Featured Speakers: Nicole Portwood (Tito’s Handmade Vodka) and Andrew Caravella (Sprout Social)
Tito himself (yes he’s a real guy) said it best: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.” Well fun we sure had during this lively session with Tito’s VP Brand Marketing, Nicole Portwood and Sprout Social’s Andrew Caravella. And even though we were laughing along with Nicole as she recounted stories about Tito, we were also compelled by how incredibly genuine she was – not unlike the Tito’s brand itself. Nicole talked at great lengths about authenticity – how important it is for Tito’s to come off as human as possible to their fans. Even the use of the word “fans” in lieu of customers struck us as a purposeful effort to continue fostering a genuine relationship with those who love their brand.
Over the 20 years Tito’s has been around (we were surprised too), they’ve done everything in their power to maintain their humble roots. They’ve spent a lot of time on the road talking with fans and telling their story. They’ve made an effort to respond to every single post, email – even handwritten letter – to continue to weave the thread of authenticity into the very fabric of their brand. And even though it’s their desire and ultimate goal to tap into the incredible storytelling potential of Snapchat, they won’t commit to it until they’re able to find the right way to have an authentic presence on the platform.
At the center of it all is always the fans. In considering any marketing effort, Nicole always poses the question, ““If I were on the receiving end of this, what would I think?” She encourages those in the industry to step back, and take off your brand hat. Create fan delight – it gives them a reason to advocate for you as a brand.
“We in the spirits industry know nothing good happens after 11pm.”
“When we go into a new channel, we go in as a person, not as a pushy brand.”
“To be as human as possible all the time, you have to open yourself up to these non-conforming, human things, and connect with people not necessarily on a product-driven level.”
“We’re only here a short amount of time – let’s focus on the fun stuff, on the good stuff.”
“I love that you said you were recommended by a friend. You didn’t find out about it from a magazine. You found out about from someone you love and trust. That is a much more powerful brand recommendation.”
— Elly Deutch (@EllyDeutch) April 26, 2017
— Ashley Covelli (@bigflavorsblog) April 26, 2017
— Alex Kevork (@aakevo) April 26, 2017
Case Study: Tito’s Handmade Vodka Establishes Brand Loyalty with an Authentic Social Strategy
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