Sketch comedian. Ghostbuster. Vodka entrepreneur. It’s all in a life’s work for the remarkable Dan Aykroyd.
An original cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” Aykroyd is perhaps best known for the film franchise “Ghostbusters” in which he plays Ray Stanz, the proton pack-wearing ghoul fighter, a role that he will reprise in an upcoming sequel.
He’s less recognized, however, as the co-founder of Crystal Head Vodka, a globally distributed, ultra-premium spirit brand identified by its distinctive skull-shaped bottle.
Launched in 2008, Crystal Head Vodka is atypical of celebrity-backed spirits in that its association with Aykroyd is not front and center. Although he does meet-and-greet events with consumers and occasionally goes on sales calls, the brand was designed and developed to be sold on its own merits. It’s a point of pride for Aykroyd who praised the company’s emphasis on business fundamentals and premium positioning.
In this episode, Aykroyd spoke about cutting his teeth in beverage alcohol as an importer of Patron tequila, how Crystal Head Vodka enhances its resonance with the heavy metal community, how he attempts to establish an authentic relationship with consumers, and, why, despite the company’s long standing independence, he may be interested in aligning with a certain luxury-centric conglomerate.
In this Episode
|0:48: Interview: Dan Aykroyd, Co-Founder, Crystal Head Vodka – Aykroyd chatted with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif about Crystal Head Vodka’s limited-edition “Paint Your Pride” bottle before discussing the brand’s origins, the inspiration behind the skull package and its initial reception among retailers and bar directors. He also explained how he’s built sustainable relationships with distributors, what makes him an effective salesman and why he believes that his celebrity has a limited impact on the brand’s past and future. Later, he spoke about the delineation of roles and responsibilities among the company’s ownership team and what postal work has to do with their harmonious relationship, why his friend and fellow actor Bill Murray doesn’t drink Crystal Head Vodka (a sister whiskey brand is another story) and answered an infamous question with a “little g.”|