Casamigos Tequila founder on building a brand

Episode 123: Rande Gerber, who founded Casamigos Tequila with his friends Michael Meldman and George Clooney, talks building a brand and manufacturing a product from start to finish, on 'Real Biz With Rebecca Jarvis.'
21:08 | 02/17/17

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Transcript for Casamigos Tequila founder on building a brand
I'm joined by a very special guest here today on relatives live. Randy Gerber well down thank you. Fees or does your company 2013 and we were just talking about the fact that if you know it's a pretty saturated market there's a lot of competition in the you mark and but you decided to do it anyway and why. Well it was never our intention to start tequila company. It happened really. Probably about 67. Years ago George and I were building homes in Mexico. And we spending a lot of time because our homes and yet we've as you do when you're in Mexico you drink a lot less. And different parts and as we should try this one in the service and so we tried to fallen so we're pretty good somewhere really expensive to expensive. But George turned to me when they just make our world one that's perfect for us. Really smooth U could drink all day and night hung over in the morning. All the action is and I that water could explore something like it goes down and smooth as if if so I sit out Kate doesn't you know. Great ideas coming up that easy. But I looked into different distillery is in and we finally found one that we really and amassed and we told them what we won the profile. That we want to be. Really some news no burn it all which is not typical music and tequila. We want to be a bid to sipadan on the mix it with juices or whatever else and so it took us about two years. To for the formats distill it just to make it perfect and we went through 700 samples. And which results and other researchers. We do blind taste festival opens and we finally came up with the perfect. But it was religious made for ourselves to drink and share with our friends and our homes and in Mexico. Cut to two years later we get a call from mark distillers thing we have a problem. If you guys are selling this where you're drinking way to what we're saying what thousand mile of the year. And it. We can't really be doing and the local samples. Thing so you need to get license or sort of with George what you wanna do he said. Whatever means we'll get licensed if we only sell one model it doesn't matter as long as we get to keep drinking tequila. We're happy so we kind of just we started as the company. And it really took off immediately people just knew that we had something very special. Not your typical tequila and word got out there and it just. You know from there it just took off just word of mouth you know. If that's. Incredible that it took off as quickly ballots went right fastest growing I think it is beef fastest growing in the United States tequila or yes it must mean that. You named it after your houses viewing George Clooney decided yes so these houses are. Pretty epic from when it hurt you and have your share of guests. Who are very well now and deaths in the world of Hollywood and what I'm. How what is the what was the taste testing like between the two view the research the research and development it's. Well we really news' bill that profile one like is that we just want this movie's best facing the Q and and put it we have the time and patience. And the money to make it perfect and because it was never thought of guys let's start a tequila company. You know and make a bunch of money. We don't really care about that we just wanted to perfect for us. So the process was they would keep sending us samples and it was so close every time but even it was just awful little a little bit of burn we've just. It was something bad that we don't want to saddle. We always have our friends and always be over which costs amigos we named our homes costing me goes. Wait before the tequila. And which loosely translates to house of France because that's what it was about. There were two houses on one piece of property with a lot of bedrooms and all of our friends would be there with us. So we'd sit around and we'll try it means you blind taste tests. You know against all of the other brands that are out there may be ultra premium and that we thought people are really drinking. And they came a point where we kept winning every time they would choose costing us. So not only did we love it but we knew once all of our friends were agreeing with these blind taste test that it was their favorite is well. We said this is and we you know Rio we. Ready reminds yes your backgrounds you came from the night life yeah that's him and are still in the night life as this in a pretty significant way. What what Kate. And for the person out there was just kind of thinking of dabbling in this space and what are some of the biggest mistakes you think people make trying to get into the spirits. And. Think the Allen. Well the biggest mistake is probably. Trying to come up with a something that you me. Dating. People line. Horror. Designing you know it you can see we don't have any this isn't like a fancy bottle thing this is just a regular you know what we wanted that was samples were coming in a bodily. So for us. I think a lot of companies try and fool. The consumer by coming up with a fancy bottled war that's really Saturn and their energy exactly like well. If we promote it this way we hire the celebrity to promoted even though they don't drink it. You know maybe we can fool the consumers to think that that's their brand or here's a beautiful bottle that must be good. You know we weren't even thinking about that George and I need for us to drink. It is everything is authentic about it from the bottle which was used to our samples were coming in this but it was plastic. So we just turned into the glass. House amigos was a name of our homes and means house of friends so that's the name of articulate so we can have to make up the story and I think. People appreciate the authenticity a program has to be really great. Especially today you know that with social media you can have a product that's not good just because. The look at artists. I