On a Roll: Don Mann

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Don Mann, 38, was named Modelo products director at Gambrinus Co. in 1995, after serving as a brand manager for six years with Kraft Foods and one year with Dial Corp. In the last five years, Gambrinus brands Corona Extra, Corona Light, Negra Modelo, Pacifico and Modelo Especial have grown 300%, and Corona now tops Heineken as the No. 1 imported beer in the U.S.

Insight: Promotions led Corona to its current success, creating sales momentum long before we spent significant money on traditional advertising. A series of carefully managed, targeted promotions is far more effective than one big rocket-launch effort that gets more headlines than results.

Inside tip: We avoid tie-ins with movies, events or other major brands. These tactics tend to dilute a brand's uniqueness, unless the tie-in is dead-on with our brand identity, and that's rare.

Edge: Corona steers clear of repetitive themes. We drive toward uniquely creative efforts that give retailers something different, oriented around the retailer's objectives.

Forecast: The dot-com demise has been overstated. Internet and traditional marketing intelligence is merging. Savvy marketers are exploiting the Internet for public relations-driven promotions.

Secret weapon: Cultivating a brand's unique personality. I remember my own curiosity about Corona in the mid-1980s; we want to keep that spirit alive in our promotions.

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