The ‘Skinny’ of Successful Business Ventures and Relationships: Skinnygirl Margaritas

Sometimes there’s a need for a product or service that doesn’t exist yet. Entrepreneurs are the people who innovate and create based on those needs, and Bethenny Frankel is one of those people.

Once upon a time, there were people who stared at their margaritas longingly and wished they could drink this delicious, tequila-filled, sugary drink without consuming all those calories. Luckily for them, there’s a woman who really enjoys her margaritas, felt the same way, and knew there was a niche out there that did too. So what did she do? She created Skinnygirl Margaritas! If you love margaritas or tune in to Bravo (Real Housewives, anyone?!) then you probably know who I am talking about. If you don’t, then let me fill you in.

Bethenny Frankel, creator of 'Skinnygirl Margarita'

Bethenny Frankel, creator of ‘Skinnygirl Margarita’

Bethenny Frankel is a natural foods chef and a New York Times Best Selling author. She was on the reality show Real Housewives of NY, which follows six women who live in New York, their families, and their social lives. She also has her own show, Bethenny Ever After. As a natural foods chef, Bethenny makes unhealthy foods healthy (well, at least healthier) for you. After mentioning her take on the margarita in a Real Housewives episode, she noticed the demand for low-calorie margaritas…and the Skinnygirl Margarita was born!

Aside from the fact that no one can turn down a ready-to-drink, 100 calorie margarita, I believe that Bethenny’s Skinnygirl Margarita has seen wild success because of her good customer relationships.

Bethenny discovered a niche that wanted Skinnygirl Margaritas, and even better, she belongs to that same niche. Being able to relate to your customers makes it easier to speak their language. If you can speak your customers’ language and understand what they want, it will help your company, your product, and your marketing efforts.

Bethenny relates to her customers and she speaks to them as someone who actually cares about their interests. She has a TV show on Bravo, a website, and a presence on Twitter and Facebook. Bethenny’s Facebook page has many examples of great customer relationships. Below are a few of her posts on Cinco de Mayo:

Bethenny Frankel: “IT’S FINALLY CINCO DE SKINNYGIRL!!! For those of you who can’t get a hold of my Skinnygirl Margarita – by BETHENNY FRANKEL, here is the recipe so you can have a Skinnygirl Celebration tonight!!! Xoxoxo”

Bethenny Frankel: “Hey guys anyone who is having trouble locating Skinnygirl Margarita – by BETHENNY FRANKEL, I want you to EMAIL me and tell me the city and state you are in, and what store you need it to! Email address is: Love you guys!!!”

Knowing that Cinco de Mayo could be a big day for Skinnygirl Margaritas, Bethenny posted frequently to assist customers who couldn’t get the low-cal margaritas in stores. She wanted to know where they were located so she could work on distributing the drink in a store near them. Even though those customers didn’t have access to Skinnygirl that day, Bethenny acknowledged the problem and made it clear that she wanted to get the product in their location, thus building a relationship with them. Building good customer relationships will result in loyalty. Those customers are now more likely to wait for Skinnygirl to show up in their local stores, or make a drive to find it if they’re really thirsty!

In short, Bethenny Frankel is an excellent example of entrepreneurship and she has what it takes to build a solid, highly-engaged customer following. Whether you’re interested in Skinnygirl Margaritas or not, you could learn a thing or two from her ambition and dedication!

Do you agree that strong customer relationships drive loyalty? Can you think of any other recent examples of niche marketing? And, most importantly, have you tried Skinnygirl Margaritas?


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  1. QLP Kid

    Really Great post!!!

    -QLP Kid

    “It’s How the Midwest Was Won…”

  2. Jill Tooley

    Bethenny has the right idea! I’m MUCH more likely to do business with or buy from a company if they have an active Twitter/Facebook profile to communicate with customers. It seems like she’s taken a genuine interest in her margarita-loving followers! It’s annoying when companies or brands ignore customers or act as if they’re too good to talk to them. I’m sure she’s a busy woman, but she still finds the time to keep a line of communication open on social networking sites. Very admirable!

    I’d never heard of Bethenny OR Skinnygirl Margarita before reading this, so thank you for alerting me to her website(s). She’s got some awesome recipes I’d like to make sometime! Not to mention, who wouldn’t enjoy delicious margaritas with only 100 calories?!? Yum!

