This Week in Marketing: Branding a New Local Product

In one of the last installments of This Week in Marketing for 2018, Sam and I return to the studio to talk about branding with a couple of seasoned San Diego entrepreneurs. More specifically, we talk about what exactly goes into branding a new product.

Our guests include Les Kollegian, branding expert from Jacob Tyler Agency, and Nick Apostolopoulos, owner of 619 Spirits. Nick is currently working with Les in building a brand around his new line of vodka: 619 Vodka.

Throughout this episode, the four of us dive into the details of how businesses should approach branding their new product to enter the market with a bang.

Segment one primarily serves as an overview of both Jacob Tyler Agency and 619 Vodka. Nick talks about the challenges of launching a spirit in San Diego, a city with one of the strongest beer scenes in the United States. On the branding side, Les gives his take on the most important elements that go into building a brand and how to approach obstacles head-on.

The second segment is all about establishing imagery and a brand voice that conveys a clear perception. I throw out an example of the differences in branding between two inexpensive vodka brands: UV and Skyy.

While these two brands are similar in price and quality, they each represent different values and have their own perception. I get Les’s hot take on how to differentiate yourself with branding – even if the product and price are similar to a competitor.

Segment three steps more into the marketing aspect of building a brand. We talk about what it takes to get the word out, as well as what local brands like 619 Vodka can do to capture a target audience or demographic. We also get into the details of how to scale a brand beyond the local scene, and how to ensure everything stays consistent – it’s not as easy as you might think.

The final segment is all about “future proofing” a brand to keep it around for the long haul. Les talks about the steps and precautions business owners can take to ensure their branding efforts hold up in the face of changing fads, trends, and customer mindsets.

If you are looking for some help branding your new product or service and introducing it to the market, be sure to check out this episode of This Week in Marketing!

About the Guests:

Les Kollegian

Les Kollegian is the CEO and Chief Branding Officer of Jacob Tyler Agency, a firm that has been around for nearly 20 years! Les’s primary goal is to create brand experiences that build meaningful and significant value. Jacob Tyler Agency covers many areas involved in the branding process, including printed collateral, web design and development, product design, online marketing, social media, and reputation management. Connect with Les on LinkedIn!

Nick Apostolopoulos

Nick Apostolopoulos operates 619 Spirits out of North Park in San Diego. He has been a staple in the city’s liquor scene for a long time and has built a strong local name for his brand. One of Nick’s primary goals with 619 Spirits is to promote the fact that all ingredients and materials are locally sourced and the spirits are produced with highly ethical practices.

About the Hosts:


Sam Wheeler supports the digital marketing efforts for large and small companies alike. He is a manager at Inseev Interactive and an expert in digital analytics. Sam has been a featured writer in several marketing publications across the web. When Sam is not on the web, you can find him off the coast of San Diego, catching the evening swell.

Kevin Svec

Kevin Svec is a Senior Copywriter and Chief Content Strategist at E2M. Based in San Diego, Kevin is the head of the North American sector of the company. He spends the bulk of his days writing and editing content to resonate with readers across the board, as well as hosting E2M’s in-house podcast, The Marketing Microscope. When he isn’t rock climbing or hanging out at the beach, Kevin is working on his travel and leisure website, Impulsive Wanderlust. He has done a lot to add value to the traveler community, especially with this post he wrote on SEO Tips for Travel Bloggers.


  • Kevin Svec is a chief content strategist at E2M. He spends his days researching and helping businesses produce compelling content that resonates with audiences of all interest levels. When he’s not rock climbing or hanging out at one of San Diego’s many beaches, Kevin is writing for Impulsive Wanderlust, a travel and leisure website he founded.