Trivia about the Absolut Vodka experience.
In Sweden all production of spirits, that is alcohol drinks that are not beer or wine, has since 1917 been done by a monopoly known as Vin & Spritcentralen.
Anyway, V&S produced a grain spirit called "Absolut Rent Bränvin" (Absolute Pure Vodka), which was of decent quality, but didn't have a great image. In other words, it had more of cheap working class image than the yuppie one that can bring in lots of money.
In 1978 the board of directors of V&S decided to try to export this vodka, and decided to target the US market, probably because it's a big a profitable market.
To make it more marketable they settled on a bottle shaped like an old medicine bottle, and no covering label. In addition the color blue was chosen, since it has a pure and calming effect. They also used the Swedish spelling of Absolute to be able to trade mark it.
In April 1979 the first bottles of Absolut was produced in Åhus, and started selling in Boston two months later. The first year they sold 90,000 liters (10,000 cases @ 9 liters each).
Absolut soon got more popular. In 1985 it became the largest import vodka in the US, and since 1994 it's one of the top 10 international spirit brands.