Used correctly, the package can then underline the brand image, convey qualities such as freshness, fashion and quality (McCarthy, Perpetual & Sequester; Basic Marketing, a managerial approach; 1997). It is important that the packaging elements align with the rest of the marketing strategy to support it (pricing, advertising and other marketing tools). For example, an expensive perfume would rather be sold in a crystal bottle than in a plastic one, to underline and support the prestigious image (Philip Kettle, Marketing Management, 2000). Packaging and Naming for the energy drink industry 2. Industry overview As a relatively new style of beverage in Australia (appearing in the mid ass’s), energy drinks, sometimes known as “smart drinks”, were originally designed to give people a boost. Other benefits advertised by these products are improved concentration, endurance, stamina and the ability to help combat fatigue (www. Education. Thetas. Com. AU/pigtailed. Asp? Intimated=69=students=O, 29/09/2004). Lifestyles are moving faster. People seem to have become time poor and tend to work harder and play harder. These drinks are for those who need to pack more ours into their day. ” (Glenn Martin, general manager, Furor Beverages, The Age, May 2, 2001). Typically including a high caffeine level as well as vitamins, amino acids and herbal extracts, they usually sell for about $2 – $3. 5 for 250 ml, making them a relatively expensive soft-drink alternative. Intimated=69&strsection=students&intsectionid=O, 27/09/2004).
Initially popular in nightclubs and hotels, the energy drink market has been booming during the past few years in Australia, and these beverages are now widely available in supermarkets and convenience stores. Although this market is somewhat new in . 1. 1 Leading brands on the Australian market In 2002, the energy drink sales were dominated by four brands in Australia: Furor Beverages Limiter’s V (remaining by far the most significant player with 35% volume share), Red Bull Australia’s Red Bull, Coca-Cola Amity’s Lift Plus and the Red Eye Company’s Red Eye.
With a clever marketing and promotional tactics, V managed to cope with the growing competition and to increase its market share between 2000 and 2002, targeting at teenagers and young adults through the sponsoring of youth oriented events and advertising during youth programming (Remuneration International, Soft Drinks in Australia, August 2004). However, in the latter part of this same period, the best growth was performed by Coca-Cola Amity’s Lift Plus, which volume share increased from 5% in 2000 to 14% in 2002, to the detriment of the Red Eye brand which lost market share by the same amount.
Red Bull signed, in 2003, a distribution deal with Catbird Cheapest to solve its volume share decline over the recent years by accessing the group’s strong sale network. (Remuneration International, Soft Drinks in Australia, August 2004). Considering the huge number of small brands existing today on the energy drink arrest, we decided to illustrate our study using exclusively the example of these 4 leaders. 2. 1. 2 Target market of the energy drinks The potential customers initially consisted in 90% of young and trendy people (club scene, extreme sports), nocturnal revelers, trendsetters and clubbers.
Nowadays, the group of customers has evolved and includes: ; long distance drivers, especially people who work during the night or even employees working out of the office and rushing from appointment to appointment who have come to appreciate Energy Drinks as a good way to wake them up, top-level as well as free time sportsmen like snowboarders, mountain bikers, free climbers and downhill racers but also people going to the gym or participating in a triathlon, ; pupils or students under stress who use the energy drinks as a new substitute of coffee.
Users of Energy Drinks buy/drink them to be mentally and physically top fit and wide their Jobs as well as in their spare time. Most of them are young but there is an increased interest in these products coming from an older age group of the population. (www. Opportunity. Com/titian/Clayton/843/innerspring. HTML#dead, 29/09/2004). 2 Packaging issues and trends on the energy beverage market Due to its growing competitive context, the energy drinks sector saw packaging used as an essential element in establishing brand identity. Consequently, the emergence of plastic bottles was far less pronounced in this sector than in any other soft-drinks sector. 2. 2. 1 Capacity and materials When Red Bull entered the Australian market in 1999, the company employed its trademark slim can and made it an immediate sign of recognition for the energy drink product.
The brand wanted to use this as a point of differentiation to help nonusers distinguish these highly caffeinated drinks from their carbonate counterparts, and competitors such as Lift Plus, V and Black Stallion followed this example to benefit from the association consumer would make between mall can and the type of product (Spark Gale, “Sports and energy drink market expanding faster than other soft drinks”, Food & Drink Weekly, February 23, 2004).
