Archive for the ‘beverage promotion’ category

The changing shape of beverage promotion & POS

April 19th, 2013

Coca-Cola has long been known for its iconic contour bottle shape. The current trend in beverage marketing is to try to mimic that success. The creation of a unique bottle or can that increases recognition is becoming more important in today’s ever-crowded marketplace. Research shows that packaging as art is a lever that definitely drives consumer consideration. Ultimately the consumer will make a decision based on the experiential – the way a product sits on the shelf or how it feels in the hand.

Budweiser’s new center-crimped can (designed to reinforce their iconic bowtie image) is a great example of this trend. Craft brewing giant, Boston Beer Company, has rolled out a new flared lip, purported to better capture aroma and enhance the beer drinking experience. The standard beer/soda can has not seen such profound change since the pop top was invented in 1959.

Pepsi is rolling out a new swirl-handled bottle shape for its core product lines this April. Dainty, limited edition 7.5 ounce designer decorated cans will also grace store shelves.

With all this attention to detail, to put these functional masterpieces in mundane POS displays just seems – criminal. The opportunity to take in-store displays and develop something truly exceptional could be the only way for brands to stand out in a sea of iconic eye-candy.

Whiskey, women and the changing face of distilled spirit promotion

April 4th, 2013

The promotion of whisky to women is not new, it is just making a comeback.

Women are drinking it, blogging about it, and cooking with it. Bars and restaurants are promoting events specifically for women who have a passion for this caramel-colored spirit, infused with notes of peat and spice. Clubs for female whisky aficionados are becoming popular. Heck, they have even their very own typeface.

Marketers who once viewed whisky as a manly man’s drink are seeing this spirit from a different perspective – a female perspective. How to win the women who love whisky? Be as bold as the women who drink it.

Customer engagement is key to stimulating trial. Below is a unique twist on sampling that’s a novel take on the age old practice of getting a target market to sip your spirit:

Taste & Peel
Tasting strips are well suited for spirits. Wafer-thin film, packaged in a branded foil packet is a unique way to deliver the flavor without the alcohol. They are very similar to mouthwash strips – but way better tasting! Technology allows you to emulate the flavor of a spirit or mixed drink. Perfect for dry tastings, on/in pack promotion, or direct mail campaigns.

 

 

 

Promotional needs for craft brew are changing with the return of THE CAN

March 12th, 2013

Promoting craft brew used to be as simple as a new release and a bunch of brand evangelists. No so much anymore.

According to a Mintel research report, sales of craft beer have more than doubled from 5.7 billion in 2007 to 12 billion in 2012. Expectations are that market for craft beer will be an 18 billion dollar market by 2017.

Why such growth? Perhaps it is the authenticity of the product tapping into the consumer search for “real” product. Could it be that craft has become synonymous with the consumer search for products perceived to be more organic and less highly produced? Regardless, craft brew has become a beer industry powerhouse.

Along with this growth, craft brewers have begun to adopt marketing tactics more in step with their macro brewing cousins.

All hail the return of The Can.  Marketer’s beware of cookie cutter complacency. This is not beer can as usual. Specialty shapes and sizes are showing up on shelves. Four packs versus six packs, slim versus wide – craftbrewers are seeking to differentiate themselves from the ordinary. Industry standard displays will have to be tweaked or fundamentally redesigned to serve the needs of this growing segment. Research shows that a brew’s personality is a major selling feature for target markets.

Our thoughts … Time to crack open a can of your favorite brew and hit the drawing board. Craft brew promotion needs a new flavor.

Mardi Gras Mayhem: Super Bowl 2013 meets the humble throw bead

October 16th, 2012

Spectacular double-header this year with the Super Bowl in New Orleans during Mardi Gras! Let the good times roll indeed with two events that are institutions in their own right. Promotion in and around the events will be at a fever pitch. What better time to adopt long-established, well-loved, and sought-after Mardi Gras beads as your promotional product of choice.

