The year was 2016 — carbonated soft drinks occupied the highest market share and reached $967.3 Billion. The key players included Pepsi, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Coca-Cola, and Nestle.
Today, the global non-alcoholic beverage market size is forecasted to reach $1.60 Trillion by 2025.
For you to become a part of this skyrocketing landscape, a solid understanding of strategic practices in the beverage industry is essential.
It’s true, one of the key ingredients to success in this cut-throat sector is to have a soft drink that not only tastes good but is beneficial for everyone involved ranging from the manufacturer, retailer, distributor, and of course, the final consumer.
Even if you have a solid manufacturing process and know that there is a market for your soft drink, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have immediate success. You need to try different strategies to find the one that works best for your soft drink brand so that you can carve space for your new drink in this busy market.
How your soft drink tastes is the most prominent factor in determining the success of your brand. And the manufacturing process you choose has a significant impact on the flavor. That’s right.
There are over 110 soft drink producing units in India, and 60% of them are owned by Indian Bottlers.
And in their desperateness to earn a hefty profit, most of them forget to focus on the manufacturing and flavor of their product. Since they don’t follow a standardized process, every batch of soft drinks ends up tasting differently. And this is one of the most painful yet crucial reasons that most soft drink brands fail to thrive.
The more standardized your process is, the more consistent your flavor will be. So map, maintain and standardize.
When asked, most soft drink companies say that their end consumer is their customer.
Well, they couldn’t be more wrong. Sure, the product is made for end consumers, but for soft drink manufacturers and bottlers, the retails, suppliers, and the entire distributors’ network is their customers.
Understanding who they are and maintaining relationships with them is crucial. After all, if they are happy, they’ll be more eager to move your product, and the higher your profitability ratio will be. So look after them and maintain your relationship by giving them better schemes and better margins.
Did you know that the price of the same bottle, in the same size, and the same quantity of soft drink is priced adversely in different regions of the country?
The primary reason behind this is that there are several economic strata in the society which play a significant role. If a company targets its soft drink brand in Tier 1 or Tier 2 cities, the price range will be higher compared to Tier 3 areas.
Why? Because in Tier 1 & 2 cities, the consumers’ perception is that the cheaper the product, the less tasty it will be.
So it is imperative to position yourself appropriately in the market. The ideal way to do that is by conducting a market survey and looking at how your competitors are pricing their soft drink products.
Price it too high, and no one will buy it. Price it too low, and no one will respect it. So price it right.
The one thing that people are looking for more than anything else in your product or brand is its unique selling point. After all, this is the thing that makes your product stand out from similar soft drinks in the market.
● When you think of Apple, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Their state-of-the-art interface and the grandness of their smartphones, right?
● Similarly, when you think of Sony, the camera and sound quality are what sets them apart.
This is what you want your customers to do with your soft drink product.
So make the most of your USP and increase your MSP.
When it comes to strategies, there’s no one-size-fits-all. So you kind of have to wing it. These common strategies can give you a kickstart, but if you really want to thrive, try a combination of these strategies and then some more.
Pepsi did it, Coca-cola did it, and even more recently, Red Bull did it. These soft drink giants constantly evolve and reinvent themselves.
Companies like Nestle and Schweppes have done it over the years and achieved great success.
You can do it too. The only thing you need to remember is that don’t get too comfortable and regularly evaluate how successful your soft drink is. Determine whether it needs a change of logo, a boost of marketing, an influx of capital for expansion, or something else to gain more traction.