There's no doubt that the beverage industry continues to grow. And there's also no doubt that there's huge competition for every niche within it. That doesn't mean that you should abandon your brilliant idea for a new drinks product, but it does mean you need to lay plans, build a brand and ensure you have the right processes in place for success.
What is a brand?
Branding is about a lot more than just the logo, colours and look of your products.
It is about creating an identity for your product that will help it stand out from
the competition. With online marketing, it is both easier than ever to create a
brand and harder than ever to get it noticed.
Therefore research is important to building a brand. First, you need to think about what does your brand stand for? What is the purpose - aside from making you money! A mission statement is a key way to focus this into a simple short paragraph - who do you help and how? Maybe you have a range of low sugar fruit smoothies that are ideal for busy people who want a breakfast on the go? Then the basis of your brand would be what appealed to these people - you wouldn't use imagery about tropical islands but of busy, healthy people.
What makes you different?
Alongside that mission statement, you want to create a clear picture of what makes your brand different. This is not just that you have 10% less natural sugar in your products than your competitor or you offer 10 flavours and they only offer five. You want a combination of your company beliefs, your promise and your story.
Some of the questions you need to answer to build into your brand could be:
- What makes your product different and why does this matter?
- Why did you want to create this product?
- Why do you think what it offers is important?
- What do you guarantee that your product has or doesn't have?
It isn't about making sure you seem 'better' than the competition but painting a clear picture why people want to try your product over theirs. Look at bottled water - essentially these products are all the same, but some sell better than others - why is this? Because their brand appeals more to that particular audience and they remain brand loyal.
Spreading the brand
Once you have that combination of branding elements such as logos and colours and the ideals behind it, you can start spreading the brand and building awareness. This should start with the product itself - you want to use bottling services that can help with this by ensuring your product has branded packaging and even display stands.
You will also want to create an online presence for your brand, even if you plan to sell it in physical shops. This means a website and a social media presence. The website doesn't need to be overly complicated, but it should have the same branding as your packaging and talk about things in a brand voice - using that mission statement and answers to the questions mentioned above.
Social media is a huge way to promote your new product, to gain followers and interest. But it isn't just about advertising - you want to engage your potential customers. So the answers to those questions can be used as a basis for a marketing strategy to make connections online.
Put the pieces together
Branding is often an ongoing process as your product matures and you get to know your audience better. But a strong foundation that crosses from the bottling service you use to create your product through to your online and social media presence is key to that early success.