This new presentation’s rollout coincides with the anniversary of a historical event with undeniable importance for the company’s broad Mexican consumer base in California: the 1862 Battle of Puebla, which marked the Mexican’s army defeated French invaders, and May 5th has become the day to celebrate Latino Pride for Mexican immigrants and their descendants.
We spoke with August Sebastiani, founder and Proprietor of 3 Badge Beverage Corporation based out of Sonoma, CA which owns the Pasote brand for its tequila produced at El Pandillo distillery in Jesús María Jalisco, northern Mexico.
Sebastiani has a track record of over 20 years in the liquor industry and his company sells tequilas, mezcals, rums, wines, and gins, either manufactured by the company or directly imported from their places of origin. With his solid experience, Sebastiani has successfully provided 3 Badge products with a differentiating seal of innovation and quality through their presentations. The Pasote tequila portfolio, which includes Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo, honors the Aztec culture by depicting their deities’ masks on each label.
"Well, it's interesting to talk about our new bottle and its design, which at the end of the day represent a consumer's first impression and the most important aspect towards building a brand", said Sebastiani, before explaining the update process that 3 Badge started over a year ago for Pasote.
Through a revolutionary approach regarding principles of design permanence, 3 Badge management decided to significantly change their labels and bottles. "We feel that it is highly important to frequently refresh our packaging, and to the extent in which these changes are more or less noticeable, we can speak of an evolution or a revolution", said Sebastiani, pointing out that the changes made to commemorate Cinco de Mayo are more aligned with the first concept. “It was something more gradual because we wanted to move towards a more premium appearance. It is not about making changes each year, but we will probably work on renewing some of the thirteen brands that make our portfolio to generate new attention”.
For Sebastiani, when consumers get accustomed to a particular look, even the smallest changes stand out: "The biggest challenge we faced was making sure that our consumers, marketers, and sellers received and appreciated the new image of Pasote tequila bottles while preserving everything inside them".
The renewal of Pasote bottles is aimed at reflecting the position the brand has gained for its high quality and its recognition within the ultra-premium tequila category. “We found that our original packaging, despite being beautiful, authentic, rustic, and connecting with the brand, should better reflect its position as part of this category. The bottle is more streamlined now and carries labels with smoother patterns and a more organic appearance. In addition, the glass provided by Saverglass for our bottles is now transparent, of extremely high quality and flawless, which gives them a cleaner look”, added Sebastiani.
|Read this story on a spirits bottle "cool as ice."|
Shining With its Own Light
3 Badge seeks to create better experiences for consumers through their new bottle and label designs; and, although the effects of the pandemic have somewhat altered market conditions, Sebastiani believes that at some point people will once again go out to bars, and then the company might fully measure the renewals’ impacts: “The view that you have of the bottles from three feet away is different from the one you get when they are illuminated from above or below from six feet away. We wanted something that could shine under appropriate lighting, that would stand out among competing products on shelves, and we are very pleased with the outcome".
Labels play an essential role in general appearance. There is a distinctive one for each of the four types of tequila, digitally printed with metallic inks on textured papers by All American Label & Packaging, with high and low embossing techniques. “I love the combination of high and low relief, because together they provide more texture to the label, creating a tactile sensation of variations in depth. I believe that all this contributes to satisfying the expectations of consumers in terms of quality”, assured Sebastiani.
Before these new labels, their bottles were screen printed and wore a paper band around their necks, which brought about manufacturing challenges, as it was loose and had to be glued: “With the new bottle we transitioned to two printed front labels, where the brand and its image are displayed, including details about the agave base, its place of origin, information about the art of tequila, and other specific data about the product”, stated Sebastiani.
Overcome Challenges and Improved Processes
The renovation project, a step in the constant evolution of the 3 Badge Beverage Corporation brand, has been both an element of improvement of production processes and a means to overcome previous challenges: “Previously, bottles were handcrafted, which resulted in a variety of imperfections on the glass. And, although I found this so attractive, what we heard from the market was that consumers were looking for a cleaner look”, said Sebastiani.
The 3 Badge proprietor also explained how having individually produced glass bottles, there are variations that, although microscopic, cause inefficiencies in the bottling lines: “In our previous packaging we had variation tolerances for the corks that demanded part changes during production. Now they are much more uniform, efficient, and consistent”.
This evolution process for packaging and presentation of their tequila brands —the first carried out by 3 Badge Beverage Corporation— met the company's principle of maintaining direct communications with consumers and responding to their perceptions and recommendations. “I think we did a great job of matching the new bottles with the previous presentations in an integral way, without straying too far from our origins”, said Sebastiani.
|Watch this video on paper bottles.|
This appreciation extends to the entire group that worked on the process and in record time managed to make the renovation ideas a reality. “It is very satisfying to be able to say that we sat down a little over a year ago and decided to make these changes, and about six months ago we could state that they should be ready for Cinco de Mayo. So, we put all the gears in motion and accelerated production, aligned the sales, marketing, and PR teams, so that everything was done on time”, Sebastiani recalled. "Everything has come together to make sure the packaging is where it needs to be, and I'm very proud to see how impressive the new designs rollouts have been".
Sebastiani and the entire renovation team are confident that the public will receive the new presentations enthusiastically: "Social media have shown us there is great expectation due to the announcement of the new bottles". And today, May 5th, the ready to celebrate public that knows and appreciates the quality of Pasote tequila, will find it with a clearer and more premium look, without changes in its quality.
Aztec Iconography in a Bottle
When asked about the production process for Pasote tequilas, that in their iconography commemorate the brave spirit of Aztec warriors, the Proprietor of 3 Badge Beverage Corporation enthusiastically expressed: “It is a unique process, requiring a broad appreciation of what tequila is, and that, in our case, its process is subject to a series of control points that provide our brand with an exceptional flavor profile”.
This opinion is shared by tequila specialists from around the world who have reviewed the manufacturing techniques of the Pasote brand, pointing out in the Taste Tequila portal that “they are made using traditional production methods! ... It is good to see another brand that values processes that have in large part been abandoned by most producers and replaced with overly industrialized shortcuts”.
Under this concept of respecting tradition, Pasote is produced with fully matured agaves, cooked in brick ovens and crushed in a mechanical mill, before distillation in copper tanks. These methods also include using water from various sources, which give it distinctive natural elements: “The combination of spring water with rainwater, filtered through a special system, gives the tequila a characteristic property; we add to this aging in neutral oak barrels, which allows our tequila to stand out from other products on the market”, concluded Sebastiani.