guess it's not exactly so. You know we didn't we don't hire outside marketing companies to do research in. Include needs outside marketing company when you're Randy Gerber and George Clooney Mott who could have yet the proper credit mean you've got like the dream team right there yes I want to make sure people out there now we're taking questions on social media air as well. Yell at any questions that people have that are good I would think about. For entrepreneurs there because there's a lot of people who are aspiring started out. Back at midday you weren't the bat well in and edit out. Not so long ago but I think people will look at someone like he's married to Cindy Crawford and hanging out with George Clooney's whatever he's gotten me eaten but the reality is everybody starts somewhere yes and when you're just getting started. All of those you know Hollywood attic which are they are so. That he just hearing it news art so. What's if you want to go back to those early stages of your career what we're some of the. Won't start it would doing. When I open my first bar I did it based on. You know where I would want ago and the way I entertained at home. So once again I've been. And you look at the markings and what's and ones. How amazing it Burkle and I are right I just did it from myself. And is that while this is one on how to in the citizen. You know mellow enroll in the I want the Latin could be beautiful and no one's no light. You know frankincense or whatever it might not like lie out. So I created for myself and stay with us amigos I think when your. When you do something for yourself he nodded when you know it I'm not saying that influential liked what I do. But at least it's authentic commute doing something that you won. And if you want it. There's a good chance other people rather than jets have this idea in your head at their other consumer out there rise in interest it is yeah. You're thinking well what is missing in the market that I desire that I that I would really like yeah. Even if there are places or all products out there that. You like but you think you could make it that much better thing as long as you're doing it. Authentically for yourself. And you think you know there's a beautiful. You know night club. Wish the lights and camera which they count as well Copeland which. So then do it and make it that way you feel you. And then hopefully people. You know. We're now. Our business of the tough business to get you early on especially I hear a lot about. My friends who are and that business that. Hiring people that you can trust me in one of the bigger issues I guesses that people who work in bars often steal. Run the bar itself be alcohol or direct cash register right. So how do you hire when you're building up these companies be how do you think about hiring and if someone out there is listening and really wants the job with Randy Gerber and how to get life. Well for me. So let's aka in the starting with a bar business. If by I would go into other bars or restaurants. Even before I thought about opening places but especially afterwards that you know I'm an open up my own. Bar. If there was a bartender that I really like any good personality. They were great with customers. I would say if you have to want a job left to hide or waitress or busboy like when I started. Gerber group many years ago. There are people still working at Gerber group that started Whitney twenty something years ago and they just move up from the company so. I look for with cussing me goes. 90% of the people we're never in the liquor business they were. Customers of the brand that lobbed it. I get from young passionate. People that that really believe in in the branch and not someone that used to work for this company and that company is looking for another sales. And that's not authentic when you you were selling off you know three months ago now you wanna so tequila. So a lot of people come to us through FaceBook. Saying I love the brand and a bartender that's all I sell its all I drink because I love it so much and is there any openings that is them to a costly hiring. That way to me it's more important. To have young talented passionate people working view that really believe in a brand as opposed to. Others Wrentham child yes they've gone from the spring into this brand to this brand. Does not believable when I was on the other side when I had the bars and restaurants I would have sales people coming to me all the time that. Wait a facility for months ago when you're selling this and now he's holding this. It's hard to believe that sales pitch. Because I don't really then they're just the sales person and it's a job and it's great. And if you have a great brand and it speaks for itself. And you but I preferred a higher that within my company. I may hire for certain job but they also we collaborate and everything you from myself I don't I mean I'll make the final decision but if I have an idea. We all sit around in offices of big open loft I don't have my own office and the Bruins try to move around the couch and shooting pool they're at the bar there's. So was very collaborative everyone's working together and I always tell us when you need to find your passion even though hard U may be to have. You know work in cells or maybe you're doing marketing with us as social media. If there's something else within the company that you really feel passionate about. That let's try that. You know sounds like. It costs. I think they're there. For people back. Yes it is. Oh. It is available in all fifty states. Now we're in. What we just started growing in Europe. So where France. Italy. Germany's. We'll grow and this. How do you know. I think that's a question for companies that are in their early stages a lot of people like them and an it company like this where you're selling a product. It's deadly if you grow too fast is that you just have all this product and overhead and then. Right what you dim grays so how do you judge that how do you gauge when the time is right or left. Well for us as is that we we kind of grew it you know drink by drink itself with now leg which is full the market would end and because we're still wears small baction ultra premium meticulously can't. While