By Dan Schawbel – Contributor: Forbes Magazine
If you want to learn about how to build a successful corporate brand, you should ask Ken Austin, the Founder and Chairman of Tequila Avión. If you want to build a strong personal brand, then turn your attention to Jeezy, a Grammy nominated artist. Through friendship and common interests, they have now come together to build Avión. Ken recently named Jeezy his Multicultural Advisor after Jeezy featured the tequila in his music lyrics.
Tequila Avión was voted “World’s Best Tasting Tequila” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the highest honor in the spirits industry. Avión Tequila is crafted using their exceptional Avión Agave, which is grown at the highest elevations in Jalisco, Mexico.
In this interview, I speak to Ken and Jeezy about how they came to work with each other, how Jeezy can help Ken tap into the multicultural consumer audience, some of the strategies Ken has used to build the company and their best advice to business owners.
Ken, how did you both come together in the first place and why do you believe that Jeezy best represents the Avión brand?
Jeezy was singing about Avion in his music based on his love for the brand. We didn’t know each other at that time, but when I reached out to thank him for the “love” we decided to meet. A planned 30 minute meet-and-greet turned into a 5 hour discussion on our lives and our respective businesses. We hit it off and after spending many days and nights in NY and in Jeezy’s Atlanta studio I asked Jeezy if he would become an official advisor to me. Jeezy is incredibly bright and talented and I rarely see people who are willing to work the way he does. His ambition and drive appealed to me as I share the same work ethic. This relationship was not derived from purposely seeking out a spokesperson to represent the brand, instead this is an organic relationship built on entrepreneurship and strong business ideals.