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Photos: Roving Rube
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1/10/2004

"Maker's Mark" sign, Times Square

Theme: Signage.

The Rube thought that because he had never heard of "Maker's Mark" before, this promotion was intended to make everyone think it was already famous.

Exerpts from "You Missed the Talk of a Lifetime", Kapil Bhatia, NYU Stern School of Business:

I don't want to sound highly exaggerated but the talk by Bill Samuels, President and member of the founding family of Maker's Mark bourbon was something which everybody present there won't forget for a long long time. It was a speech which described the travails of his father and mother and himself as they set about to establish Maker's Mark as one of the strongest bourbon brands in the US....

Makers Mark whisky has had 31years of double digit growth in a market where the maximum years of double digit growth which a brand besides Makers Mark had is 4 years....

His family is the oldest family to be regularly making whisky. His grandfather went to jail during probation but only for one day for he happened to be the mayor of the town.

His Mother designed the Makers Mark bottle. She was an engineering grad and also studied English Pewter furniture but did not know much about whisky so she designed one which did not have a round shape, was wax coated and had 6 written in roman numerals as IV, but since his father was too scared to object so he let it be.

His mother and father are the only couple to have graduated from University of Lowville who graduated in the same class with his mom at the top of the class and his dad at the bottom of the class....

Bill Samuels did not want to make whisky so he went and decided to become a rocket scientist. He went to UC Berkeley to study rocket science. One of his key projects a graphite nosed missile misfired and landed in one of the generals' office. Next day, 5pm he was on the phone asking for a job at his father's distillery...

He gave some interesting advice to entrepreneurs and brand managers. He values gumption more than intelligence. Once Maker's Mark became famous through the WSJ article they consciously kept a low profile so that they would not get noticed by competition...

See also:

  • The Philosophy of Maker's Mark

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