Simply stated beverage startups fail because the principles and their investors fail to do strategic market research and planning. Due to lack of research and planning, startups make reckless decisions, waste resources, and run out of working capital before getting substantial rounds funding. To avoid their pitfalls, these seven questions will guide you when developing your beverage marketing and public relations plan:
Where are you going to sell your product(s)?
Early on, your team should decide which market(s) you are intended to penetrate to sell your product in. When deciding, focus your research on the marketing specifically, creating buyer personas for each unique market. Through market research and buyer persona development, you can begin to understand the current trends and opportunities for your brand with your market segment(s) and proposed distribution channels.
For a new beverage brand, not knowing which market to start with, getting your heads around everything is not easy. In addition to market reports, readily available statistics on potential markets is a good start to begin to understand market opportunities and challenges.
Who are the external stakeholders that influence your marketing dollars and efforts?
Target Consumer Personas: Creating a persona and profile of your target consumer focusing on their socio-demographic, their lifestyles, influencer, celebrity and social media preferences that often dictate their purchasing decisions.
Top Competitors: Understanding the marketplace, gathering and deciphering competitive intelligence on your competitors is vital. Taking stock on how you compare to them, understanding their strategies and tactics, the easier it will be to position your beverage brand for growth.
Distributors: Understanding the pros and cons of the various distributions models available to your brand is essential. More than likely, you will be utilizing a blend of distribution channels so tailoring your marketing and public relations strategy is essential.
What are your product offerings?
At this stage, you already have a concept and recipe of the beverage you are going to bring to market. An experienced beverage marketing and public relations agency can further develop that concept and evaluate how your product would have success among your target audience and of course distributors. An agency will spend time researching kinds of beverages trending on the market and Google Trends, what ingredients are best, and demand forecasts for your beverage category.
Why would your target audience want to buy your product?
Internal stakeholders understand the features that differentiate your products from others on the market but communicating those features to the marketplace is a different story. Finding and communicating your product’s competitive advantages is vital. Understanding and communicating what differentiates your brand and what makes it superior than the competition is critical. The consumer needs to understand and believe the value you are bringing.
Why would distributors want to work with your you product over another?
Distributors want value, stability, marketing and PR dollars, and logistical support. Having realistic negotiating terms, conditions, flexibility and marketing dollars will differentiate your product from your competitors.
What strategies and tactics will you use to market your beverage?
With R&D, manufacturing and production costs, and delivery costs marketing budgets often get squeezed to the detriment of the brand. Bringing an agency onboard will keep your marketing and public relations goals, strategies, and tactics you have selected focused on execution and measurable results.