By: Ann Redus (UTSA)
My friends and thriving young business men, Brett Cohen and Justin Reitmeyer, have yet again been kind enough to give us here at The Campus Socialite, and you, some more about their product, Y-Vodka. It’s all the rage in San Antonio along with several other cities across the great state of Texas, and since you asked for it, we’re giving it to you. They share how their brand got their start, what some of their greatest and hardest moments have been along the way, and what’s next for this premium vodka brand. Get some! So take a load off in your mid-day work schedule and see first hand what it takes to be a Campus Tycoon and the leader of a vodka empire in this exclusive interview. It’s somewhat out of the ordinary for people in their twenty-somethings to be as ambitious and successful as you and your partner, Justin. Where did the inspiration for Y-Vodka come from?
We just wanted to get out there and create a product that we felt people wanted to have. Justin and I were both biology majors perusing a medical career. When the idea came up for Y-Vodka we both took it seriously but never thought we would be where we are today
With so many other types of liquors on the market, why did you choose to produce a line of vodka over any other type of liquor?
Everyone drinks vodka. It mixes well with just about anything, and allows for us to be creative with development with new flavors. On top of that, we were able to create a top of the line product for an affordable price.
About how many different names for your product did you go through before deciding on “Y-Vodka,” and how did you know it was the right name for your brand?
We went through about 3-4 names. Picking the name was the hardest part. We played around with different names, and wanted to keep it simple. When Y came about, we knew we had a winner. The Y allows for an endless amount of marketing capabilities, and lets us explore the creative side of the brand, which is definitely important.
How have your families and friends reacted to the success of Y-Vodka? Have they been supportive of your endeavors along the way, and did they ever have any doubts?
Our families have been AMAZING. They have always believed in the product, but more
Importantly they believe in Justin and I. From the beginning, a lot of people were very pessimistic. I don’t think Justin and I ever let that affect us, if anything it motivated us even more.
Building a business will have its ups-and-downs. What has been the hardest part for you throughout the process of creating Y-Vodka? What has been your favorite?
The hardest part was getting the product to market. There are so many factors that come into play when creating any product. The most important thing is to stay on the grind. You are going to get a 100 no’s from people before you get a yes. It’s all about getting to that first yes. Once you get that yes, you’re on the correct path.
You previously mentioned getting the consumers of Y-Vodka involved in branding your business by helping you all choose potential flavors. What are some others ways you plan to get the consumers of Y-Vodka involved?
The consumer in some way affects everything we do. The parties we throw, events we sponsor, products we create, and marketing the brand all come from input by people we feel are Y-Vodka consumers. Without the consumer there is no brand, which is why it’s important for us to get their input.
What is the biggest project that Y-Vodka has going on right now?
Getting our new flavors and sizes into new markets is definitely the biggest thing going on now. It’s a constant struggle to grow while keeping up with day-to-day activities.
With so many other brands of vodka to choose from, what, would you say, sets Y-Vodka apart from the competition?
Everything about the product is for You, the consumer. We are not only creating a brand, but a lifestyle. It’s kinda like the whole Apple/PC debate. I look at PCs like I do other vodka brands. They have been around forever and I grew up seeing those brands. I have nothing against them, but we have created the new vodka. It’s better than the other products, and once people try it they realize why there is such a buzz around Y-Vodka.
To you, what is the most important part about your brand?
The people behind it. We have great people behind every aspect involved the product. At the end of the day the brand revolves around everyone, from the bartenders pouring the product, to the consumer, to the sales reps working for our company. Everyone is super excited about Y-Vodka and it definitely shows at the end of the day.
Where do you see Y-Vodka in one year from now? Five years?
In one year I see Y-Vodka becoming the new and upcoming product that everyone is talking about in. In 5 years Y-Vodka will be a household name, and we will have showed people a different perspective on “Premium Vodka.”
For more information about Y-Vodka, check out their website at http://www.y-vodka.com/, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yvodka, Twitter at www.twitter.com/theyvodka, and Myspace at www.myspace.com/yvodka.