Macanudo Cigars

Lifestyle Brand Launch

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.

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.

Key Issues

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.

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