With over 70% share of the premium tequila market, it would be easy for Patrón’s CMO to rationalize a conservative marketing approach. Instead, Lee Applbaum believes that success can only be found by “challenging long-standing norms in luxury and in spirits marketing,” and by “always staying ahead of the curve.” To these ends, Applbaum is focused on showcasing Patron’s authenticity as a handcrafted tequila via advertising, influencer programs, social media and an innovative Oculus VR experience.
During is over 3+ years as CMO at Patrón, Lee Applbaum has launched successful line extensions (La Roca) and won numerous awards including two from The CMO Club. But what’s more impressive is that he has helped keep the growth streak alive as Patron continues to find new fans while maintaining a highly loyal following.
Applbaum started his career at Coca-Cola in sales after earning his MBA at UMass Amherst. After Coca-Cola, he held increasingly senior marketing jobs at Schlotzsky’s, Footstar Athletic, David’s Bridal, Radio Shack and even spent 8 months in Melbourne, Australia working with Target. Most importantly, in addition to his strong marketing background, Applbaum knows how to mix the perfect margarita, a skill that comes in handy remarkably often in his current role.