In June of this year, the famous whiskey brand will begin national distribution of a $165 premium bottle of whiskey, nostalgically named "Sinatra Select." The company is paying homage to one of its biggest fans, "Ol' Blue Eyes." Although it may not seem so, the connection between Jack Daniel's is as authentic as it gets, as Sinatra used to toast to Jack Daniel's on stage and is even buried with a flask of his drink of choice. In fact, Sinatra's public endorsement of Jack Daniel's in the 1950's helped lift the brand to national prominence.
But despite this natural pairing, the partnership between Frank Sinatra and Jack Daniel's struck me as odd. Jack Daniel's has a much more rugged, every-man image today - selling bottles of it's no. 7 brand for around $25 and previously sponsoring a car in the NASCAR Series. A Sinatra-branded bottle of whiskey for $165 is a deep departure from such a demographic, suddenly placing the brand on the highest shelf next to the "finest single-malt whiskey's." Will today's connoisseurs, who enjoy more choices than ever before, believe Jack Daniel's is the nector of the gods the way Sinatra once did?
I have my doubts. While paying homage to Frank Sinatra is a nice idea, the ultra-high price tag is a liability. Jack Daniel's is positioning itself at the high-end and the low-end of the market; but a brand really must choose one.
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