Cheers to Change: Kendall Jenner's 818 Tequila Reinvention

Cheers to Change: Kendall Jenner's 818 Tequila Reinvention

Kendall Jenner walked into the bar with a ladder because she thought 818 belonged on the top shelf - turns out it was better suited a little lower. While this dad joke might make you cringe, the truth behind it will make you sit up.

Launched in 2021 by the model, influencer and celebrity, 818 was originally envisioned as a premium Tequila with a price tag ranging from $45 to $65 a bottle. Surprisingly, sales and success lagged and the brand was written off as more celebrity-greed. The initial misstep was assuming their target audience was aligned with the traditional luxury tequila consumer, when in fact, 818’s core consumer base was young adults who were fans of Kendall Jenner and the Kardashians.

However Kendall recently made a big shift to the brand, re-staging it for growth and adoption, leading to a ton of successful momentum. Here’s how she did it:

  1. Identifying Core Consumers: Understanding who your core consumers are is essential for effective marketing. In the case of 818 Tequila, they discovered that their primary consumer base was young adults influenced by celebrity culture rather than traditional luxury alcohol consumers. 

  1. Adapting Pricing Strategy: Adjusting the price point to match the financial capabilities of the target audience is crucial since most of their consumers are of average affluence. 818 Tequila was able to reduce their prices from $45-$60 to $20-$30 a bottle by renegotiating contracts with their vendors. This allows them to steal some market share from brands like Jose Cuervo, Juarez, El Jimador, etc.

  1. Tailoring Marketing Strategies: Developing marketing campaigns that resonate with the interests and preferences of your target audience is vital for brand success. By launching initiatives like "Kendall’s College Tour" and collaborations with popular brands like Chamberlain Coffee, 818 Tequila is now able to connect with their core consumers on a deeper level. Engaging with the target audience through events, collaborations, and experiences helps to build brand affinity and loyalty. By partnering with college bars and brands that resonate with young adults, 818 Tequila strengthened its connection with its core consumers.

By recognizing the disconnect and realigning their marketing efforts and pricing strategy to cater to their actual audience, 818 Tequila was able to revitalize their brand and improve their sales trajectory. Their pivot underscores the importance of continuously learning about your target audience, adapting strategies accordingly, and maintaining a strong connection with consumers to drive brand growth and success.

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