron has done a good job of getting broader acceptance based on trendiness. There hasn't been, up until the last five years, a recognition that there could be good sipping tequila. But people have discovered it, partly from traveling to Mexico.
"There is a whole market of things that are Mexican and Latino, whether food, fashion, or music. You even have 'tequila geeks' experimenting with different tequilas, and now tequila bars and restaurants that offer 'flights' of tequila (an assortment of brands served at the same time for tasting.)
In 2007, sales of tequila in the U.S. surpassed sales of the Mexican-made spirit in its home country for the first time, according to Euromonitor, which says U.S. sales are soaring because of tequila's uptown move from well-drink mixer to premium spirit, a change accompanied and propelled by brand proliferation and the profile of brands like Patron.
The group points out that sales in 2006 grew 34% in volume after the Trade in Tequila agreement between Mexico and the U.S. was signed. Other brands have expanded their tequila portfolios to exploit the premium side of the market. Diageo last year launched Jose Cuervo Platino in the UK, then in March launched Especial Silver, the first line extension of Cuervo's Especial Gold, in the U.S. with the message that it is best imbibed chilled in a shot.
Says Hayes,: "Basically, we are one of the older ones, an iconic brand in Mexico, but our packaging was not befitting the brand; so this is stage one."