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Brand Profile: Sauza Refreshes

Posted on  | May 20, 2015   Bookmark and Share
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New look & expression sure to shake up premium tequila sector.

Passed down through three generations of the Sauza family, Sauza Tequila has been defining authentic tequila for more than 140 years at the La Perseverancia distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. And now it’s getting a makeover.

As the first tequila exported around the globe—now the second largest premium tequila brand in the world, enjoyed in over 50 countries and growing—one might say that the makeover is overdue. But rebranding is not something to be rushed—especially with a product steeped in tradition yet still opening in new markets. This, the largest rebrand in Sauza history, is part of Beam Suntory’s global strategy, designed to drive continued growth in North American markets as well as expansion into emerging markets including Japan, Brazil, Russia and China.

For Megan Frank, Senior Brand Director of Tequila at Beam Suntory, the refresh is well-timed to build on the brand’s momentum within an evident trend of premiumization. “While value and premium brands are the backbone of the U.S. market, the fastest growth has been in high-end and super-premium brands,” says Frank. “Sauza has maintained its strong position, with Sauza Blue consistently and significantly outperforming the standard tequila segment.”

In the U.S. market, Sauza is keying both on Americans’ longstanding love affair with the margarita and their newfound appreciation of agave. “We know that margaritas are the #1 cocktail in the U.S., and that it’s a drink primarily enjoyed and consumed by women,” says Frank, asserting the brand’s strategy of aligning Sauza as the LDA female consumer’s go-to choice for margaritas. At the same time, the new packaging puts fresh emphasis on Sauza’s use of 100% blue agave. “In recent years, we’ve seen consumers demonstrate a heightened awareness of 100% agave tequilas and an increased interest in these premium variants,” Frank explains.

What Else Is New

Across the portfolio, the new packaging will include a redesigned label overlaid on a depiction of the brand’s iconic Gallo (Spanish for rooster), a cherished symbol of the Sauza brand that represents courage, passion and perseverance. The broad-shouldered new bottle shape will also feature the Sauza crest and monogram embossed on the glass. Don Cenobio Sauza’s signature will appear on labels along with the La Perseverancia distillery story to reinforce the family heritage in Jalisco, Mexico.

With the new Sauza packaging comes a re-naming as well: Sauza Blue will become Sauza Signature Blue, and will feature a premium cork closure.

Trend Spotting

In addition to dovetailing with the tequila market’s premiumization, Beam Suntory is also keeping tabs on other trends in the sector. “Silver tequila is becoming increasingly popular,” says Frank. “Simultaneously, the innovation trend has consumers demanding tequila with expanded flavor profiles, which includes flavored tequila, as well as uniquely aged tequila.” The brand’s latest innovation, Sauza Cucumber Chili, with a fresh and fiery flavor, is also just  hitting shelves.

Sauza Tequila’s refreshed identity overall will offer consumers a richer and more invigorating brand experience, while also reinforcing the rich heritage, value and quality they have grown to expect from Sauza.  “As consumers continue to trade up on tequila worldwide, we anticipate 100% agave tequilas will become the category standard, and Sauza Signature Blue will become the heart of the Sauza brand,” says Frank. “We’re always looking at interesting and authentic ways to innovate the brand, provide consumers unique offerings, and broaden our appeal to new audiences.” 


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