Collab Cheat SheetTHE CHALLENGE:

Tequila producer and distributor Guinness UDV (United Distiller and Vintner) asked Synecticsworld to help it create a new marketing program in order to boost sales of Jose Cuervo, its world-famous tequila.

Cuervo had enjoyed years of robust growth, in part because of promotional strategies that included underwriting beach volleyball tournaments, a sponsorship that began in 1978. But that marketing advantage dried up when beer giants such as Miller Brewing Company and other mega-brands began pouring vast amounts into promoting the same sport. As Cuervo’s growth rate slowed, it began looking for another innovative way to increase its market strength and highlight its brand.


When meetings with the more traditional-thinking advertising and promotion agencies did not produce the hoped-for ‘big concept’, the company took a bold step and asked Synecticsworld to facilitate an idea-generation session for its marketing and promotion team. At the session, Synecticsworld employed its insight-led innovation techniques to exploit an idea that “Cuervo consumers want the freedom to do their ‘own thing’, make their own rules.”

As part of the session, a Synecticsworld facilitator asked the Cuervo team to make wishes. At some point, one member of the Cuervo team said,

“I wish Cuervo had its own country where we could dedicate our lives to the pursuit of fun and parties!”

Once the good-natured laughter died down, the facilitator began using Synecticsworld’s idea-development techniques to transform what initially seemed like an absurd idea into a feasible plan.


As a result of that Synecticsworld-led session, the company leased an island in the Caribbean, which they christened ‘The Republic of Cuervo’. Next came an advertising, marketing, and promotion campaign. And of course, what is a country without a flag, a pledge of allegiance, embassies, and a passport?

The new marketing program, created by the Synecticsworld-led team, was a huge success and went on to generate additional publicity for the brand when the Republic of Cuervo not only approached the United Nations for a seat, but petitioned the International Olympic Committee for permission to field a beach volleyball team in the coming Olympics.

Today Cuervo is the #1 Tequila in the world with sales exceeding 5 million cases.

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