Tin Can Marketing

Tin Can Marketing

Case Studies

TEQUILA TASTERS

Blue Agave Mexican Cantina

(March - September 2002)
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Overview
The Blue Agave Mexican Cantina opened in Downtown Scottsdale in January
2001 and slowly built a reputation for quality Mexican-inspired dishes and a
great happy hour. It had a steady customer base, but was not identifying and
tracking it. Publicity efforts garnered regular mentions for the restaurant in
newspapers, magazines and television, but the summer months were coming
and more was needed. The owners also wanted to shift from the happy hour
reputation and raise awareness for its wide selection of tequilas. A Tequila
Dinner in November 2001 partnered with a charity to raise money and publicity,
but had low attendance in part because of the September 11 downturn.

Strategy
Tin Can Marketing assessed the successes and shortfalls of the Tequila Dinner. It
had received media coverage on three television stations and highlighted new
menu items that used tequila in the recipes. But outreach to potential attendees
and new customers was hampered by the $65 price tag and a stigma associated
with tequila. Nobody wanted to get wasted on a Sunday evening.

Tin Can suggested an alternative to a formal dinner in the form of Tequila
Tasters. These low-cost events were positioned to take the mystique out of
tequila. For $20, attendees would get four tasting samples of tequilas, a sampler
plate of appetizers, a commemorative shot glass and tequila fun facts. The events
would be held after work, from 6:00 – 7:30 making them informal get togethers
for tequila lovers or the tequila curious.

The Blue Agave would get support for its liquor distributors in print,
promotional and prize materials. The distributors also brought in their tequila
experts to answer questions. This support made it a “no cost” event for the
restaurant.

Results
The tasters started with a bang. The uniqueness of the events and the diversity of
this misunderstood liquor piqued the interest of media. A preview piece of the
first event in the East Valley Tribune helped attract 30 people. Future events
generated regular highlighted calendar mentions in the entertainment sections of
The Rep, Get Out and New Times.

The tasters provided a foundation for the Blue Agave’s customer database,
which went from a list of 50 friends and family to nearly 200 regulars.
Distributors also were pleased with the events as each attendee became a tequila
aficionado – and new customer.

Most importantly, the events were a new revenue source. Costs were covered by
distributors, attendees typically ordered dinner and / or more drinks, and the
lively atmosphere on an off night brought in people from off the street. Revenues
for Tequila Taster nights increased an average of 10%.

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