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From Cocktails to Sports

It's All About the Experience

By

From Cocktails to Sports

Hydrade The Ultimate Sports Drink, Sports Drinks

H2 Sports Energy Inc.

So what is your drink wardrobe look like? What! Anyone who dines even infrequently has noticed the growth in a wide variety of Martini's. Sure "Sex In The City" glamorized the Cosmopolitan and it probably sparked the growth in martini interest. There is even a web site the Martini Recipe Collection that only focuses on Martini's. Some of the more exotic are Blue Martini, Apple Martini and Chocolate Martini.

If you are looking to enter the beverage market, how do you create a differentiated product so you are not knocking heads with established Vodka and Gin brands? You don't. You look at what others are not doing… and you create a line of "drink dresses"! OK… got your attention.

I ran across a company called Dress the Drink that has a new line of accompaniments that garnish drinks such as Martinis and Mojito's. To make things more interesting is these are garnishes that are savory and also visually interesting. They not only look great but the company points out that the tired old maraschino cherries, not so fresh fruit and celery sticks just don't cut it , and their products have a sustainable aspect… they are edible and fun.

At "…Dress The Drink, we seek creativity and innovation in everything we create …" according to Cindy McClure, CEO/Founder, Dress The Drink.

They call it their Savory Collection with flavors such as spicy peach with fig and pineapple with mint and cherry with espresso. The innovation and creativity in my opinion comes through the integration of savory flavors into very attractive swizzle sticks, some of the pictures are included here to illustrate their unique characteristics. They address eye appeal which is critical in any food or beverage and savory flavors where the consumer is not expecting. Too many drinks today are too sweet and loaded with a wallop of calories. Bold flavors are ever increasing in food product formulations so why not extend this trend to beverages.

We are all familiar with the growth in sports drinks, Gatorade andPowerade being the two most familiar brands. I ran across Hydrade which classifies itself as "The Ultimate Sports Drink". The brand was around in1998 but was not successful and disappeared. It has now been re-invigorated by and interesting team composed of a former NFL player and a research scientist; guess they are balancing the science and the practicality of what is required in a sports drink.

They claim that "Hydrade is the only sports beverage scientifically proven to revitalize and replenish the body faster" with a combination of " super-hydrading glycerol and electrolytes". What I like is their branding of what most consumers don't relate to, the technical terms and morphed it into a name that you can relate to, Revitalytes.

They have an entire page devoted to the Features and Benefits of the products and they really take a deep dive into the food science of why Glycerol is so effective in our bodies.

For those that read my regular columns I speak of "The Benefits Ladder"? The University of Virginia,Darden School of Business has a great presentation on branding through The Benefits Ladder.

All products have tangibles, Attributes and Benefits; you can feel, smell, taste and experience results of the attributes. But consumers also buy on the Belief or Emotion a brand evokes. Hey, why do we buy a Starbucks for $5 when you can aMcCafe Latte for half the price? I am not picking on Starbucks but it is one of the best visual examples of the Emotion or Experiential connection of a brand.

Hydrades web site features it products… of course but the entire site has a very "edgy" and competitive look to it. It features vignette pictures of people who look purposeful, competitive and well… sweating! And in need of hydration. The athletes featured have the look that goes beyond the casual sports oriented male or female… more like the "iron man" type. So they may be appealing to niches but I will bet those niches are vastly more loyal to the brand vs. the Gatorade, Powerade consumer.

So their Innovation and Creativity in my opinion is the way they position their products as a competitive, edgy, fitness oriented lifestyle. This is a great example of a viable marketing position for an entrepreneurial brand.

I like to continually focus on Expanding the Box you think within as opposed to "thinking out of the box", which is my key "ingredient" to any successful entrepreneurial venture. So if you think of the "box" as sports drinks or cocktail garnishes, well you are just "ho-hum" . Both Dress the Drink and Hydrade created a bigger box, appealing to the Experiential Connection their customer segments will be attracted to and most importantly, purchase!

I hope you gain from these featured companies and you always focus on Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship in your new or existing business.

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