Happy Cinco de Mayo!
How many of you ever heard that greeting before 1980? And, how many of you actually know the origin of Cinco de Mayo? How many know that the biggest Cinco de Mayo parade is, in fact, in the United States?
What does any of this have to do with marketing?
Cinco de Mayo (in English: the Fifth of May) is a celebration of the Mexican victory over the French in 1862. It is NOT Mexican Independence Day. It is also NOT hugely celebrated everywhere in Mexico. It is a bigger holiday in the United States.
Here’s the story: It all started with Corona. The company began a heavy marketing campaign to sell more beer. How? They marketed Cinco de Mayo as a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride. Of course, on that day, one would want to celebrate “all things Mexican.” The food, the customs, and naturally, the beer! Mexican beer. Lots of beer flowing throughout the festivities. In fact, you might even think the celebration centers around the pouring of a Corona!
The popularity of Cinco de Mayo spread through marketing. Plain and simple. The commercialism “caught on” and presto! A big, fat celebration in the U.S. where a day is set aside for Corona beer to be the standard.
Can we learn something? I think so.
Find your niche — in this case, beer.
Find the uniqueness in your niche — Mexican beer.
Market your uniqueness.
It’s a great lesson for all marketers. Your brand may not end up as big as Corona. But you now know how the United States came to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
Now, put on your sombrero, kick up the music, and enjoy a Corona!