This long-standing tradition began in the 1920’s when the Rex parade threw inexpensive glass strands into the crowd. Krewes continue to distribute thousands of bead necklaces from parade floats along the route. What started out in the traditional Mardi Gras colors, Purple (representing Justice,) Green (representing Faith,)and Gold (representing Power) are now limited only by the imagination of the advertiser.

Throw beads are a hallmark of the season and are an affordable way to get noticed. People will be collecting these souvenir items and taking them home. They are the perfect way to create brand awareness with a tried and true promotional track record. Bead Necklaces come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Look for football-shaped beads, football-shaped medallions, custom-built bead strands, and quick-turn decal medallions for those last minute promotional opportunities.

“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” Let the good times roll.

Leveraging the “TEXT” for Promotional Marketing & Engagement

September 24th, 2012

According to the Gallup Management Journal, brands that deliver functionally and emotionally for customers result in indexed loyalty scores three times higher.

A bold statement for bold marketers. Promotional marketing is all about engagement. It is the technique of triggering an emotional connection between the customer and brand through relevant function.

Texting has evolved into a mainstream behavior. Ease of use combined with instant gratification has made it more popular than ever. Mobile-based promotion has evolved as well. Enter mobile decoder marketing.

Mobile decoder marketing is basically short code on steroids. It delivers on both the functional and emotional levels by combining popular technology, advertising, and the thrill of a “chance to win”.

The other side of engagement for marketers is data capture. Most promotional products have the ability to engage but do not have the capacity to collect feedback from customers, much less measure the level of engagement. Use of modern communications technology can deliver for marketers too. Optional feedback mechanisms along with measurable statistics make mobile decoder marketing a texting win-win for everyone.

Mardi Gras Goes Green: The Transformation of a Popular Trend

August 2nd, 2012

Mardi Gras – the festival of indulgence that has intrigued and delighted us in the United States since around 1699. The hallmark of this famous festivity – beads.  Thrown from floats, these timeless give-a-way items have been used by marketers to build awareness and drive traffic for decades. Over time, they have evolved into a pop culture phenomenon and are one of the most popular, and sought-after pieces of promotional jewelry. Collectible beads can be highly customized or a quick-turn promotional solution. Either way they are a proven advertising specialties product.

One of the hallmarks of a lasting trend is the ability to change with the times and cultural values of our society. The emphasis on sustainability, recycling , and environmentally-friendly products is paramount today.  Enter Corn Beads – throw beads made from corn plastic.  New eco-friendly corn beads are biodegradeable and compostable. They are made from a sustainable resource – corn, and return to the bio-mass in the form of simple CO2 and water. 

So go ahead. Think greener promotions when you think beads and let the good times roll!

Five successful wine tactics for marketing your craft brew

April 3rd, 2012

Looking for a growing segment in the beverage category? Craft beer is gaining in popularity, and market share. Facing competion from macro brewers and the ever expanding craft selection, how will new brews break through growing competition in the cold case?

The growing assortment of craft brews at retail give consumers more choice than ever. Craft brewers are looking to new ways to get their product to stand out on-premise and on retail shelves. Tap handles, coastersbar mats, and tacker signs are great ways to expand awareness – but is it enough to stand out in today’s crowded market?

With an emphasis on food pairings, aromas, and how to cook with it, the craftbrew conversation seems to more akin to wine than its macro brewing cousins. Perhaps craftbrewers should take inspiration from promotional products developed for wines.

1. The Recipie Pen
A great way to pass on great recipies, food pairings, or tasting notes. The retractable banner is a unique spin on a popular promotional product.

2. The Bottle Necker
On-pack promotion can get you noticed in or out of the cold case. Insert literature or small items like lapel pins.

3. Chill Bags
Nothing is better than a perfectly chilled bottle of beer. Except maybe receiving a perfectly chilled bottle of beer. What better way to brand your product, stimulate trial, create buzz, and deliver a memorable impression.

