Archive for May, 2011

Taste Is Overated

May 9, 2011

I don’t know how many business plans I have read, how many meetings I have sat through with new beverage companies, or booths I have visited at trade shows….but there is one common thing that I hear almost all the time…. ‘my product tastes better’ than anyone else on the market.  I think you know where I am going with this……it is impossible for every product to be the best tasting.  I realize that it is easy for me to say this.  I understand that anyone who has poured his heart into a new venture thinks that their creation is special….but the reality is that some of the hottest products on the market don’t necessarily taste good – try a kombucha and see what I mean. 

My message here is that taste is personal and I don’t think it is the primary reason people choose to drink what they do.  If you want to be successful, focus on the brand you are creating and why it is relevant to your target consumer.  People want to bond with brands…think of it as a badge.  Why would I carry your brand in my hand….what does it say about me?  Think in those terms and you have a good chance of connecting with your target.

Flavored Alcohol Beverages

May 2, 2011

This ain’t your daddies Oldsmobile, baby.

I have been spending a lot of time in the Progressive Adult Beverage category in the past few months.  It is a category where Four Loko sits and we have all been watching to see how the brand would do after caffeine was removed.  I am here to tell you that 4L is doing just fine today.  Some people predicted that it would die without caffeine…and they were wrong.  My take is that 4L has created a brand that is relevent to their target user – with or without caffeine.  I am not sure that I would call this brand a category by itself, I think there is a larger consumer trend emerging here, one that includes the likes of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Smirnoff Ice and others….and what is emerging is a young consumer demand for different alcohol beverages…..sort of not your father’s Oldsmobile. 

Like the energy drink category 12 years ago, a lot of brands will jump into the market….some will stay, a lot more will fail…..and the deciding factor will be who is different and who is relevent with their target consumers.  Someone will be the next Red Bull, someone will be the next Monster and Rock Star.  If you want to play and win…..be different and connect with your consumer!

Early winners: Four Loko, Mike’s Hard Lemonade

Early losers: Tilt, Joose

Undecided: Blast