Let’s Talk Tequila


Whether it’s the tequila talking in Margaritaville, chanting ‘tequila’ to a mambo rhythm, or just another tequila sunrise, it’s hard to name a spirit that’s been more sung about than North America’s first distilled spirit. Another interesting fact, this blue agave based drink is a product of origin, meaning it can only be made in designated states within Mexico[1].

Everyone has a story about tequila and it’s no wonder that the short and wide based bottle design of some of the original tequila brands emanated from the idea the spirit is something to be shared while storytelling at the dinner table without obstructing views between family and friends connecting with each other.

And speaking of family and friends, it’s these personal circles that tequila drinkers rely on for learning about the spirit – more so than their vodka, gin or rum drinking counterparts.

A re-contact study (Q4/18) of the Ipsos Affluent Survey research shows just under half (44%) of tequila drinkers rely on their family and friends for recommendations, coming in second only to in-store browsing (59%) as a source of inspiration. Compare that to 41% of vodka drinkers, 28% of rum drinkers or 19% of gin drinkers, and it’s clear tequila drinkers still identify and connect with this idea of sharing.  

But advertising also has a role to play.

Compared to any other spirit or wine, tequila drinkers are twice as receptive to learning about tequila or discovering new brands through advertising (whether on TV, in a magazine, billboard, in store or online). Twelve percent of tequila drinkers say they’ve been inspired by or learn about tequila this way, compared to an average of 5% for other spirits and liquors.

Breaking it down further, 16% of Affluents say magazines are a key information source for learning more about tequila, with just 10% citing it as a source for learning about gin and 7% for both vodka and rum. When it comes to content, digital media is contributing to the tequila knowledge bank – as 26% leverage online articles and reviews as a source of learning about tequila, compared to an average of 17% doing so to learn about other spirits and liquor. In addition, 13% seek inspiration from social media, with Twitter and Facebook being their platforms of choice.  

When it comes to overall tequila knowledge, it’s clear this wisdom is the domain of males, with 60% considering themselves to be knowledgeable on the topic compared to only 37% of women. This may not seem surprising, but in looking at other spirits, gin is the opposite with 72% of females consider themselves gin savvy and rum knowledge is divided almost evenly across genders while men considering themselves to be slightly more knowledgeable about vodka (62%) compared to women (52%).

However, when it comes down to what actually motivates these consumers to make a purchase, flavor and brand are the top two choice drivers for both tequila and premium tequila. This is similar to vodka, but different to rum or gin where price and previous enjoyment factor in respectively after flavor.

So, while it’s clear to see there are some similarities in the ways affluent consumers select and consume spirits, there are also potential untapped messaging and marketing opportunities brands can leverage. Crafting messaging targeting female consumers that will educate them on the history and crafting of the spirit may help bridge this “wisdom gap” seen across genders. Also, given that in-store browsing comes in as a top source of inspiration, marketers could leverage in-store associates and even pop up tasting events, to raise brand awareness – accompanied with story-telling to highlight the rich and interesting history around tequila.

Contact us to learn more about the spirits preferences and purchasing habits of affluent consumers. 

[1] Source: proof.media/a-brief-history-of-tequila (Grace Tyler)