3 ways to differentiate your brand in a growing market
The energy drink market continues to grow at a steady pace worldwide, despite some concerns and a lot of bad press over inhuman high levels of caffeine and other stimulants. Although energy drinks were originally marketed as a way to enhance sports performance, typically they are now marketed to the casual consumer—particularly young people—who is just looking for a rush of energy and great taste.
Lately, there has been a lot of buzz in the energy drink sector calling for new innovations. It’s clear that the top 3 brands (Red Bull, Monster, and Rock Star) have a stronghold on the market, and the industry itself has pushed the limits of energy-enhancing ingredients like sugar, caffeine, and other stimulant additives such as guarana and taurine.
So how is it possible to innovate in such an environment?
Ben Boukley of beverage daily.com shares a few interesting ideas, which I’ve embellished with a few thoughts of my own:
1. Juice it up
Baby boomers are interested in the energy drink craze, but they are mature enough to care about what they put into their bodies. Yes, there was a time they were up for anything, and they are still an adventurous group, but they know they won’t live forever. Healthy ingredients are a number one priority. Energy drinks represent youthful energy, something boomers will gladly pay money for. The key to success with this demographic will be natural juice or green tea bases coupled with all natural ingredients.
2. Have more taste
Consumers are easily bored, and they are always looking for the next big taste sensation. Think Jones Soda Company (jonessoda.com). From green apple to turkey and gravy-flavored sodas (yes, I’m serious), they are always open to trying something new. The same approach could quickly differentiate your brand. When it comes to new flavor combinations in the energy drink space, the opportunity for innovation is wide open.
3. Get noticed
Never underestimate the power of packaging. New colors can help your brand stand out on the shelf, but there are other ways to carve out a new niche as well. U.S. functional drinks company, Premier Beverage Group, noticed that lot of energy drinks were being mixed with top shelf vodkas and other alcohol in bars. In response, they launched a premium energy drink that will be sold to high profile, on-premise accounts (hotels, restaurants, clubs) in New York. Who says an energy drink can’t have sophisticated packaging? Stay open to the possibilities.
You can read Ben Boukley’s complete article on innovation in the energy drink space here: “The time to innovate in energy drinks is now, Doehler”. And, if you’d like to read more articles on marketing your health nutrition brand you may enjoy: