The big idea: Some growth opportunities shine so brightly it is tempting to change even a well-considered strategy. Don’t be blinded by the light.
The scenario: In 2005, after a successful 15-year sales and marketing career, W.L. Lyons Brown III departed the family business, Brown-Forman Corp., owner of Jack Daniel’s and many other wine and spirits brands, to launch his own distilled spirits sales and marketing company: Altamar Brands.
Altamar was funded by family, friends and influential distributors who strongly supported Brown’s strategy of developing unique, ultra-premium brands of handcrafted spirits through methodical, market-by-market expansion rather than the unsual broad-based national rollout. Altamar built “pockets of strength” in five trend-setting cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Las Vegas. By 2007, Altamar had bought, built and sold its first brand, Tequila Corralejo, for a tidy profit. The launch of its second brand, Right Gin, was almost complete, and the third, Tequila Ocho, was waiting in the wings. The future was bright.