  3. JPorretto

    I’ve heard you talking about Skinnygirl Margaritas for a while and I never knew that this was who created them! That’s really cool how she saw the niche for a product and went for it.

    I think she also is a perfect example of someone who simply got her big break. Sure she has a great product and customer interaction, but the fact that she happened to be on TV and everyone knew who she was is as big of reason for her success as anything. But without her level of commitment, she would never sustain that success. So Kudos to her.

    And Kudos to you for an excellent post!

  4. cyberneticSAM

    Wow! I don’t even drink hard liquor, but her positivity and enthusiasm makes me want to try her stuff! She is extremely hands on and direct. That is an excellent way to develop a great following and loyal customers. Make your customers feel important and recognized! I wish more companies were like that. Being so young, she seems so wise, I hope she stays this way! I hope she is not just naive and our consumer culture hasn’t broken her spirit yet.

  5. Amanda Sneed

    Awesome post Lauren! =) Skinny Girl Margaritas sound great! I didn’t realize regular restaurant margaritas had so many calories! Bethenny has really done a great job at making a needed product available in the marketplace! Well done Skinny Girl.

    Her ideas remind me of the “Skinny Bitch” and “Hungry Girl” product/recipe lines…but as far as I know, this is the first of this kind of product to be bottled and sold in stores….the other two companies just provide the recipes to make healthier food/drinks at home.

  6. Scooby DOO!

    Bethenny… from NY house wife to the QLP blog… man this gal gets around! I have to say, she is pretty damn funny, witty, and money motivated. Combine those personality traits with the notoriety she got from the real house wives show, and voila, she had all the right ingredients to launch her entrepreneurial career. I am happy for her; she had an opportunity, took a risk and went for it. Of the things she did best though, was always taking care of her customers needs and focusing [tirelessly] on their WANTS. Although she is a reality TV star, all entrepreneurs should pay attention to her story, because Bethenny’s got game.

    By the way, Doc and Jay, had a skinny girl party over Cinco- you should ask them.

  7. Doc

    As much fun as that Cinco de Mayo party would have been, Jay and I didn’t get around to the Skinny Girl Margaritas. However, I do love this lady’s business concept. She may have received her break from a TV show, but definitely made the most of it with a driving work ethic…good for her.

    After thinking about ways to expand her business even further, I think she should try out low calorie Mudslides and Pina Coladas. That would be right up my alley.

  8. Jana Quinn

    I definitely think that having an active Twitter/Facebook account is CRITICAL to customer service these days. Getting a response from a huge corporation in any kind of a timely manner used to be considered pretty rare, but with social media, it should be rare NOT to get a prompt response.

    I’m not sure I believe a “skinny” margarita can actually taste good. I may need to do some firsthand research.

    That said, if the lady comes up with a low calorie Long Island, I’m buying stock in the company.

    • LK

      You should definitely do some firsthand research. I thought it was good. I’m actually going to purchase my second bottle today on my way home!!

  9. Joseph Giorgi

    A long time ago, in a land far, far away (actually, just 8 months ago in DeKalb)… I worked in a liquor store, and I remember the giant cardboard cutouts of Bethenny that the store received to promote her Skinnygirl Margarita. The drink never sold particularly well while I was working there, but it seems like the brand has really taken off in recent months.

    I’ve never tried it (as I’m not a big fan of margaritas), but I can appreciate the level of determination and customer relationship-building that Bethenny put forth. Job well done on her part.

    Excellent post! 🙂

  10. Kyle

    Ok first, let me get my rant out of the way… I’m sick of all of these “housewives” shows. Do we really need ten different variations of the same concept? Bleh.

    Now that I have that out of the way, great post Lauren! It sounds like Bethenny really struck gold by catering to such a specific market. It’s even better that she fits her own product’s image.

    Sadly I don’t have much else to relate to this post considering I’m a 20 year old male who doesn’t have much interest in a low-calorie margarita. =P

  11. admin

    I recently just started to “dip my toes” (gross analogy; I know) in the wonderful word of Margarita’s, and boy oh boy… are they YUMMY!

    It wasn’t until last week that I was informed how UNHEALTHY of a beverage these really are though…

    Why does EVERYTHING that tastes so good have to be SO bad for you?!?!?

    I haven’t tried a skinny margarita yet, but it sure sounds promising.

    As far as Bethenny Frankel goes; where does she find the time to maintain such a social presence/following while writing and staring in her own TV show? What a person!

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