The Launch of DE-NADA Tequila: Young Entrepreneurs and a 5th Generation Distillery
Hanna Lee Communications is launching a new range of tequilas, DE-NADA, which is a collaboration between two young entrepreneurs, Daniel Neeson and Adam Millman, and Vivanco y Asociados, S.A. (NOM 1414), a revered 5th generation distillery in Jalisco, Mexico.
Now launching in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, with California imminent, DE-NADA Tequila honors generations of Mexican tradition and sustainability. Its authentic production methods include the use of estate-grown agaves, brick-oven roasting and local natural yeast, while shunning techniques like diffusion, as well as additives, artificial flavors and colors. The 40% ABV spirits represent the highest possible quality at very accessible price points: Blanco (SRP $38.99/750ml) and Reposado (SRP $42.99/750ml).
The challenge was to launch the range at the height of the pandemic, when most bars were shuttered or barely surviving on cocktails-to-go. Moreover, any bar lucky enough to be open had considerable inventory to go through before even thinking of taking on new spirits. Conventional thinking would dispense with bartenders, who were largely sidelined.
Our agency counseled the opposite: embrace the bartending community, especially at its time of greatest need, to make a deep positive impression and obtain vital third-party endorsements. A combination of word-of-mouth, bartender relations and highly targeted product sampling built a cadre of bartender advocates. It also laid the foundation for our media relations campaign now underway, where the endorsements of these bartenders play a key role.
The brand is off to a robust start, with sales taking off via e-commerce, retail stores and delivery services, like Drizly. Moreover, with the on-premise channel slowly reopening, DE-NADA now has the backing of top bartenders who are pouring its spirits with gusto and recommending it to their guests
Successfully launch and publicize DE-NADA Tequila
Position DE-NADA Tequila as a collaboration between two young Millennials and a revered 5th generation distillery
Communicate its message of quality, shunning methods like diffusion and eschewing additives, flavors and colorings
Support DE-NADA in achieving its case sales goals
Use a two-phased approach to establish “street cred” and leverage it for the media
Phase 1 – Intensive bartender relations and product sampling
Phase 2 – Intensive media relations
The agency analyzed its roster of mixological luminaries and key bartenders at top bars in New York City to be recommended as candidates to receive DE-NADA product samples
The agency then reached out to each bartender to see if they would be interested in receiving a product sample
Samples were hand-delivered by Daniel Neeson and Adam Millman, who engaged the bartenders in the vision behind DE-NADA and conducted guided tastings
The agency wrote an in-depth press release about DE-NADA, its range of tequilas, their unique production process that does not cut corners, and the leading bartenders who are genuine fans of the spirits, who were cultivated as part of our bartender relations campaign
Now underway, the campaign is already generating positive media exposure
The agency spearheaded DE-NADA’s social media presence focused exclusively on Instagram
This included developing the brand voice, as well as the architecture of a monthly “magazine” that focuses on the people, product and place that make DE-NADA and its stories unique
Given the initial focus on the trade, it is designed to build credibility and gravitas among top bartenders and spirits luminaries, rather than general consumers
Thanks to our bartender relations campaign, DE-NADA Tequila has been embraced by New York City’s top bartenders and is poured at The Dead Rabbit by Jillian Vose, at Seaborne by Lucinda Sterling and at The Sentry Flatiron at Hotel Henri by Gates Otsuji.
Other top bartender enthusiasts include Anthony Baker, formerly of The Aviary and now Cocktail Professor at Momentum Mixology, where he specializes in online home bartending education, and Brendan Bartley of Bathtub Gin
These bartenders have been incorporated into our announcement press release that is now being promoted
Initial coverage has been very positive, reaching more than 4,000,000 readers, and includes:
“A Tequila Brand Uses Word-of-Mouth to Appeal to ‘Enthusiasts’” by David Kaplan
The 30 Best Bottles of Tequila for Cinco de Mayo by Kirk Miller
The 30 Best Bottles of Tequila for Cinco de Mayo
Amplified the media relations results through social media marketing across multiple platforms
Positioning DE-NADA as a unique, high integrity range of tequilas by young visionaries and a revered distillery
Reinforced the brand’s messaging that it shuns shortcut methods, like diffusion, and eschews additives, flavorings and colorings