- Wed, May 14 2008
- Filed under: Marketing essentials
So I’m back from Mexico, where I went on vacation and hung out with Jimmy Buffett’s brand for several days. We’ve grown tight, because we got a lot of quality time together. Jimmy is in the airport, where you can buy Margaritaville t-shirts or the Perfect Margarita at the Jimmy Buffett restaurant. (I chose the drink over the t-shirt.) He’s singing about his lost shaker of salt on the TV screens in this photo I took in the restaurant in the airport. He’s on the beach, where airborne Cessna’s pull advertisements for a bar called Margaritaville. He’s in hotel bookstore, having apparently penned a bestseller about a pig (“Swine Not?”). In short, he’s ubiquitous, prolific and possessing of serious marketing genius.
He has parlayed a hit song - and its drinking-on-the-beach kind of aesthetic - into a brand empire.
How do I get me some of that?
While sipping on my airport margarita awaiting my flight home, I snapped this photo and contemplated this question. And here’s what I concluded are the three cornerstones of Jimmy’s brilliance.
1. Simplicity: He stands for one thing. To me, that thing is life as a margarita - carefree, hammock-lying, drink-sipping relaxed happiness with a little salt around the edges. From his music (Cheeseburgers in Paradise, anyone?) to his restaurants to his books. Which brings me to his…
2. Consistency: It’s about the margaritas as life, folks. Always. Visit his website. The name? Of course it’s margaritaville.com. Note: excellent lead generation on the page with the email sign-up. Nice touch.
3. Hopeful: The allure of something happy is strong. Remember that when you tell stories. If you go dire in the telling, remember that people want hope and happiness as the punchline.
I can hear you now. You’re thinking, that girl had one too many margaritas in Mexico. I’m saving the world, not slinging drinks. Yes. I know. I am too. But while I know it’s easier to sell margaritas or pigs than it is to promote the end of poverty, the principles remain the same. Stand for something compelling and hopeful. And stand for it over and over, over time. It works.