TOP SIX THINGS TO DO BEFORE STARTING YOUR BEVERAGE BRAND
How does one start building a brand in a sea of new brands competing for attention everyday? It can be challenging to make a disruptive splash in today's burgeoning beverage market but it IS possible with the right kind of mind-set and planning. Between new drink consumption habits with customers, to flavor profile creations, there is a lot to think about when building a brand and how to attract your best customer.
Below is a short list on how to get started, before you even pencil a drawing onto a napkin, hire a design team or pick a name for your company.
1. Research, Research, Research!
What's currently out there? Start your Pinterest board, list the urls, and find the competition for your specific brand. Do this not only to see what is out there regionally, locally and internationally, but to make sure your new ideas are fresh and unique. Knowing your competition is a key factor in laying out your beverage brand's foundation.
2. A Good Story
Every company has a story. Every owner has a background and whether that story is about the product, the owner, the idea or the concept, there is a story. This is your best material to start your brand foundation. This is what will make your brand unique so get started writing it out, finding old photos, facts and moments in time that tell your story. Is your customer going to be drinking a piece of history? Are they benefiting health-wise from a special ingredient inspired by a founders personal history? This is great material you can give to your design and marketing team as well. A story can be product driven or emotionally driven but the best stories capture a human element and an emotional response. An attractive story is a sold product.
3. How Different Are You?
Start listing why your product is different. How does it benefit your customer? In a competitive market, you have to figure out which aspects will lead your brand. Is it the geographic area you are in? Is it the ‘way' you produce your product or deliver it? Is it the family history or an ‘ah-ha' moment you had while trekking around the world finding yourself? Why would someone want to grab your beverage off the shelf vs. another brand? Why would someone want to buy your product over and over again? The combination of your differentiators adds unique value to your product and helps your sales. List them out!
4. Know Your Goals
How big do you want to grow? How small? What are your distribution goals? These facts will help your marketing and creative team with a distinct strategy. How scalable is your product based on resources, materials and ingredients? Know your goals, and your marketing strategy will benefit.
5. To Market to Market
It's great to have a product, a beautiful brand and space in the market for growth but how do people find you, who knows about it? Sales are one thing but marketing will move your beverage brand to the growth that you desire and further empower your sales team. The story you develop will streamline your marketing efforts and differentiate it from the other brands trying to make a splash or fight for shelf space at your local market. Expect to invest in multi-channel efforts, a strategy and an experienced person or team who can watch, analyze and report statistics to you, all while helping you and offering consulting along the way. The best way to look at marketing is stick with what you are good at. If you're good at sales, grow that, if you're good at making your product, expand on that. The best business directors know what they are good at or have time for and hire out the rest.
6. Hiring a Professional
It's not easy to hire a marketing and design team to put what you've been working for for years or months into a visual form. But it's one of the most important steps to building your brand. Consumers are image conscious and the market is constantly changing. You want to find someone who has an eye for the market, design, growth and understand some packaging, and issues to avoid through the process from logo to shelf space.
Building a thirsty brand is not just hiring a designer for a logo or website, it takes thought, planning and a solid strategy. With the right foundation you can get a good start and grow your thirsty brand exactly as you intend to.
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