Developing and manufacturing your drink is just the beginning of your journey. Crafting the perfect beverage is already a challenge in itself, however, selling and marketing your drink requires even more dedication and hard work. It is a full-time job to have a drink brand. It doesn’t pay well at the beginning, thus you have to invest a lot of time, effort, and money until it takes off. On the other hand, when it becomes successful, it holds the potential of great return on investment. Contrary to many types of business and market patterns, food and drink is here to stay, even during a financial crisis. Consumers and investors are willing to invest money into the category regardless.
Essentially you have to play the long game. It requires patience and it’s better to grow organically, especially when you are just starting out.
You really need to define this BEFORE you develop a drink. However, refining details can be really useful, to ensure you target the right audience at the right time. Where are they shopping? What kind of lifestyle do they live? How old are they? What gender is ir intended for? What is their budget? UNDERSTAND your consumer and the occasion in which they will buy your brand.
There are a lot of questions that can be asked to refine your ideal customer and clarifying this can save you a lot of time and money, as well as helping your brand grow faster.
Here at Brand Relations we have built up a CRM of over 6000 buyers, during the past 15 years. From day one we can create interest and demand in your product. Since GDPR it is virtually impossible to get access to these buyers without expert help. We can create an e-flyer with all the key points as to why someone should buy this brand, then send this out to all the buyers. We always achieve a great response. As an individual, this will be virtually impossible to achieve without these types of contacts. Remember buyers are consumers too and the first impression is the best and most important one.
Sample boxes and brochures
Again, first impressions are integral. Instead of sending out samples in boring brown cardboard boxes, go the extra mile with matching boxes and brochures, which are on brand and offer a short description of your brand identity. This in turn creates more excitement and allows people to become more passionate about your story and products.
Reach out to buyers
When you have decided which stores will be the most suitable for your product, you have to find the person responsible for being able to put your drink on the shelf. This can require a lot of research and often you have to go through multiple contacts until you find the right person. It’s always worth it though. NEVER send unrequested samples to buyers as it does more harm than good.
Social media presence
Social media is an easy way to keep connected to your consumers. You can talk more about the ingredients, the story of your brand and even showcase how other people are enjoying it. You can inspire customers to use your product in creative ways like creating recipes and collaborations. It’s also important to listen to customers’ feedback, asking them what they would like to improve and be open to their suggestions. You can’t please everyone at the same time, but this can give you a great idea where to innovate your product next.
It is important to consider that many supermarkets check your social media following and engagement because they want to make sure your product will sell.
Hiring someone with good connections
If you are a complete newbie to this industry, you probably don’t have too many established connections. It can be difficult to find the contacts for relevant buyers and it’s even more difficult to make them trust you. It is most likely you will have to keep chasing them until they try your product and consider listing it. Fortunately, there are professionals who are well-experienced and have an extensive network of industry contacts. Working with them can save you years of struggles to find the right contact to get in the right store. In the long run, investing in their services can save you a lot of time and money. Luckily, Brand Relations is one of the few companies with 15 years of experience, knowing all the buyers, suppliers, and manufacturers. So if you have a product idea in your mind, we can also help you market it.
Hiring a marketing agency
This is also an option, however, unless you really know your target market and customer, it will be difficult to outsource marketing to an agency to gain stellar results. They need to know whom to target and what kind of message your consumers resonate with. At the beginning, it’s better to do it yourself or work with someone, who already knows your brand and what you stand for.