Whenever we are presented with a new project at Brand Relations, we understand
that market research is key. Market research without you knowing will likely influence most of the decisions you make; down to:
- Food or drinks packaging design
- Recipe Development
- Even where you will sell to reach your target market
Researching is important, if you don’t create a striking product that appeals to your target market then your efforts of standing out amongst the vast selection of current products will be fruitless. It is a process that may seem as though it can be lightly covered because you have made up your mind on what you want but if not done thoroughly, it can cost you.
We understand when new to this, it’s difficult to know how or what you should be researching; but after many years in this industry, we have provided some guidance and tips below on how to get it right first time:
1. Understand your competitive arena.
It is imperative that when wanting to bring your idea to life that it hasn’t already been done. Yes, your idea could be great but if you are creating a product that has already been done by one of the bigger brands; then it can be different to establish yourself.
Consumers create brand loyalty with ones they know and if it’s with a brand like Coca Cola, they will instantly trust the quality of the product over yourself- a small and still not yet established brand.
So, understand the positioning of your idea on the market, what are the existing brands NOT doing that you can? Where are they being sold and at what price? What does their flavourings consist of? Could you establish a flavour palette that is different to what is already being done? These crucial insights are what you can find out just from looking on Google and collating together to create an analysis.
Its small bits of free information that can be done in a few hours that makes a real difference to your brand’s destination, standing you out amongst the mass.
2. Educate yourself on future trends and patterns.
Education is the most expensive word within this industry because if you have to educate your customers in order to get sales then you will no doubt run out of money and fail, the best way to encourage buyers to pick up your brand is off the shelf as its highly unlikely they will read about you online then go looking in store.
It is taking the time to understand what is going on in the world and consumer trends. It will be the most invaluable thing you do as a brand owner. Although it may not seem relevant, it’s really useful to educate yourself into a breadth of trends that aren’t in the new food and drinks start up sector, it can give you invaluable insights and help correlate your product with current affairs- PET bottles are a prime example of this.
As the world begins to become more eco-friendly, consumers are now making a conscious effort to buying drinks in cans rather than plastic bottles to help protect sea life. For a new start up who didn’t consider this, spending thousands designing your idea on a plastic bottle that no longer appeals to the future market will make it hard to sell as you’re not supplying to the demand.
Future trends are imperative to helping your product last, knowledge of these trends can help you prepare for any hurdles that may occur in the future that your competitors had not seen coming; fail to plan and plan to fail.
3. The Naming Game.
If we have a client that comes to us with an idea and understanding of where their product will be sold, we take the time to research the idea- may this be the unique ingredient and the history behind it- to generate a timely and unique name choices different to anything else currently existing.
Having a brands story or heritage is what adds authenticity to the product, consumers want transparency and to understand why they should choose your product over anything already existing.
Our best advice after 10 plus years in the industry is don’t get your heart set on a name! It’s very easy to say this but with so many new start-up brands and existing products on the market, its more than likely been taken by trademark! If this is the case, doing the research into your unique selling point can actually offer you up better names than you originally thought.
If you decide to not research and set your heart on a name but it’s quite random to the product, then be prepared for it not working. The name may sound great to you but skipping your consumer research may mean that the name may not initially portray what your product is; if the product cannot be seen visually, then it can be hard to connect your messaging. Trick is to get the name right and it’ll do all the talking for you.
When it comes to looking at your brands potential product packaging design, Pinterest will become your best friend. Creating mood boards of different style’s you envision your product to look like will help create diversity and open your mind up to styles you had not previously thought of.
We have seen too many times clients come through the door with a solid idea in their mind about what they want, its only when we show them a selection of existing design styles, do they realise that their idea wouldn’t have worked. It wouldn’t have appealed to their target consumer or may have looked too similar to another existing product, making it harder to stand out amongst the mass.
Don’t just look into drinks products, look into various designs across multiple channels such as food, art or lifestyle to get a real breadth of inspiration.
5. Establish your Food or Drinks Branding and Identity.
When it comes to branding, we understand the importance of getting it right. It may seem ridiculous, but everything down to the colours and font choice you decide will affect your brands messaging.
We always create various colour mood boards for our clients to help them understand why we chose that colour; the messaging behind colour is key as it speaks a visual language that even words cannot replicate.
The emotion that colour portrays is what will entice your consumer to buy into your brand, it creates connectivity and understanding of your consumers aesthetic- something which in today’s day and age what consumers buy into more than the actual product.
Building your brands imagery is one of the most exciting parts of the process, so enjoy it! Take your time and get it right because if it comes to printing on tens of thousands of cans and you’ve got it wrong, you’ll have wish you saved that extra image on Pinterest or made that extra mood board!
These tips are only some of the basic things you should consider when wanting to start up a drinks company. Research everything, even when it feels it may be pointless and not worth the time, it will only come to light in the future when all of that effort prepared you for the market. Really understand the demand on the shelves and what you can offer that existing brands cannot, put as much time in as you can in the initial stages and reap the rewards to come.
Need help getting your business off the ground? Get in touch today for a free consultation.