Now you don`t need to be a regular at your local pub to note that nowadays drinks brands have gone all out on marketing, blaring that they are purer, less diluted, more genuine and overall better than their competitors.
The winning brands are the ones that listen to their expert consumers, providing and meeting their demands, thriving to possibly even exceed their expectations, to their buyers` satisfaction. This method will keep the brand in pole position, however a company must not be complacent but always stay abreast, as competition is rife, and there is no guarantee that their product will not be superseded in the long term.
Their marketing team must be innovative, regularly brainstorming and bringing to the table fresh ideas, transforming the latter in attractive phrases peppered with adjectives which make one drool just reading them, accompanied by eye-catching adverts placed in premeditated places like a bus stop to name one, so they are shouting at the general public in the street, at consumers, or even why not, entice new clients. That`s one way to grow a company.
The consumers, even VIPs or celebrities sometimes, not only end up liking and believing in the brand, but they also want to be associated with it, as we see in publicities.
Having said all this though, a company`s brand must be and remain genuine, because as the CEO of Starbucks said: “Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”
So, how to build a drinks brand?
First, right off the bat, one needs to stand out, by doing something that the other brands are not doing. Following deep study on the venture, production, logistics and the works, knowing or at least believing that it is worth a shot as it is clearly in the right direction for the present market.
Then business is always a gamble, a company will have its good days and lows, thus gathering an excellent team is a must.
The trend now is health, taste and low or no sugar, especially following the recent global pandemic, the general public has become more aware what to consume.
As aforementioned, deep study on the venture, or research, is key for any business. It is considered as the starting point, to plan and eliminate or reducing risks, and enhance possible success, pushing your investment to bear fruit, or in other words, consistently increasing the profit margin.
The harder the competition, the more expensive it will be to make inroads, like for example in an already well-established sector like the one of the energy drinks.
During research, the company/sole trader must not limit to merely local, but check what other similar companies are doing globally, and obtain ideas or even establish networking or collaborations, like launching a product in tandem, so that the emerging company has an initial boost in the market.
By researching, a company will learn from the competition mistakes and avoid them, while getting some great ideas from the flavours they have used, to name one example.
Point of Difference (POD)
Ask yourself: Will the audience cross the road to buy your drink?
The above question is food (or drink) for thought. A brand must have the right ingredients and blend to attire the right consumers, for the niche it has targeted.
The taste, the freshness of a drink, must be so tempting and even addictive as to make consumers want more, they will even be ready to take a long walk, or even travel to obtain it, refusing alternatives in the process.
If a brand manages in being this attractive, it will make it with the big players in the market and establish itself, as long as it remains consistent and innovative in line with the trends.
Find your Voice
Most of the successful unique drink brands, have a voice of their own.
What does a brand stand for? The simplest way to start is to write down the mission statement. Express what are you after, what you believe in, cause if you won`t, how will you expect the consumers to follow?
Water for example, is simple, they should be all the same, taste and priced similarly? No? As we know this is far from the truth, as water can be found in cheap plastic bottles, but also in high-end market, with the brand promising us that it comes directly from the mountain top!
The key here is to believe in the brand, in the product, and be genuine, then with good marketing, the consumers will come and stick around.
Take for example the logos of Hendrick’s Gin, it is peculiar and unusual, while Johnnie Walker whisky consistently exudes confidence. These simple but effective logos voice out the brand, your beliefs, making it sound powerful and attractive to consumers, who will memorise and affiliate themselves with it.
Also, be personal. In a globalised market where consumers can watch, reach and share everything by tapping on buttons, the brand must be enticing. Take for example Nike, they are not only about their sportswear product, although it is great, but they are personal: “Just Do It”, encouraging people, selling the feeling of winning.
It all bores down to very good marketing really, apart from the company`s internal mechanisms.
Keep in mind that this is not a cheap industry to venture into, thus research is paramount. As in everything else, money is needed to set the ball rolling, either if you are going to invest your own or reach out to investors.
The taste, name, branding, distribution, samples and presentation pack for buyers all need to be perfect from day one, and that requires money. Most probably you will need to pay for research to prove that your ingredients are allowed for human consumption, so take that into account too.
Remember, excellent marketing moves mountains.