How the hell did George Clooney manage to create a Super Brand?

In case you didn’t know, George Clooney has a Tequila Brand and he just sold it for one billion dollars.

If being that rich, handsome and smart wasn’t enough, it turns out George is also a master at creating Brands. Achieving in a few years what many have spent decades and millions of dollars trying to do. This is my Top 5 things that George and Casamigos got right.

1: Don’t try and build a Brand It appears that at no point, in the beginning, George was thinking about creating a ‘Brand’ as such. What was really important for George and I was that we have the best tequila, but we make it affordable for everyone. George doesn’t need the money, I didn’t need it, Mike didn’t need it — it wasn’t the reason behind launching a tequila. We wanted everyone to be able to drink it and not be exclusive.” – Rande Gerber [Co Founder] In the beginning George and Rande went on a  Tequila pilgrimage, on and off, for two years they searched for the perfect taste and tried over 700 samples” That gives the brand a lot of credibility and makes it deeply Authentic. Do what you love, have fun, experiment and see where things go and the ‘Brand’ will follow.

2: People buy what you believe: People don’t just buy what you do, they buy what you believe. If you put your beliefs out there, why you are doing something, other people will latch onto it and say, hey, you know what, I believe the same too. This kind of attraction to a brand, through shared beliefs, is far more powerful than the slickest of marketing campaign. “We wanted a Tequila that didn’t burn going down, that was super smooth, and had the right flavour profile. One that we didn’t have to mix — typically we drink it straight or on the rocks – that we could drink all day long and not be hungover in the morning.” What’s not to like? Sure this will not be to everyone’s taste but that doesn’t matter as long as you are connecting with enough people who share your values.

3: A simple range: Take a look at their range. Three products in all, with three clear values and propositions. Sure the brand can kick on later and diversify but when you are trying to get traction, focus can be a powerful thing. It creates cut through and makes the Brand easier to scale.

4: Brand as Personality – There is no doubt the rapid rise of Casamigos is down to its charismatic co-founder. This has helped on two levels. George’s personality is as much infused into the Brand as the flavours in the bottle. We see brands as personalities and having a big one associated with your brand that is deeply and genuinely aligned with values is literally, in this case, is worth a billion dollars! When buying Casamigos you are buying Georgeness. Also the free PR and the cut through his name has, is worth its weight in gold too.

5: It’s still about the product. If you haven’t got something different, and that’s all it has to be, then everything is harder. This is no David Beckham perfume here, it’s a good product and it quickly started to pick up awards.“The brand won gold medals at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, The New York World Wine & Spirits Competition. From then on it gained momentum.” People take notice of a celebrity but a widely acclaimed product takes things to the next level.

On pretty much every other level Casamigos got it right too. The modest visual identity and branding, the playful attitude, great use of social media have all been expertly crafted and created. While none of that is unique it all backs up what is a very attractive brand.

Worth a billion dollars?