When Second Really is the Best
Sometimes it pays to follow a good act.
When Donna DeCunzo-Taddeo set out to launch a new high-end tequila in 2000, her plans were decidedly ambitious: take on market leader The Patrón Spirits Company of Las Vegas, which had dominated the ultra-premium tequila niche since creating it more than a decade earlier. Liquor retailers and distributors doubted she could lure consumers away from Patrón, but DeCunzo-Taddeo pressed ahead anyway, co-founding Voodoo Tiki Tequila in Lighthouse Point, Florida, with her husband, John Taddeo.
From DeCunzo-Taddeo's perspective, entering the market late actually allowed for some advantages. For instance, she felt she could improve upon Patrón's traditional Mexican-themed packaging. To counter that, Voodoo Tiki would be sold in hand-blown, numbered bottles featuring a glass-blown tiki inside. Patrón had also spent millions of dollars on marketing to convince people to shell out big bucks for a beverage generally associated with low pricing and spring-break parties. "Patrón had already educated consumers and even convinced vodka drinkers to try tequila, which was very difficult," says DeCunzo-Taddeo, 40.
Did the risk pay off? After hitting the market in 2006, DeCunzo-Taddeo's tequila has done better than expected, projecting $1.2 million in sales this year in 23 states and six foreign countries. She's still happy to let Patrón do the heavy lifting in market education; that means a fatter bottom line for her. As DeCunzo-Taddeo explains, "We'll make a bigger profit because our costs are a lot lower."
Continue reading this article - and everything on Entrepreneur!
We make some of our best content available to Entrepreneur subscribers only. Become a subscriber for just $5 to get an ad-free experience, exclusive access to premium content like this, and unlock special discounts.
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
Kale Was a Garnish Before This Creative Genius Made It Famous. Here's How She Did It — and What She's Planning Next.
Telling Your Brand Story Is Crucial. 4 Steps to Ensure That It Resonates.
This Baker Was Told Not to Speak Spanish With Colleagues, So She Started Her Own Cake Company That Values Employees Just as Much as Customers
Improving Yourself Takes 9.6 Minutes of Work Each Day
Meet the Women Behind Some of McDonald's Most Iconic (and Essential) Ingredients — and How They're Setting New Standards
Remote Work Shouldn't Be Up for Debate
Employees Are Over Foosball Tables and Free Snacks. Your Company Culture Needs This Instead.