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Can Absolut vodka teach us anything?

The Chronicle’s Business blog / Jerry bellune |

Have your products and services become commodities? Are you forced to compete on price, discounts and other concessions?

Take a lesson from a former dish washer and French master marketer, Michel Roux.

He made Absolut an iconic vodka with snob appeal in the booze market.

As head of the firm importing Absolut from Sweden, he engineered a wildly successful marketing campaign. It lifted Absolut from obscurity to No. 1 imported vodka.

I’ll bet you that you cannot tell a difference in the taste of any expensive vodkas.

What made Absolut desirable was not its taste but its snob appeal.

Roux’s ads started simple. An early version depicted a bottle of Absolut under a halo with the slogan “Absolut Perfection.” Artists and other celebrities including Andy Warhol were paid to promote the brand.

To reach trendsetters, Roux advertised in magazines aimed at wealthy people and those who wanted to emulate them.

You should explore Roux’s strategies in promoting other top brands and think of applying them to your own products.

You can only escape the commodity trap by using similar strategies.

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.”

For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633 or email

Copyright 2019, The Bellune Co., Inc.


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