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Recently, my wife took me for lunch at the fantastic Wreckfish in Liverpool. We had a bite to eat and a few drinks. Then a few drinks more. 

Nothing mad; we were home by 9, but I did feel a little ‘tired and emotional’ at my networking meeting the next morning. 

But there’s no danger that the group on the table next to us were feeling rough the next day. While me and missus had wine and cocktails, they were drinking Diet Coke and water. 

Fair enough. It was 2 o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon. 

But what blew my mind was overhearing one of them order a double decaf espresso.

Surely the whole point of espresso is to get an energy boost from the caffeine.

I understand drinking decaf if you enjoy coffee but don’t fancy feeling wired all afternoon. But decaf espresso? Shots of caffeine-less coffee? I can’t get my head around it. 

“It’s like going to the bar and ordering shots of alcohol-free tequila,” I said to Laura. “Pointless.”

But the remark got me thinking. If I were to bring out my own brand of alcohol-free tequila, what would it be called?

First things first: We need a name. 

It’s got to be ‘Mockingbird’. As in Tequila Mockingbird.

(It turns out there’s a bar in London with the same name. I didn’t know that until now, so I invented the term as far as I’m concerned.) 

Okay, it’s not a massive creative leap from tequila to Tequila Mockingbird. But the more I think about it, the more it works as a brand name. 

The mockingbird is a mimic. They don’t sing their own songs but instead learn and repeat the songs of other species. 

In other words, they pretend to be something they’re not. The same way alcohol-free spirits do. 

So far so good for the brand story. 

Then, when you discover that mockingbirds are native to the USA, Canada and Mexico – home of tequila – you can’t help but think, ‘We’re on to something here.’ 

So, of course, I’ve spent most of the day thinking about how to market this new drink. 

“Booze that won’t give you the Boo Radleys” was my first idea for a slogan. 

But it’s too niche. Not everyone will get the To Kill a Mockingbird reference. And I made up ‘The Boo Radleys’ as a term for hangovers on the spot, so it’d take some explaining. 

Clear is better than clever when it comes to taglines. 

But that doesn’t mean we should abandon the book as a potential source of inspiration. 

What does Wikipedia have to say about Harper Lee’s seminal work? 

It was published in 1960 and was instantly successful…it has become a classic of modern American literature. 

So how about using…

‘Mockingbird Tequila. An instant classic.’ as the positioning statement? 

It’s short, sharp, to the point, and has a subtle nod to the inspiration for our name. It’s a contender. But it lacks punch.

Let’s go back to the birds for inspiration. 

A mockingbird can learn 200 songs during its lifetime. So there’s a good chance you won’t hear them sing the same song twice. So what about…

‘Mockingbird Tequila. Sounds different.’

I like this one. It gives us the chance to add more statements and reinforce the message, like: 

‘Sounds different. Tastes like the real thing.’ which gives the idea that our tequila won’t taste like dishwater. 

This helps us create intrigue and encourages customers to discover what makes it different. 

But by tweaking the idea further, and focusing more on the product we’re selling, we end up with a message that talks directly to the customer. 

‘Mockingbird Tequila. Drink different.’ 

This allows us to create an ad campaign showing how drinking an alcohol-free spirit makes you stand out. 

It lets us talk about the benefits of going alcohol-free by comparing the difference between drunk and sober.

For example:

A yellow advertisement for a brand called 'Mockingbird' Tequila. A Blue tequila bottle and an orange Margherita glass.

Or we can reference popular tequila-based drinks and talk about how you can still enjoy them without the adverse side effects. 

Advertisement for Mockingbird alcohol-free tequia. The sun rises over the sea on a Mexican beach. The caption read, Drink Tequila all night, still see the sunrise.
Advertisement for Mockingbird Tequila. Four women enjoying alcohol-free tequila cocktails. The caption reads, less slammer, more glamour.

As you can see, I’m no graphic designer. But by toying with a few ideas, we’ve given ourselves options for a brand campaign. 

One last one before you go. 

Let’s link our drink to a Mexican tradition to show its authenticity. 

How about that to show the benefits of being hangover-free? 

Although, if I’d been sober in the restaurant, I’d never have come up with this new zero-percent brand, which has a 100% chance of making me a millionaire. 

Especially when estimates suggest that the global non-alcoholic drinks market will be worth $271 billion by 2033. 

I’ll have a shot of that. 

Jarg-herita, anyone?

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