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SB meets… Philipp Stahl, Borco

As Tequila fans around the world celebrate the spirit’s national day, we chat with Philipp Stahl, head of global brand marketing at Borco, about the company’s latest Tequila innovation: Sierra Tropical Chilli.

Philipp Stahl, head of global brand marketing at Borco
Philipp Stahl, Borco’s head of global brand marketing, will be marking Tequila Day with a Margarita

You’ve just launched Sierra Tropical Chilli – can you tell us about this new  expression? 

Since the launch of Sierra Tequila de México in 1981, the brand with the iconic sombrero has been shaping the Tequila category like no other, while it is constantly being further developed. The Sierra Tequila brand is cherished for its high quality and fruity notes, and just recently we launched Sierra Tropical Chilli as the newest member to the Sierra Tequila Family.

The new product has a fruity and slightly spicy taste profile and fits perfectly into the Sierra Tequila range with its focus on party and shots.

Who is this new product aimed at? Has it been created to appeal to a certain  demographic? 

By tapping into the trend of fruity shots and low ABV with 18%, Sierra Tropical Chilli is attractive for young consumers between 18- and 35-years-old. The reaction of consumers has been amazing  while generating trials amongst young consumers in the on-trade and at large events. From the end of July, we are starting with our ‘The New Sierra Shot’ campaign focussing, on Gen Z specific communication channels.

Many Tequila brands are distancing themselves from shots by offering ‘sipping’  Tequilas – do you think consumers are still looking for this fun side of the spirit? 

When Sierra Tequila was created, the whole Tequila category was about fun and colourful Mexican fiestas. Shots are fun and somewhat unpredictable, just like a night out with your friends. From the core of Sierra Tequila, the brand is all about party instead of sipping Tequila in armchairs.

The brand is not taking itself too seriously. It is about party and good times with friends, and it delivers the best products for that occasion. Therefore, by creating ‘the new Sierra shot’ with our new product Sierra Tropical Chilli, we are closer to our brand core than ever. Our communication has been much more focused within the last two years, celebrating the shot and our unique shot ritual, and our consumer base loves it.

Oh, and if you want to sip any Sierra product, go for it – we have nothing to hide. We have great quality products we are very proud of.

At only 18% ABV, Sierra Tropical Chilli is placed in the low-ABV category – what drove you to join the low-ABV trend? 

We are a party brand, and we want our consumers to have the best night to remember. So we created something for consumers who might watch their alcohol intake and don’t want to sacrifice on flavour.

Sierra Tropical Chilli with Sierra Tequila Blanco as a base, 100% natural flavours of juicy mango, slightly sour passion fruit, and that hint of chilli, gives you exactly that. This shot is beautifully balanced with a spicy kick, that will leave you craving for more. At least, that is  what happens to me and my team.

The overall Tequila category is thriving – how has Sierra Tequila de México benefited from the category’s popularity boom? 

We have always had a very strong market position in Europe, Asia, and Australia and have probably been one of the brands making Tequila popular in these regions. In the same regions, we see more Tequila brands now and with the great efforts of all those brands, consumers become even more curious about Tequila. Hence, we are benefiting from this trend, and we are curious about where this spirits category can go.

We have a strong product portfolio catering to various consumers and occasions and with  our strong distribution partners, we are ready to make Tequila thrive even more.

Sierra Antiguo Borco
Sierra Antiguo was created for bartenders

How does this product differ from the other Tequilas in the Sierra portfolio, from your marketing approach to serving suggestions? 

Sierra Tropical Chilli is part of the Sierra Tequila brand, which includes two more variants – Sierra Tequila Blanco and Sierra Tequila Reposado. This brand targets the same audience  with a clear focus on Tequila shots.

While Blanco and Reposado are suggested to drink together with salt or cinnamon and lemon or orange, Sierra Tropical Chilli has more a plug and play approach. The only question is, cold or room temperature? Some like it cold, for those hot summer days. Some, me included, like it straight up. We highly recommend it as your next party shot.

And then we have Sierra Antiguo 100% de Agave  Tequila. Currently, this brand has two products in its range. Sierra Antiguo Plata and Sierra Antiguo Anejo. The target audience is slightly older, and our efforts are focused on one of my personal favourite drinks – the Margarita.

This brand was originally created for bartenders to get creative with Tequila. Hence, Sierra Antiguo celebrates Margaritas in all possible ways.

How will the brand be celebrating National Tequila Day today? 

There are days that Tequila lovers look forward to National Tequila Day on 24 July is one of them. We will be present in the on-trade and via social media. We guarantee unforgettable evenings and National Tequila Day is a chance for us to deliver this promise.

With Sierra Tequila, the inner party animal comes to life and celebrates in style. Sierra Tequila will take you on a flavour journey with three simple steps: Uno (salt or cinnamon) – Dos (Sierra Tequila Blanco or Reposado) – Tres (lemon or orange). It’s a unique shot experience  that will leave you craving for more. Just like Sierra Tropical Chilli, ‘The New Sierra Shot’, with its fruity and slightly spicy character.

For Margarita aficionados, Sierra Antiguo 100% de Agave Tequila, which was especially created for mixing is your go-to Tequila. It is the perfect ingredient for endless Margarita variations.

So, raise your glasses – Cheers to National Tequila Day.

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