SPEAK
EASY
ON SKINNYGIRL
THE BEVERAGE NETWORK:
How
do you explain Skinnygirl’s runaway
success, while so many other products
marketed toward women have failed?
BILL NEWLANDS:
The Skinnygirl brand
works on many different levels. First, it
matches up with a lot of megatrends that
are bigger than our industry: The interest
in low-calorie is huge—women want to
enjoy a cocktail without having to indulge
in an 800-calorie Margarita. There is also
the growing demand for premium as well
as convenience. And there was the inter-
est in creator Bethenny Frankel, whose fol-
lowing got the brand off to a tremendous
start because there was a loyal group of
people who were very interested in what
she was doing, and why.
But it has moved beyond that now, and
its widespread appeal is due to the fact
that it is sleek, simple and understandable.
Many products aimed at women try too
hard to be cute or corny. Skinnygirl does
all it needs to do to resonate with female
consumers without going over-the-top
about it. Our hope initially was to become
the Diet Coke of cocktailing and that is
how we’ve approached it.
TBN:
Skinnygirl has since expanded
into wine and vodka. How easily does
that brand equity transfer over to other
categories?
BN:
I believe people look first to the
brands they trust. We knew Skinnygirl
was becoming a trusted brand, and we
wanted to apply that trust across multiple
scenarios women enjoy.
There are 8 million women in this
country who drink margaritas, 26 mil-
lion who drink vodka and 42 million who
drink wine. So if you’ve created a trusted
brand, then the number of occasions
and the number of people that you can
appeal to, if you have your megatrends
right, just expands exponentially when
you broaden into related categories.
That’s how we thought about it as we
looked at the initial brand.
We recently asked ourselves: What
does the Skinnygirl consumer want that
we don’t currently offer? Prosecco. So
we will be launching one this fall. It’s
light, refreshing, tasty, and we’re pretty
excited about it.
ON FLAVOR
TBN:
The world of flavored vodka
seems so crowded. How do you
believe this category will evolve?
BN:
The flavor consumers today are very
specific about the flavor they want. If
Bill Newlands
President, North America
of Beam Inc.
The Beverage Network sits down with Beam Inc.
President Bill Newlands to talk about the future
of flavor, the popularity of bubbles and how to
make the most of consumer trust.
“MANY PRODUCTS
AIMED AT WOMEN
TRY TOO HARD TO BE
CUTE OR CORNY.”
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