The Importance of Branding in the Startup Beverage Industry
In the competitive beverage industry, well-crafted branding is essential for startups. A strong brand can help you stand out from the competition, attract new customers, and build loyalty with existing ones.
Here’s a primer on how to build your brand identity – and defend it in a competitive marketplace.
There are many different aspects to branding, but some of the most important include:
- A clear and concise brand identity: This includes your name, logo, and tagline. Your brand identity should be memorable and instantly recognizable. Your brand should be authentic and true to your company’s values. This will help you connect with consumers on a deeper level.
- A unique selling proposition (USP): This is what makes your brand different from the competition. What do you offer that no one else does? Don’t be afraid to be creative with your branding. This will help you stand out and make a memorable impression on consumers.
- A strong brand look and voice: This is the tone and personality of your brand. It should be consistent across all of your marketing materials and communications.This means using the same colors, fonts, and logos in all of your branding materials.
- A positive brand image: This is how consumers perceive your brand. It’s important to create a positive image that will make people want to do business with you. It’s what you stand for in the eyes of the consumers. Authenticity is key as consumers are becoming much more conscious of the brands they choose.
Here are some of the branding strategies that beverage companies are using effectively:
- Honest Tea: This organic tea brand has been a leader in the natural beverage industry for many years. Honest Tea’s success can be attributed to its strong brand voice, which is based on the idea of being a socially responsible company that makes healthy and delicious beverages.
- Athletic Brewing Company: This nonalcoholic beer company has been successful by branding itself as a healthy and high quality craft alternative to alcoholic beer. The company’s logo harkens back to traditional American beer brands with a stylish, simple blue circle with the word “Athletic” written in white. Athletic Brewing Company offers a variety of flavors that are made with real ingredients that speak to authenticity for the beer consumer, such as IPA, Pale Ale, and Stout.
- Bai Brands: This beverage company has been successful by branding itself as a healthy and refreshing alternative to sugary drinks. The company’s logo and packaging imply natural, healthy flavors and ingredients, and the variety of fruit-derived flavors back that up.
- Bev: This canned wine company offers bright, bold colored packaging, and a fun, feminine logo that leans into the brand’s tagline, “Made by Chicks.” It’s specific, bold, woman-focused approach gives an immediate sense of the brand’s ethos, personality and customer.
- Kin Euphorics: This adaptogen-infused wellness drink company has been successful by branding itself as a healthy and effective way to improve mood and sleep. The chic, simple packaging, along with its unique ingredients and wellness focus, position Kin as a trendy, innovative product that can benefit your overall well being.
- Focusing on health and wellness: Many of these companies are focusing on the health and wellness benefits of their beverages. This allows them to cater to a specific consumer by offering targeted results and effects..
- Using innovative flavors: These companies are using innovative flavors to make their beverages more appealing to consumers. They are using flavors that are not typically found in traditional beverages, such as adaptogens, cannabis, and other unique food-based ingredients to target consumers looking for more than just lemon or lime.
- Targeting specific demographics: These companies are targeting specific demographics with their branding. For example, some companies are targeting millennials, while others are targeting women, athletes, or sober-curious.
The Business of IP and Branding
Harmony Craft Beverages CEO Evan Eneman recently joined a panel exploring this topic with legal firm Duane Morris; he argued the importance of not only establishing, but protecting, your brand identity and IP.
Here are five key takeaways about how to protect your brand and IP:
- Be Unique: Will the brand name and its marks stand out as unique or create some likelihood for confusion? For example, is there a real story behind the brand name that strengthens its authenticity and connects it to your brand specifically? The more unique the brand and its marks, the more you can “own” everything around it and protect your brand.
- Ask an Expert: There are many common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid when undertaking this process; asking an expert in brand development and/or IP protection at every stage will help you create and protect long-term value for your brand.
- Be Ready to Defend Your Mark: Once a mark is defined and registered, it’s likely that you may run up against situations with others trying to infringe on your rights. If you don’t actively defend those rights, you’ll end up giving them up, even if unintended.
- Lawful Use: Recent changes in case law may impact how you can register and defend your mark, if in fact it is for “lawful use.” Generally, anything used for the specific purpose of consuming a Schedule 1 drug will not be considered “lawful use,” so finding workarounds to this is essential.
- IP as a Value Driver: Brand and IP protection do not have to be purely a compliance matter; rather, it can be a revenue driver. Let your brand’s unique positioning set you up for success by putting you in front of the consumers you want – with the messaging they’re looking for. Consumers resonate more than just with the product itself; the brand positioning and identity can have a meaningful impact if positioned well.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can work with us to build the best beverage brand you can, please email [email protected].