As the line in today's market between indie and mainstream continue to blur, brands and artists alike struggle to navigate a unique identity that doesn't offend the sensibilities of its consumers. The challenge, particularly if you're trying to reach the ever-fickle twenty-somethings, is how to market your brand to a demographic that has come to detest brands?
That's where Gustavo Guerra, brand director for Heineiken's Indio Beer, has outsmarted the competition. As Indio, a Mexican made beer, is beginning to enter taps across the United States market, the brand is donning a thrift store army jacket coat of cool by joining forces with the perennially hip Vice Magazine to organize a summer music festival.
Together, the two companies have orchestrated a Mexican-American concert tour, "Hola Indio," which will visit urban epicenters around the country. As Indio beer crosses the border, they're bringing highlights of Mexican culture with them, and the event has all the trappings of a cool music festival: a broad-ranging lineup of artists, displays of artwork, and of course, enough beer to keep everybody hydrated and happy.
What distinguishes this tour, though, is its focus on showcasing the fusion between Mexican and American music, and celebrating the merging of cultures. Gustavo explains, "The idea behind the 'Hola Indio' tour is to blend this to painting and arts into an event that can be an emphasis on the cross section of Mexican-American culture." Additionally, the event has a social conscious, with donations benefiting the National Museum of Mexican Art. Gustavo believes that Indio's grassroots efforts will be seen as "credible and relevant" to its target audience, Mexican-American twenty-something-year-olds with cultivated ears and taste buds to boot.
By linking itself closely to cutting-edge music and artists, Indio is creating a brand identity as more than a cold drink after a long day. Like every company, whether multi-national or mom and pop, Indio has a Facebook page, which it's using as a platform "to let consumers interact and talk about their passion and music." Fitting to the internet age, where much of this cultural and artistic awareness is already acquired online.
Indio beer is a traditional Mexican dark lager, with a sweet after taste all its own. Similarly, the "Hola Indio" tour is deeply rooted in Mexican culture, but targeted towards young Mexican-Americans who have honed a cultural identity unique to their generation. The music ranges from "reggae to urban sounds to hip hop" but is never anything but "authentic."
If the first few events were any indicators, Indio is right on target. Gustavo explains, "We've already had four concerts, all have been very successful," with a "majority 70% Hispanic population" Gustavo is confident that Indio will make its presence known. By aligning itself with the hip-to-the-moment art and cultural its consumers enjoy, Indio escapes that flat-beer staleness many multi-national brands face, while also supporting the artistic causes that matter to the very people cracking open Indio bottles.
Catch the tour when it rolls through your town.
Tour One, featuring Bufi and art by Ines Estrada and Clarke Curtis:
7/24 Los Angeles
7/25 San Francisco
Tour Two, featuring Carlos Pesina and art by Jhina Alvarado:
8/21 Los Angeles
8/22 San Francisco
Tour Three, featuring Dani Shivers and art by Edgar Orlaineta and Evan Gruzis:
9/25 Los Angeles
9/26 San Francisco
Tour Four, featuring Toy Selectah and Mexicans with Guns, and art by Mr. Kone and Florencio Zavala:
10/30 Los Angeles
10/31 San Francisco