A well known fact is that many young businesses fail during the first few years of operation. One of the main reasons is that they fail to do the research and planning, therefore they tend to make reckless decisions, waste their resources and simply run out of money before getting any kind of funding.
In order to avoid their mistakes, here are some of the most important questions you need to cover in your beverage marketing plan:
For the starters you should decide which market(s) you are intending to sell your product in. When you do, focus your research on them specifically, try to grasp current trends and opportunities. Make sure you understand the environment you are about to operate in.
If you are not sure which market to start with, get your hands on some market reports and statistics to find out which markets could work for you.
Target consumer segment: Here you need to create a profile of your target consumer focusing not only on their socio-demographic characteristics but also paying attention to their lifestyle, interests and other things that might influence their buying decisions.
Main competitors: You need to understand against whom you are going to compete and how you compare to them. The better you understand their strategies, the easier it will be to build your own.
Distributors: It is likely that you would not be selling your beverage solely through your own distribution channels, so you have to know pros and cons of the available options and select the most suitable for implementation of your marketing strategy.
Partners: Take your time to look for strategic partnership opportunities. This might be the key to your marketing success, since combined efforts and resources could result in a way better outcome than you could achieve alone (or at least you would need way bigger budget and supposedly more time).
You probably already have a concept of the beverage you are going to offer the market. What you need to do here, is to further develop that idea considering what product would have the most potential among your target consumers, as well as would be attractive for the distributors to work with.
Spend some time researching what kinds of beverages are trending on that market, what ingredients are best to use, what are the demand forecasts for that particular category of beverages etc.
Here is one way to do it. Put down all features that differentiate your product from others on the market. Think well whether those are nice-to-haves or actual pain-killers for your audience. Leave only the latter and cross out all the rest. This is likely to be your competitive advantage.
If you do not seem to find any current competitive advantages, think what you could do in order to achieve them. Focus your thinking on the problem-solving of your target consumers.
When you understand what makes you better than your competition, base your positioning strategy on that and make sure to clearly communicate the value you are bringing.
If you have the answer to the question above – that’s the start already. In addition to that, think about what you are going to bring to the table when negotiating the terms and conditions. What value will you offer to the distributor for selling your product instead of competitors’? Are you up for selling your product under someone else’s private label or do you want to develop your own brand (or maybe both)? That is all a part of your marketing strategy, so consider all do’s and don’ts upfront.
This will give the direction for your marketing activities, so don’t rush these. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious, just make sure the goals you set are actually achievable. Make them time-bound and measurable, so that you could easily track your progress along the way.
This part usually depends on a marketing budget you have at hand. Find out what could be suitable to you and at what cost. Make sure you understand why you are choosing one measure over the other. Keep focus on the goals and tactics that you have selected, so that your marketing implementation plan is integral and purposeful.
Looks like a lot of thinking to do? Well, you could actually dig even deeper and you probably will, since while trying to answer one question, you might come up with a new one. The more answers you have before launching your product, the more likely you are to succeed.
Have anything to add to the subject? Leave a comment below or get in touch directly.
Original article was published in Beverage Industry Blog