Lee Applbaum
Global Chief Marketing Officer

Patrón and Grey Goose CMO Lee Applbaum on The Swagger Of A Brand

Lee Applbaum, Global CMO of Patrón Tequila and Grey Goose Vodka is in a “pinch me moment” of his career being able to work on not just one iconic brand, but two at the same time. Both brands have incredibly rich heritages with similar DNA and ethos, but face different challenges.  Having just taken on Grey Goose, post Patrón’s sale to Bacardi, Lee is focused on transporting the key learnings from his tremendous growth drive at Patrón over to Grey Goose, capitalizing on the swagger of both brands.

“Patrón is really interesting. The brand was founded 30 years ago and for most of its growth period rested on the swagger of the brand, the style of the brand. It is inextricably linked to key moments in pop culture. Consumers still value and appreciate the swagger of the brand and it is increasingly important that that style rests on a legitimate foundation of authenticity and that brands have transparency and integrity behind all of that swagger.”

So how did Lee increase Patrón’s market share to over 70% in a booming category and become the #1 spirit globally on social media with only 3 people on his digital team? “While I credit having a truly world-class marketing team as well as fabulous partners, the real credit is the consumer.”

“Before we ever decided to engage consumers on social media, they were already having a conversation without us. There were literally millions of images of consumers with our bottle sharing cocktails, pictures with friends, #patron or any sort of derivation thereof on Instagram, for example. We were not participating in the conversation and so our job wasn't to ignite the conversation. It wasn't even to curate the conversation. It was to participate in the conversation.”

Not only did Lee and his swat team of rock star marketers participate in the conversation, they have been first to market leveraging all kinds of new technology, like VR, AR and Bot-Tenders “Consumers said, you've got the style, but do you have the substance? We had to close that gap. Technology was the tool for us to be able to do that.”

“Consumers said, you've got the style, but do you have the substance? We had to close that gap."

Join us in this fascinating exploration of how to leverage and augment brand swagger with the coolest technology to truly become #PatrónWorthy and get a peek at what Lee’s planning for Grey Goose.