How a handmade brand scared a giant

Taking marketing pot-shots at another brand can mean 2 things…either you’re just being mean…or you’re scared.

Big brand Smirnoff took a shot at, not only craft vodka, but all of the handcrafted industry.

Smirnoff Triple Distilled Vodka TV Commercial Body Butter Feat. Chrissy Teigen

Craft brand owners work their asses of trying to grow their brands…working long into the night in production and spending the days getting their creations out into the world.

Indie-makers are fiercely driven

The handmade community is made up of fiercely driven and honestly compassionate makers that have a passion for what they do.

And I can say that 90% of makers that I know aren’t competitive, but collaborative!

Every indie-maker I have met would drop what they’re doing to, not only help another indie promote their brand, but also brainstorm ways they can work together to grow both of their businesses.

If a big brand like Smirnoff is taking shots at a craft vodka brand that tells me they’re getting scared!

When big brands get scared by indie-makers

Scared that a little brand has worked to become large enough to take market share away from a giant.

Let me talk about Tito’s handmade for a minute. I have not met the founder, but I have read the story and follow the growth.

Tito s Handmade Vodka Our Vodka

He started making craft vodka from a still, the old fashioned way. He started selling locally (in Texas), like most indies. As he got his brand out into the world, increasing sales and growing his wholesale account base, he had to scale his business, add equipment and produce in larger volumes.

Just because he moved from his original still to produce in larger volume does NOT mean he’s any less of a craft brand.

He still used the same craft process, it’s just on a larger scale. And indie-makers knows this. We create our processes and recipes so we can move out of the kitchen and into a production facility.

It’s just smart business.

Now to address dirty marketing tactics for a minute.

I’m interested to see how Smirnoff’s ad is working.

Marketing tactics that use put downs, and attacks of the smaller competitor brands may have worked to gain back lost market share in the past, but it’s a changing world.

Customers rally around and fight for their brand.


Indie-maker brands take their customers very seriously and listen to what they want.

Indies make their customers feel like one of the family

Indie-makers rally around their customers rather than expecting their customers to kowtow to them just because of “who they are” – the most popular kid in the sandbox.

How you market your business is everything!

You can stoop to scaring potential customers into buying your products by emphasizing their pain and making them feel they’ll fall even lower into a life. Doom and regret if they don’t buy your product.


You can uplift, empathize, and help your potential customers see their life in a new way, creating a more fulfilling experiences along their journey of buying.

This is Hero Worship Marketing

This is what I call Hero Worship Marketing. (If you want to know more about Hero Worship Marketing, follow the breadcrumbs HERE.)

Hat’s off to the “David” of craft vodka! He may not make the giant fall, but it is running scared.