4. Shelf Talkers
Communicate your passion! Move more off the shelf by sharing your vision, your experience, your tasting notes with this time honored promotional tradition.

5. Custom Gift Bags
Treat hand-crafted specialty brews like high-end champagne. Offering a gift bag with purchase treats special brews with the status they so richly deserve.

Go beyond traditional brewing for ideas to get your brand noticed. Translate successful promotional ideas used by the grandiose grape to the humble hop and see what happens.

Innovative Marketing Consultants is a proud member of the Brewers Association. CLICK to view the entire press Brewers Association release.

Create a more engaging promotional experience with QR Codes

February 1st, 2012

Recently, we received a nice nod from ASI Advantages Magazine in regard to our business card design. Our card features two QR codes that direct people to either our website or to the LinkedIn profile of the card holder.

The business card is probably one of the oldest, most popular promotional products on the planet. Richly enscribed calling cards were the hallmark of the elite for centuries, each specifically designed to convey the personality of the owner. While they are now a mainstream item, their basic purpose has not really changed over time – but communications technology has.

Taking advantage of these changes can be the difference between good and great response. QR codes can be an integral part of a well-designed promotional program.

When you design your promotional campaigns, are you thinking about how to:

Drive recipients to an online destination to get more information?

Create a greater level of engagement with your brand?

Encourage someone to purchase your product or service?

Extend the reach of your original campaign?

Here are a couple of great resources and one shameless self-promotion that I have come across/written that talk about how best to integrate QR into your promotional endeavors. They also include cautionary advice of how a good idea can go bad.

MarketingProfs:
Five Tips for Implementing a Successful QR Code Campaign

ASI Advantages Magazine:
Build a Better Business Card

IMC Promotional Products Blog:
Three Tips on Integrating QR Codes and Promotional Products

The Game Changer: Titanium Sports Accessories

June 21st, 2011

Titanium wristbands and necklaces. Ionic sports accessories.
If these terms are new to you, it’s time to get in the game.

From professional basketball courts to Main Street and everywhere in between, titanium and ionic sports accessories are taking the world by storm.

Why the buzz? Titanium sports accessories have been reported to enhance focus and stability and accelerate recovery time. Ionic necklaces and bracelets have become the hot new sports trend, popular with a variey of sports enthusiasts.

With massive consumer appeal and endless customizability, titanium and ionic sports accessories are ripe for the advertising specialties industry.

The best part? Built-in product exposure courtesy of the countless professional athletes who are already sporting these ultra-trendy items.

As a promotional product, this trend extends way beyond sporting events: they’re in demand for company events, reward and recognition programs, corporate gifts and loyalty programs.

Why not get your brand in the game with fully customized ionic sports accessories? It’s a surefire win for your home team.

The Not So Blank Page: Creativity and the Promotional Product

March 8th, 2011

You want all eyes on your brand.

You want dazzle consumers with a top-quality, on-trend promotional product.

Now if only you could figure out what that product should be…

It’s the curse of the blinking cursor: you have all the drive and none of the ideas, and you’re left with a blank page staring back at you.

We’ve been turning blinking cursors into celebrated promotional products for twenty years. Here are a few tried-and-true ways to stimulate creativity and help you start brainstorming ideas:

Dump out your bag
Chances are, you carry advertising specialty products around with you every day. What products were memorable or functional enough to make you incorporate them into your daily life? Why?

Get inspired
Think of a time when you’ve witnessed active demand for a promotional product. T-shirts tossed into the crowd at a baseball game? Branded glasses on a special night at the bar? What created that demand?

Be trend-savvy
Watch the people around you. What’s the must-have item this year? In our trend post we discussed how to capitalize on a hot pop culture trend. Which hot trend could connect with your brand?

Be your own market research subject
What grabs your attention when you’re out and about? Are you swayed by an on-pack promotion? Distracted by dealer loaders? Do you catch yourself reading the branded signs in bars or the display enhancers at stores? Imagine your logo on one of those items. What fits? What doesn’t? What would cause you to stop in your tracks?