My Inc. article yesterday reflected my journey from a pipe-dream I had in business school of starting a vodka brand to meeting the CEO of Absolut’s attempt to regain the lead it lost decades ago, Jonas Tahlin. He’s taking on the challenge in part by connecting himself personally with the brand.
He has lots of resources but a lot to lose.
The article, “So You Want to Build a Luxury Vodka?,” begins
So You Want to Build a Luxury Vodka?
Premium is more personal and vulnerable than ever. Do you have the guts to do it? Jonas Tahlin shares what it takes behind Absolut’s foray with Elyx.
I had a great idea for a vodka in business school. Starbucks had just acquired Ethos Water and their model of branding and differentiating a commodity with helping others seemed perfect to apply to vodka. The word “vodka” comes from the word water, after all.
I would create a vodka where a share of the profits would help others. Tom’s and Warby Parker didn’t exist yet, so my brand–Social Spirits was the planned name–would have been at the forefront.
I did my research and found it wasn’t hard to start a vodka. I assembled a team and got started.
Then we learned the hurdles of starting a premium vodka and stopped. In fact, I came to believe you’d have to be crazy to do it.
Read the rest at So You Want to Build a Luxury Vodka?