General Cigar Company looked to expand it’s consumer base through the use of their iconic Macanudo brand. They hired us to expand their product offering and brand identity by creating a lifestyle around their key products.
Lifestyle Brand Launch
Macanudo Cigar Brand Extension
General Cigar Company, the largest manufacturer and marketer of premium, imported, hand-made or hand-rolled cigars, wanted to build an exclusive lifestyle experience around their brand Macanudo (one of the best hand-rolled Dominican Republic cigars available today) and have it supported by luxury product development and a communications strategy that targeted the luxury baby boomer audience.
No other brand in this category had ever attempted to build a lifestyle around a brand so the waters were uncharted.
The Cullman Family, which owned General Cigar at this time, had been in the Connecticut tobacco industry since 1848. And although Macanudo has a Dominican Republic tobacco filler, the wrapper leaf, which gives this cigar 90% of its overall flavor, is Connecticut Broadleaf grown on Cullman farms in Connecticut. For all intents and purposes, this was a premium American cigar. The lifestyle brand was built on this heritage.
The Macanudo lifestyle communications strategy was launched in 1993 resulting in an increase in cigar sales of 10% percent. The lifestyle products were launched increasing cigar sales by an additional 12%. Sales continued to grow at 33% in 1995 to 36% in 1996 with the opening of physical Club Macanudo Cigar Bars in New York City, Chicago and Miami. In 2002, Swedish Match bought 64% of General Cigar Holdings, Inc.