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by R. Asmerom

Have you ever wondered what it takes to start your own liquor brand? Needless to say, news of  reality star Bethenny Frankel selling her Skinny Girl margarita company for over $100 million and reports that Diddy’s Ciroc deal composes much of his net worth has certainly peaked the interest of many a budding entrepreneur.

It is indeed a lucrative business, but not for the faint of heart, nor for those lacking the weighty financial means. It takes tenacity and creativity to produce your brand and get your product noticed to the point of viability in the crowded marketplace.

“Building a brand of liquor is very analogous to walking into a bar as a single guy,” said Charles Vaughn, Chairman and CEO of Premium Beverage Imports, Ltd. “If you see something that catches your eye, a beautiful woman, you tend to focus on it, you may approach her, and you start to talk to her and get to know her a little bit. It’s the same thing with liquor, if you see something that catches your eye on the back bar, you’ll ask the bartender about it, maybe you’ll try a sip of it, get a taste of it.”

To help us demystify the business of liquor, we consulted Vaughn, an expert who consults entrepreneurs on building liquor brands and who launched two vodka brands himself, Atomiq and LeSin, as well as Walter Moore, the co-owner, president & chief evangelist of Campo de Encanto Pisco, to help us understand the steps involved in starting and building a successful product line.

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