Relaunch DRY as a premium sparkling beverage.
DRY/ CASE STUDY
As a first mover in the craft soda industry, DRY struggled to grow in a crowded category filled with me-too brands and punch-you-in-the-face, bold flavors. Central marketing messages, media, public relations, and social were scattered and trying to compete with Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
DRY’s “Soda for all” messaging deprioritized what makes them different and allowed competitors to gain advantage in the marketplace.
This evolving competitive landscape created a tenuous position for the DRY brand. Aggressive promotion in conventional grocery combined with the addition of a 12-ounce slim line created a non-virtuous cycle of trying to win on the “Four Ps” of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion) without a differentiated brand strategy. The marketplace was unimpressed and the product only moved on deal.
Over time, this not only eroded their core equities, it had a negative effect on the sales team’s confidence. Their approach to buyer communication shifted the power away from their brand and gave it to the retailer.
Primary research validated what we all understood: marketing DRY Soda products to everyone was ineffective and commoditizing. A segmentation study provided audience clues as to who might be willing to engage with a product such as DRY if it were speaking directly to them in a way that was obviously not for everyone.
We stole a page from the world’s great religions and set out to “excommunicate the heathen” from the DRY Soda brand. In this case, the heathen happened to be kids.
Our first move was to drop the word “Soda” from the product name, and call it DRY Sparkling. Next, we said no kids allowed.
We used tone and voice to make the story both culinary, descriptive, and aspirational and then created a dramatic design language to appeal to a much smaller, largely female audience.
Our go-to-market strategy was driven by field research in the hospitality world.
We recommended a new form factor to live alongside the existing 12 oz bottle and cans that would not cannibalize the velocity of core product lines. As a result, DRY became available in a 750 mL resealable bottle. Originally created for the hospitality industry, the new size was embraced by most major retailers across the country.
We encouraged DRY to attend foodie events including Aspen Food & Wine Festival and the Tom Douglas Lawn Party & Croquet Tournament where their new audience could experience their new and existing offerings in a flavor-forward context. This empowered DRY to reset the brand’s vocabulary for a new audience and get them speaking about the brand and its products the same way as their culinary-minded founder and her team.
We also established a social presence and digital platform that gave people multiple reasons to return to the DRY Sparkling channels frequently.
Lastly, we worked with DRY to optimize their flavor lineup and introduced the idea of seasonality and limited reserves.
- 20x growth in first two years
- DRY is now the fastest growing Carbonated Soft Drink (CSD) in North America
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