Beverage Marketing Strategies – From Basic to Advanced

So you want to launch a beverage?

Reports state that there are more than 362 soda production businesses alone in the US. If you include all of the alcohol, coffee, sports, and functional beverages, you’re probably looking at a few thousand brands to compete with. 

If you want to stand out in this veritable sea of beverage brands, you need to know how to market beverage products effectively. If you can’t crack the beverage marketing code, your new brainchild might join the ranks of the thousands of other beverage products that fail each year. 

Stats show that up to 95% of newly launched products fail. 

Don’t let your new beverage become a statistic. Keep reading to find out some of the most important strategies around how to market a beverage. 

Brand Positioning Is Everything

Before you start marketing beverages online, the first thing to focus on is brand positioning. And before you can position your brand in front of consumers you have to get crystal clear on your target market.

Take Time to Identify Your Target Market

Once you have zeroed in on your target market, you can start formulating your branding to appeal to them. Your target market is your future buyers, so all your marketing needs to be tailored to them. 

One of the mistakes that many brands make is not spending enough time identifying their target market. Besides age and demographic, you should also analyze what their interests, needs, and values are. 

Before you plow resources into marketing campaigns, you have to understand your brand and who it’s for. 

Craft Your Brand Image and Voice

Once your target market is dialed in, it’s time to design a strong brand image, one that sets you apart from the crowd and makes your beverage unforgettable to consumers. 

You also need to distill down your brand voice. Is it formal, nostalgic, to-the-point, quirky, young, mature, caring, or flippant? 

If your brand image and voice aren’t fully dialed in, your marketing will have less impact on consumers. This can wreak havoc on brand recognition. 

Distill Down Your Selling Points

Another thing you’ll want to boil down before you start marketing beverages online, or anywhere else, is your unique selling proposition. What’s the one thing about your new beverage that makes it different? What need does it solve for your target market?

For instance, let’s say you’ve come up with an electrolyte sports drink that contains zero artificial sugar and is packed with adaptogens. This is a pretty big selling point, but it won’t do anything for you unless you make these features a driving part of your branding. 

Also, don’t make your selling points too complicated. Cut the fluff so you can distill your selling points into strong brand messaging. 

Packaging Sells Beverages

Although consumers buy what’s on the inside, packaging is what really sells the contents, especially when it comes to beverages. 

People eat, or in this case, drink, with their eyes, so attractive packaging is critical. Your packaging doesn’t only have to look good, it also needs to appeal to your specific target market. 

Let’s say you’re targeting hipsters. Hipster is an evolving term, but today’s hipsters often gravitate towards retro themes. If you want to appeal to this market, you might want to design your branding and packaging around an old-world, artisanal, slow-brewed aesthetic. 

If you’re selling a canned wine beverage, think traditional grape vineyard-style artwork and fonts. 

On the other hand, if you’re targeting ultra slick millennials in Teslas and mansions (or aspiring to this lifestyle), you might want to go for a popping, bright color palette that’s practically impossible not to include in an Instagram pic, and which will look great next to their AirPods and iPhone.  

These are just some general examples, but they illustrate how different packaging can attract or repel certain target markets. 

Use Social Media to Supercharge Your Marketing

If you’re creating a new beverage brand, social media marketing can be an invaluable tool for brand building and connecting with your audience. 

Social media shouldn’t be an afterthought. Whether you’re looking to learn how to market a soft drink, a hard bev, or a functional beverage, social media is the place to put yourself in front of new audiences, gain rep as a brand, and showcase your brand’s personality. 

Social media can also be a goldmine for consumer-generated content. Reports state that one-third of social media users admit to ordering food just to post a pic. Beverages can be an even more powerful post-trigger.

Drinks of any kind make for the perfect prop for a social media photo. If you leverage the right branding and packaging, consumers will voluntarily place your product centerstage in their posts. In this age of influencer marketing, nothing could be more advantageous to you, especially if your brand has a strong social media presence. 

Speaking of influencer marketing, this is another powerful strategy you can implement to catapult brand building. If you use a metrics-based approach, even working with micro-influencers can put your brand in front of new eyes and compound your growth. 

Make Your Target Audience Fall in Love With Your Brand Through Content

Another key strategy to get right for effective beverage marketing is content creation. If you can create engaging content that reflects your brand voice, whether on your beverage company website or on social media, this will not only build your brand, but it will also flesh out your sales pipeline. 

Marketing with blogs and video isn’t anything new, but it’s still one of the most effective techniques in the game. Beverage content marketing can be particularly effective for increasing sales. 

If you want to implement impactful beverage content marketing, make sure you invest some time into keyword research and figure out what type of information your target audience is searching for in relation to your offering. 

For instance, if you want to market beverage products like kombucha, then you’ll want to answer all the burning questions your target market has around kombucha. 

Make Sure Your Formula Is Worth Your Beverage Marketing Budget

Before we go, there’s one more tip we need to share. Before you invest resources into beverage marketing, you need to make sure your formula’s worth it. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re the Albert Einstein on how to market a beverage, if the formula is flawed, you’ll have endless problems to deal with. Flawed formula development can result in:

  • Products that fall flat with the target market
  • Unstainable COGS
  • Failure to have full formula ownership

To avoid this, you have to have a fool-proof formula. You need to have the right manufacturer on your corner, one that will work with you on beverage formulation, troubleshoot till it’s perfect, and adhere to a COGS specification. 

Do You Need a Nimble Beverage Formulation and Smaller-Run Manufacturer?

Beverage marketing isn’t rocket science, but it does take planning and market savvy. Also, there’s no point in marketing beverage products that haven’t been perfectly formulated. 

If you want to create a beverage that sells out, one of the secret ingredients to success is working with the right manufacturer. 

Are you in need of a nimble formulation and small-run manufacturer that will work with you tirelessly to bring your vision to shelves?

MetaBrand is the answer. We specialize in creating unique formulations that are certain to be commercially viable and profitable. 

Contact us today to start collaborating.

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