Pulling off a Crazy Launch With No Money - The Pimentae Tequila Story

Pulling off a Crazy Launch With No Money – The Pimentae Tequila Story

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Time and time again, I’m reminded:

It’s not about how hard you’re willing to work.

It’s about the risks you’re willing to take.

This story is going viral on TikTok.

I just made a podcast about it.

But I want to share the full thing here.

It’s a story of running out of money then using smart guerrilla marketing to launch a freaking tequila brand.

Not a software product with a lot of room for error.

Not a course or something where the only costs involved are time and small SaaS subscriptions.

A brand new tequila brand. In the highly saturated market of the UK.

Here’s the story.

Pimentae Tequila

  1. We have our protagonists: Alice Parmiter and Wynter Karo. They met in university and became friends.
  2. 2.5 years before founding Pimentae, they vacationed in Mexico. Had a blast and noticed one critical thing:
  3. There was a big knowledge gap in how to consume tequila due to the UK and US’s shot culture. The UK drinks 84,000 margaritas a month, but the ones in the supermarkets are full of sugar or don’t taste proper.
  4. 2.5 years later. It’s COVID. The world is in lockdown. Alice and Wynter are neighbors in an apartment building. They both have corporate jobs.
  5. They’re spending their lockdown evenings on their balconies, talking, and having margaritas. They say, “These margaritas are terrible compared to the ones in Mexico. Let’s fix this.”
  6. They don’t wait to start. They begin building the same evening that they excitedly have the idea.
  7. As their corporate side hustle, they build Pimentae Tequila.
    1. It uses premium tequila, agave instead of sugar, and higher quality ingredients than what’s normal.
    2. They found a factory in Scotland to use.
    3. They have an artist hand paint the branding.
    4. They design their bottles.
    5. They make the website with Shopify.
    6. They get ready to launch.
    7. And……….. they run out of money.
  8. That’s right. Right before launch, they run out of their personal savings, which they had been putting into the project. They even put all their corporate paychecks into the project. But they need to launch, and they’re out of money.
  9. Big brands might put in $50,000-$100,000 or more into a launch like this – doing some fancy activation. Not Alice and Wynter, though. They don’t have that.
  10. Their target influencers are all at home. It’s still lockdowns. The bars are closed. You can’t publicly talk about going out and socializing. The influencers need content; they need things to talk about. Our protagonists get an idea.
  11. Alice and Wynter DM 50 of their target influencers. They send a quirky message sharing what they’ve built and their story. They ask if they can hand deliver the new tequila to them. 30 of the 50 influencers say yes and give their addresses.
  12. Alice and Wynter put together 30 hampers with the tequila, their nice bottles, images of them building the company, custom ice cube trays, and nice packaging. Everything is designed to look good, so it will be shareable on Instagram.
  13. They go around hand-delivering the hampers. They have several things going for them.
    1. A unique quality product.
    2. A good story.
    3. Authenticity.
    4. Nice packaging.
    5. Reciprocity.
    6. The influencers need content.
  14. Alice and Wynter are hoping at least a few influencers will share. Not hoping, depending. They’re out of money. They’re depending on it.
  15. The first influencer to share is the biggest one. Alice and Wynter are at a McDonald’s drive through when this happens, exhausted, and checking their phones nonstop. This is a great sign. But will more influencers share? Soon after the first one, the rest of the 30 influencers all go on to share.
  16. The Pimentae Shopify isn’t configured properly at the beginning. They miss out on an hour of sales at launch. They fix it, and then…
  17. They sell out of all their inventory.
  18. They quit their corporate jobs.
  19. They drive up and down the UK, attending events and trade shows.
  20. They hire a cocktail van to drive to press houses around London.
  21. They sell at bigger and bigger festivals. In the podcast, I share a story of how they completely outsell Patron at one festival.
  22. 18 months after launching, Selfridges and Fenwicks, chains of upscale department stores in the UK, agree to stock them.
  23. They raise investment and use the money to launch into cans.
Pimentae Tequila's successful fundraise after pulling off a successful launch with no budget.
  1. But it doesn’t end here. One week ago, they put up this TikTok. It tells a lot of what I shared here. It has pictures of Alice and Wynter. It’s authentic and relatable. It uses uplifting unique music. It has a Hero’s Journey vibe. The TikTok cost nothing to make. And…
  2. This TikTok gets 1.5 million views (+ it will likely get millions more). They can also reuse it on Instagram to get many more views.
Anyway, you can see why I loved this story. Here’s my full podcast about it.

Just like with the Bobbi Althoff story, playing to win is not about how hard you’re willing to work. It’s about the risks you’re willing to take.

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