Posted on | May 30, 2012
Written by | Kristen Wolfe Bieler
Wider Distribution and Television Campaign Play Key Roles in Brand Development
“When it rains, it pours,” says Jenna Fagnan, referring—in this case—to all the good things that have been happening in avalanche succession for Tequila Avión, the brand that has turned many heads since it launched in July 2010.
It started in Tucson, AZ, last October, where Tequila Avión starred in the Avión Tamarindo Margarita, which was crowned World’s Greatest Margarita at the Sixth Annual World Margarita Championship. A panel of renowned judges including mixologist Dale DeGroff and spirits expert Robert Plotkin evaluated countless margaritas before declaring the one with Avión, the best.
Then, in early April at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Avión picked up five awards: A Double Gold, two Silvers, the World’s Best Tequila and the most coveted of all—Best White Spirit. “We beat out all vodkas and gins, which was huge for us,” says Jenna Fagnan, President, Tequila Avión. “It’s about as high an honor as you can get, particularly at this competition, with so many brands entered.” Fagnan reports that almost instantly the market responded to the announcement, and excitement from the trade and consumers led to a surge in sales figures almost overnight.
Avión Takes Off
Since forming a joint venture with Pernod Ricard last year, Avión has been widening its distribution at a dizzying pace—the brand is now available in all 50 states. “Our partnership with Pernod Ricard has been incredibly beneficial, giving us unbeatable speed to market and also allowing us to expand internationally more quickly that we could have otherwise. U.S. consumers will soon be seeing Avión when they travel outside the country,” says Fagnan. They might also see it in the air. In early May, Delta rolled out a program to include Avión and Avión Margaritas on all of their flights for all cabins. “Delta previously did not have a tequila, and they added one because they were so impressed with Avión,” explains Fagnan.
Eager to spread the word to an ever wider audience, the Avión team launched its first television advertising campaign in May. No stranger to TV (the brand’s launch was followed by its 2010 debut on the HBO show “Entourage”), Avión is going after its target 25-to 40-year-old consumer market with the “Choose Pleasure” tagline in television spots on national networks like ESPN and E!, among others.
The “Choose Pleasure” campaign—which Fagnan explains as the idea that tequila should not be painful—is part of Avión’s goal of becoming the numbertwo ultra-premium tequila in the U.S., behind Patrón. “That was my mission when we started the company,” says founder Ken Austin. “There’s a huge gap between number-one and number-two, which is where I saw a massive consumer opportunity.”
But no matter how big Avión grows, one thing will never change—the quality of what is in the bottle. “We are growing very fast, but we are adamant that we don’t change one thing about the way we make Avión, or its raw material—agave grown 7,000 feet above sea level,” says Fagnan. “We would not be in the place we are today if it weren’t for the quality of our tequila, so we can’t compromise.”
✵ Avión Silver: This vibrantly fresh tequila offers an alluring mix of mint, rosemary, crisp grapefruit and black pepper; the flavors linger on the exceedingly long finish. SRP: $40-43
✵ Avión Reposado: Floral and delicate, with aromas of peach, cherry and subtle, this tequila still shows its agave character upfront, bolstered by notes of oak and vanilla. SRP: $45-47
✵ Avión Añejo: After two years in American oak casks, the richly styled añejo is marked by vanilla, caramel, coconut and maple flavors, underscored by intense tones of roasted agave, fruit and herbs. SRP: $50-55