How to be the best bit player... Margarita, anyone?

Oct 02, 2020 8:54 pm


Hello Content Creators!

If I ever have the pleasure of making you a drink, it'll be a margarita.

And while The Rock might be hyping his new tequila, hoping to cash out like Ryan Reynolds, I'd argue it's not the tequila that makes the margarita.

By the time I add lime juice, agave syrup and an orange liqueur, the tequila could be anything. Well, anything from a glass bottle, anyway.

I have my favorites, but I mainly shop by price. What I DON'T skimp on is the orange liqueur.

Because the supporting actor steals the show


For me, Gran Gala makes the margarita, not the tequila.

I'll explain why in a minute.

And I promise, there's a content marketing tie in coming.

Mexican Restaurant's margaritas increase in price as they go from generic sweet-n-sour mix to Triple Sec, up to Gran Marnier for their "Cadillac Margaritas". It's not just the tequila that gets better, it's the mixers, too.

But when you're mixing them yourself, would you really put a $70 bottle of tequila into a margarita? Me neither. Because I'd barely tell the difference between Gran Patron Piedra and Jose Cuervo once it's all blended.

But the orange liqueur? Those contribute a more dominant and distinct flavor profile, and they're all different.

What does your product or service make better? image

Think about spirits marketing. The standard ones (vodka, rum, tequila) are mostly hyping quality, purity, tradition, etc. None of which matter (much) once they're mixed into something bigger.

(Side note: The smart ones use their marketing to tell how they make your party, evening, or experience better. They're providing an emotional benefit that's additive to your experience.)

But a good mixer actually does make your drink better. It makes the experience better, impresses your friends, and provides a conversation starter. It's the bit player that steals the show.

Tell how your part improves the whole

Upgrading your tires turns a mediocre mountain bike into a good bike, and a good bike into a great bike. It's arguably the single most important upgrade you can make to improve the ride.

Yet, most bike tire marketing focuses on tech specs that are basically interchangeable with their competitors. The nuances are lost on consumers.

We don't really want a certain durometer rubber, we want grip. We don't want a certain threads-per-inch casing, we want durable suppleness. We don't want a $70 tire, we want our $5,000 mountain bike to stop drifting.

If you're making something that goes into or onto something bigger, it's your job as a marketer to share how that something betters the experience of using that bigger thing. Because that's what we really want...we want better.

But it has to believable.

No one really believes Chevron Techron is any better than Shell V-Power Nitro+, do they?

Petroleum brands promote better mileage, cleaner engines, etc. But when you pull into a station, you're probably eyeballing one of three things:

  • the lowest price
  • the brand on your rewards credit card
  • the shortest lines or easiest access

Thus, petroleum's claimed additive value to your car's performance is almost certainly wasted marketing dollars. At least, it is with the way it's currently marketed. Bear with me, I know this is getting long, but here's a thought:

If I have an 18 gallon tank and and I save 2¢ per gallon by crossing the street, I just saved... wait for it... 36¢.

Whooptie. Freakin. Doo.

If a gas brand wanted my attention, they could just say "Congratulations, you saved 36¢ putting crappy fuel in your $35,000 car. See ya at the mechanic."

Put the seed of doubt in my mind about that grungy, no-name gasoline station and I'm far more likely to buy your brand.

Or just change the conversation entirely.

What if a petroleum brand admitted that all modern gasolines were pretty good. Heck, what if they even admitted they were basically interchangeable?

But what if they then went on to say that they were actively working to reduce emissions, shift away from fossil fuels, and grow renewable energy production?

At the least, it would set them apart from their competitors. But, I bet that would attract some fans, too. If I knew that every tank I filled up was actually helping fund real, actual renewable energy development in a meaningful way, then I'd become brand loyal.

What's the point?

Look at how your product is used in the real world, in conjunction with other products and brands, and what value it actually delivers to the consumer. It's not always what you think it is, or even what you want it to be.

Then communicate that, loud and clear.

A recent content project


I wrote down my margarita recipe for you, so technically it's a content project, right? Actually, I'm traveling right now and a bit short on time, but I think after these past couple weeks' news cycle (and the really long email up above), we could all use a drink.

Here ya go, enjoy:

  • 2 parts tequila
  • 1 part Gran Gala
  • 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp organic agave syrup, to taste

Shake/Stir, then pour over ice. Don't add the ice first or the agave syrup will clump from the cold. Prefer a drink to a cocktail? Fill your glass halfway, then top with seltzer water. Kick back, sip with friends, and let your dreams run wild.

(Did you get this email from a friend? Click here to get your own!)

I'll bring back some cool finds next week. In the meantime...

Mix it up a bit,


Tyler Benedict

PS - Like this? Can you forward it to a friend or marketing peer might like it? Thanks!

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