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¡Si, si, Cinco de Mayo!

Posted by Chad O'Connor  May 4, 2013 11:00 AM

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[Editor's Note: Join former Global Business Hub editors Devin Cole and Meg Reilly at Lir on Boylston Street on May 9th for the "Toast the Press" event to show some #journolove]

Let’s actually forget about the historical context of Cinco de Mayo. Let’s forget about any Mexican nationalism and sense of identity. We, the Mexicans who have migrated to the US, for whatever the reason, have done it in order to pursue the American Dream. So while Cinco de Mayo back home celebrates the defeat of the most important army in the 19th century by a bunch of insurgents in the Eastern Mexico state of Puebla, and while it might not be such a big deal of a holiday in Mexico, this holiday is still benefiting Mexico in an indirect way. We should celebrate the extra beer sales that have led to the creation of a successful Mexican global brand.

In order to provide a business context, according to Interbrand research, Corona beer is actually positioned as the 89th ranking most global brand of 2012. This positioning is just one slot after Starbucks, which is of course a very well known and recognized brand of the past 20 years.

In contrast, also according to Interbrand’s 2012 report, Budweiser is #31 while Heineken is #92. Corona might not be in the top 50, but it is a global player and it is a recognizable brand valued at over $4 billion. Corona is owned by Grupo Modelo, one of the most important companies in Mexico and a global leader in beer manufacturing. Despite being a leading brand in Mexico, Corona's positioning in the US Hispanic market is not necessarily that strong.

Looking at St. Patrick’s Day as a comparable holiday that helps to generate sales for a particular brand of beer, Guinness, which according to Diageo’s website is the #1 stout in the world, sold 11.1 million 9-liter cases around the globe. Interestingly enough, Diageo is also the brand-managing company for José Cuervo, another big player in the beloved Cinco de Mayo holiday. José Cuervo actually sells 3.9 million 9-liter cases and is also ranked the #1 tequila in the world by sales.

Whichever your taste of beer or liquor is, this industry is big business, not only in the US but globally. And yes, holidays such as Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick’s Day might be a marketing idea by design. But consumers, in the end, still make their choices. So, if you celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by raising your glass with a stout like Guinness, or maybe a shot of Baileys in your coffee while shouting: “Top o’ the morn,’” what is so different about saying: “Salud” and raising your Corona or Coronita? Perhaps you could toast with a michelada, beer poured into ice and lime juice with a salted glass rim?

The American experience is about cultural integration. We embrace the best of each culture that has migrated to this country. So yes, let's have lunch with a burrito, and if it is 5PM elsewhere in the world, why not toast with a cerveza, mis amigos!


Raul Medina, born in Mexico, is Director of Integrated Marketing for MÁS Media based in Somerville, MA. MÁS Media serves the Hispanic community in New England with its leading media outlets: @elplanetaboston, @bostonmastv, and @healthandfammag.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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