The New York Times has a followup article called “Learning from Tito’s Vodka.” I have been asked in the past about what “features” a vodka should have to be successful. I think this quote from the article sums up everything:
Be authentic: Don’t try to be something you’re not. Deliver a good product and the market will find you. Tito’s wasn’t a Russian vodka and it didn’t come in a sexy bottle. It took time, but being counterchic has given him staying power.
This is chiefly why brands like Tito’s and Sobieski work so well. They invested in making a great product and let the product stand on its merits. The vodka industry has made it through the Grey Goose era where marketing and a high price tag helped sell vodka. Now, we’re in an age where a good product at an affordable price will out shine everyone else.