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Experiential, event marketing fortes for Portón brand building: COO

By
September 19, 2012

Pisco Porton

To draw awareness in the United States market, Portón Pisco is leaning on experiential and event marketing as primary awareness and brand-building channels.

The high-end spirits brand believes that allowing consumers to experience the product will help to portray the luxury image. Similar to all posh brands, communicating the luxury experience will help Portón increase brand affinity.

“For marketing, our priority is to connect and communicate what the ‘Portón experience’ is to our targeted consumers and, through Portón, educate the U.S. consumer on pisco,” said Jean Francois Bonneté, chief operating officer of Pisco Portón, Houston, TX.

“We, therefore, center our marketing efforts on an educational strategy through a strong public relations effort, targeted advertising and event executions, and building awareness through a detailed activation plan at the point of purchase,” he said. “We also have a dedicated team of brand ambassadors in key metropolitan areas and a viral and digital strategy designed to inspire.”

In this Q&A, Mr. Bonneté discusses the importance of experiential marketing for luxury brands, communicating the Portón experience and why pisco is the next big spirit. Here is the dialogue:

What are the most important marketing efforts to Pisco Portón right now?
As the new white luxury mixable spirit in the U.S., it is important for us to be very focused in our marketing efforts and strategy.

Our approach, therefore, is centered on being selective in all actions we execute: sales and marketing.

For marketing, our priority is to connect and communicate what the “Portón experience” is to our targeted consumers and, through Portón, educate the U.S. consumer on pisco, which has hundreds of years of heritage and tradition.

We, therefore, center our marketing efforts on an educational strategy through a strong public relations effort, targeted advertising and event executions, and building awareness through a detailed activation plan at the point of purchase, a dedicated team of brand ambassadors in key metropolitan areas and a viral and digital strategy designed to inspire.

Why is experiential marketing so important to Portón?
Portón is the new white luxury mixable spirit in the U.S. market and while U.S. consumers have already adopted luxury brands by way of other categories – such as tequila and vodka – over the past decade, we are now bringing a new dimension to their palette of choices.

That said, we are not only building a new brand but also a new category: pisco.

To be able to educate and engage our target consumers, experiential marketing is key.

Why is experiential marketing so important to luxury marketing, in general?
Understanding the experience, attributes, heritage and benefits of a brand is important to a luxury consumer.

It is more than a purchase, it is a lifestyle and there is no better way to create emotional resonance between the consumer and a brand than creating an experience or discovery, rarity and pleasure.

You do this by targeting the luxury consumer who you expect to already have an emotional synergy with the brand.

If the experience lasts in their memory, then you have created influential brand advocates who are an important asset behind any successful luxury brand.

Without creating an engaging experience for these important targets, you cannot create the passion you want around your brand. Experience is the key.

How does Portón plan to expand awareness of not only Portón, but also pisco?
To build Portón and expand awareness of pisco as a category, we need to establish a close communication with our partners at all tiers: distributors, retailers, on-premise operators and, most importantly, the end consumer.

Our goal is to increase velocity for Portón as the ultra-premium destination, while building exposure for the category through education and trial.

Portón champions the category through application demonstrations such as mixology classes for consumers, on-premise including bar and restaurant staff trainings and off-premise such as retailers, and in-store tastings and promotions.

We are also doing merchandising to communicate our points of differentiation, informational editorial through our traditional PR efforts, selective event participation and engagement through a viral and digital strategy.

Does Portón have any event participation coming up? If so, when and with who?
Portón is in the process of creating a partnership with the Peruvian American Chef Association, which represents the Peruvian Embassy in many culinary events across the country.

Peruvian haute cuisine is a rising trend in the U.S. that is winning passionate adherents.

That is why we will be at the 3rd Annual Taste of Peru Gastronomic Festival at the Miami Convention Center Nov. 9-11 alongside some of Peru’s most renowned chefs.

Aligning with this Peruvian gastronomic movement creates a lot of natural synergy for us.

How does event marketing add value to the brand?
Event marketing adds value to a brand such as Portón when two main elements come together: trial and education coupled with being able to share a brand experience and build an emotional connection with the right target audience before, during and after said event.

This means that we are very selective in the events we participate in, as we need to have a strong hold on any execution that will impact the way our brand is discovered and experienced.

Further, as is the case for any luxury brand, event participation is most impactful when measuring quality, not quantity.

Final Take
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York

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Rachel Lamb is an associate reporter on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, arts and entertainment, education, food and beverage, fragrance and personal care, government, healthcare, home furnishings, jewelry, legal/privacy and nonprofits. Reach her at rachel@napean.com.

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