For selling whiskey, a bootlegger’s story helps, but the proof’s in the bottle
Posted On January 17, 2020
How important is a good story to branding? It certainly doesn’t hurt.
In a crowded marketplace for whiskey, a great story helps set Clyde May’s Alabama Style Whiskey apart. May was a bootlegger who never sold a legal bottle in his life. But he was also an innovator who found a unique way to create a smooth finish even in batches that weren’t aged nearly as long as they are now.
After May’s death, his family took the business legit and now we can all taste why people all over Bullock and Pike counties asked for May’s “Christmas whiskey.”
May’s grandson, LC May, shares his story as the national ambassador for the Clyde May’s brand. Our guest in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” May shared why it’s so important to him to carry on his grandfather’s legacy.
In whiskey industry that is booming right now, with craft distillers carving out a niche amid the major national brands, May says a great story certainly helps. But you’d better have more than that.
“At the end of the day,” he says, “no matter what your marketing story is, your product has to do the talking for you.”
May shares with us how his grandfather discovered the process that gives his whiskey its smooth finish, educates us on the difference between whiskey and bourbon while shooting down some misconceptions about the latter, discusses the importance of packaging and social media marketing, shares the quality standards that make Clyde May’s what it is today, and tells us how he likes to drink his whiskey – and why he’s not snobbish about however you prefer to drink yours.
“If you paid for the bottle,” he says, “you can drink it however you want to drink it, as long as you’re enjoying it, having a good time and drinking it responsibly.”