some companies can speed up the process we don't we've we use the old fashioned. And that takes quite awhile I mean besides growing is obvious only seven. Nine or ten years. The process. Of making custom videos it is is a long process so. There are tricks you can do that other companies might do but to us that the quality of constantly goes it is most important that we would never do that. As you can see George I sign. Every batch. That we do. Wasilla we do is there's a batch number there. Every new batch that we produce Georgian I taste to make sure it's. Every at bat every new batch so you'll see a different number and every new bats so you you definitely during your share to we do. Now we don't taste every bottle it's every. Let's just hate you did it this way out of every of the war goes into the bottom we taste every match features. I think that it's it's not about how faster models. It's it's. The demand and in the you know that in the band and the demand is an incredible so we trying keep up with the demand but sometimes places right now. When are running out but like is that we've that we can't speed up but we don't wanna speed up the process by. Doing things and maybe other brands might feel they can do. They're definitely businesses out there that happ celebrity's involved in them that the celebrities tightly this may mean their names on it. But they don't necessary you're here telling me that both you and George play a very sick girl got on an every day race a 100%. I mean we're in this and it's it's our brand we own it it's our money in the brand we do all of the everything is that we do everything in house the marketing. All of the social media we designed everything about that social media. Exit that's such an important part of strategy in especially in the nightly business may use you probably saw a lot of that publicity and the essence that's something the lifestyle that something is is an important as the product yes. The shirts while it's a reflection of Georgian side obviously so I think it's very important to be consistently. Who you are and and am and what you're about because your your brand effort reflects you. So. You know George's involvement skis but this isn't a celebrity endorsed for and it's a celebrity I mean Georgetown as we celebrity so any but he owns. So everything we do it means we sit in meetings and and he's coming up what ideas and you know hey what are we go out and and and shoot this or let's so he's so involved in the day today. Where he's even if he's in Italy Ortiz in Glendale you know whatever he's doing in his life he's always calling. And I'm always calling him what do you think about this week or he called me get a days a great idea. You know we should do this. What was the idea. Can't think there's not yeah but you'll notice that who knows if it will be but it adds we're getting we're question. Very. Sensitive. And wow did you call it post a picture I hope I'll post a picture of the cats. The it didn't. That's. Mr. Allen. So I don't know. Everyone could hear that so that's a good question are you getting into the mini bottles on flights and in hotels. Yes we we have been approached you sells the mini models with a few airlines. Will waiting to decide on which is the right airline is once again. An eye level lines but. Some airlines are you blaming carry tequila because you know it's it's known as via. Let's say that the happy buzz and what you'd about have a good time and it also you know has a tendency to keeps you awake as well so. It's really it's it's that made it known is that as a good time. But yes we will and it and hotels. There are hotels are ready that a picked up the meanings as well as we have another size it's a 375 which is a little bit bigger so their hotels what's your top seller. I would say well it's it's almost split between the the belong go and Reppas thought it which is which is interesting because typically. That long ago in the world tequila is by far the biggest seller. And but you know Blanca you could you pinch drink straighter on the rocks but you'll typically put in Marbury it is or colonialism things like. But for us you know George and I started drinking the rep aside. And you know we're fortunate that it's almost. You know even between the the bongo and reps we have the B and NATO is well which is you know a little more light. A fine whiskey and we we age our tequila. The Reppas Ottawa in NATO and in. In barrels that used to be used to house 02 premium whiskey. So it has kind of a hint of that flavor. And but we're fortunate that people love our it's Otto. Monaco and and and we don't discriminate and I only drink Amal. This book is that if there's if there's is that this agreement New York. Over bottled and then we agree all the time you're not commit. The question I asked everybody that's. Or career what is the worst piece of ice that you have received over the course your career. The worst piece of advise. Follow it would you do if or. Tell me which went two series here there's. You learn from. Oh OK I would say it is not the worst piece of advice but but I do here alive but you know you have you should go out and do your research like. You know as I said before I I didn't Reese Reese when I was opening bars and restaurants and research delightful what's out there with Tennessee. So I think that probably the worst piece of advice. Would be it. Someone saying that you. You can't do that it's too difficult that business is too difficult though don't even try you know losing money. I think the best piece of advice is do something they are truly passionate about and I think if you are. The worst that could happen is you gave it shot. It's not gonna always been your Hadley what is the what if I would have done but I would have done that I really think that if the follow. And suspicion of the business company really passionate committed and hopefully things work on and it does then whenever you make some money doing it we shall enjoy going to work every day which I still do. Neither they need so much for joining us and amber eyes. Cops on me yes this is that that are ignored or will.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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