In this edition of Marketer of the Week, Ignite Visibility spotlights Umberto Luchini, Proprietor at Wolf Spirit Distillery. Ignite Visibility applauds Luchini and the Wolf Spirit team for its creative approach to marketing adult beverages.
His name is pronounced oom-BEAR-toe loo-KEE-nee in case you’re wondering.
Luchini was born in Milan, Italy. He attended school in London and worked in France.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he lost his job.
So he took a low-paying job with Campari. That’s the company behind well-known spirits such as Skyy Vodka, Wild Turkey Bourbon, and Grand Marnier (an orange liqueur).
It looks like the company sells just about any kind of adult beverage you can imagine except wine and beer.
Campari, by the way, was born in the mid 19th century. Fast-forward to today, and it’s listed on the Italian Stock Exchange.
Further, the company is in 22 direct markets and distributes in 190 countries.
Luchini stayed with Campari for 17 years, working his way up the food chain, so he can take credit for some of the company’s growth during that period.
During his stint at Campari, Luchini formed an award-winning team of 30 marketers.
He also took on a relatively unknown Tequila brand called Espolòn.
It was up to Luchini to position, package, price, and position the product. And he did so with amazing success.
Today, Espolòn is known as “the Tito of tequilas,” selling nearly 400,000 9L cases.
But Luchini felt the entrepreneurial itch, so he left Campari in 2017 to launch his own business venture.
Also in 2017, Umberto Luchini founded Wolf Spirits.
With an initial investment of $1.5 million, he converted an old laundromat into a distillery. During its first year, that distillery sold 5,000 9L cases across 23 states.
And he’s happier than he’s ever been now that he’s running his own company.
Speaking of his own company, you can see his creative approach if you visit the company’s website.
The header is a close-up picture of a wolf.
The rest of the single-page site briefly describes the company’s three products. Then there’s a contact form at the bottom.
No menu. No headers or footers with links. Nothing else.
And the way that the company markets its products is pretty spectacular as well. It looks like Luchini appeals to the non-conformists.
Check out this description of the company’s vodka product: “Born from fierce independence and a thirst for rebellion, Blood x Sweat x Tears Vodka™ is our one-finger salute to all who try to keep us in their own little box.”
That vodka, by the way, is made in Eugene, Oregon. It won a gold medal in The San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Regarding Tom of Finland Vodka, here’s what the website says: “Enjoy it however you want, because whatever you decide to do with Tom of Finland Organic Vodka™, you’ll be making a statement without saying a word.”
And here’s how the company promotes Puncher’s Chance Bourbon: “Puncher’s Chance is Kentucky straight bourbon inspired by two great American traditions: whiskey and fighting for what we believe in.”
Wrapping It Up
It ain’t easy to promote adult beverages. It’s a highly specialized niche that should be left to the pros.
Umberto Luchini is one of those pros.
Over the years, he’s demonstrated that he knows how to bring spirits to market.
And he’s helped many folks around the globe cope with the effects of a worldwide pandemic.
We look forward to seeing where he takes his company in the future.