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Jack Daniels and Frank Sinatra – Leveraging the Power of Endorsements

In 1955, Jack Daniels wasn’t the bestselling whiskey in the world. In fact, most people had never even heard of Jack Daniels. It was a small, regional brand selling just 150,000 cases annually of its black labeled Tennessee whiskey.

Jack Daniels and Frank Sinatra - Leveraging the Power of Endorsements

But by the end of 1956, sales had doubled and there was a Jack Daniels shortage. Demand in the U.S. for the whiskey steadily increased at such a high rate, the distillery wouldn’t have enough product to export to other countries for almost two decades.

So what changed? One tiny little sentence uttered onstage by just the right person – Frank Sinatra.

Frank brought a glass onstage and uttered this line: “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Jack Daniel’s, and it’s the nectar of the gods.”

Here’s what we know:

One endorsement from the right person and your product can potentially take off. The above example was long before the days of social media, so imagine what can happen today.

Caution: This was also before endorsements and brand ambassadors became a thing. Now if someone well-known endorses your product, people might think this person is getting paid, even if he’s not.

Jack Daniels didn’t even know Frank liked their product until this business changing moment. But once they heard what happened, they made sure Frank’s glass was never empty again. Where ever Frank performed, there was a case of Jack Daniels waiting for him in his dressing room.

And here’s how we can use this information:

Make a product so terrific, people will endorse it even when they’re not a paid spokesperson. With social media today, even an unknown person can become an ambassador for your brand if they love what you do.

When someone endorses your product, thank them and never stop. The free products you give this person will be dwarfed by the profits you earn from their efforts to get your brand seen and used.

Get your product in front of as many well-known people in your niche as you possibly can. Jack Daniels got lucky, but you can make your own luck by giving away sample products to bloggers and social media mavens.

You did hear that George Clooney just sold his tequila business for up to $1 billion, right? I guess the power of celebrities and alchohol sales is still as strong as ever. Go figure! 😉

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