This can size not only differentiate the product from the usual soft drink but also, according to the manufacturers, encourages only moderate consumption at any one time, because of the high caffeine content. Indeed, the energy drinks market has offered from claims that excessive consumption of caffeine can cause a rise in blood pressure and can trigger events such as heart problems and strokes in some people (Remuneration International, Global Packaging: Key Trends, wry. Remuneration. Com. Library. V. Du. AU/gimp/default. SP, 20/09/2004) The initial choice of many energy drinks producers for the can packaging has also been determined according to the purpose of the beverage and the needs of its target market. Indeed, the design of the package and its material had to answer the requirements of people responding to the growing trend for eating and drinking “on- he-move”, had to offer at the same time convenience, solidity, to be light-weighted, easy to handle (the 250 ml format appears more convenient than the usual 330 ml size).
Single-serve products also allow busy consumers, to drink in the car, office and in school, which happened to be essential to appeal to a broaden target market as it is now (Marsha Barbaric, “Bottle cans’ have magnetic attraction”, Beverage Industry, March 2003). And nightclubs and convenience stores, but as brand like V and Red Bull started to gain distinctive brand identities the started to sell through supermarkets.
In this context the mall aluminum can presented another advantage since it was an easy shape to offer in multipart that could fit in shelves optimally, and appealed to consumers because of the lower unit prices offered and the ease of transport to their homes (Remuneration International, Soft Drinks in Australia, August 2004). However, the need for differentiating from competitors and for acquiring a strong brand equity, related to number entry the industry saw these last year, pushed the company to innovate, creating packaging that would differ from the overused 250 ml aluminum can.
This need happened to strengthen with the addition of supermarket as a channel of distribution: the number of product and beverages that competed with the brand on the purchase decisional process was suddenly more diverse. To that extent, Red Eye used glass packaging as a strategy (that happened to be successful), to build brand loyalty among its consumers and to break with the expected can packaging offered by competitors. Since then, Lift Plus and V also offered a glass format to differentiate themselves from other canned energy drink brands (Global Packaging: Key Trends, www. Urination. Com. Barry. V. Du. AU/gimp/ default. Asp, 20/09/2004). 2. 2. 2 Graphics and scripts Packaging in the energy drinks also feature distinctive graphics and script. Each brand will attend to convey a differentiated image using specific colors and visual affect known for being associated by the consumer to positive attributes. In 1988, McGraw Hill studied the feelings and the images conveyed by color in order to show the importance of the packaging in the purchase decision process.
As a result, he found out that consumer unconsciously were making the following association: ; Black: formality and elegance White: Crispness ; Violet: tenderness ; Red: revolution, excitement, fire, energy, standard. ; Blue: night, sadness, coolness, tranquility ; Yellow: happy, warm, optimism ; Aluminum: high-energy voltage Marketing_Tips_for_CA_Student_Leaders. Asp, 7/10/2004). Looking at each brands packaging, we can see that, according to this theory, different feelings are meant to be evocate by each brand.
Except for Lift Plus, that is more oriented towards young people and students/children market, the aluminum color is present on each packaging. The blue of the Red Bull can immediately reminds the customer with the clubbing and the nightlife while the red letter stands for energy and excitement. The yellow can of Lift Plus gives a Joyful and playful image to the beverage and makes it a drink to be consumed during the day rather than in nightclub as a mixed drink (like its competitor Red Eye, Red Bull, or V).
We can notice also the use of black in the two other packages, that gives a classy and distinctive image to the beverage, allowing them to stand in bar and club’s shelves. 2. 3 Naming issues on the energy drinks market In general, even if branding is one of the most important steps in the marketing plan f a product (a good name provides a strong mean of distinctiveness for the brand), there is not much secondary information available on the naming strategy adopted by the companies. Concerning the energy drinks industry, we are going to focus on the major brands present on the Australian market: V, Lift Plus, Red Eye and Red Bull.
V is a typical example of a simple and memorable brand name that quickly identifies the product with an idea of vibrant, velocity, vitality, vigor… Above all, V is the widely known abbreviation for volt, positioning the product as a high energy provider (www. Furor. Com/brands/us/new_age. HTML, 03/10/2004). The name Lift Plus explicitly suggests the benefits of the drink that, according to its producer Coca-Cola Amanita, as been designed “for people who work and play hard and need a boost to help them make the most of their waking hours”.
It is also named after the well-known beverage “Lift”, to inform the consumer on the common point between the two beverages: both have citrus-based flavor (http:// www. Cobwebbed. Com. AU/about_brands. Asp, 03/10/2004). Red Bull has been the first energy drink to enter the global market, the name of the product reflects well its attributes and benefits (the bull is a powerful animal, it presents the high level of energy the consumer is going to get by drinking this product).
But this brand name has also been subject to a lot of controversy (that has finally benefited the brand by creating some promotion around it) related to the fact that the word “Bull” created a direct association in the public mind with one of the ingredient included in the formula: the Terrine. However, despite whatever conclusions one might draw from the name, Red Bull contains no substances of animal origin; even the terrine used in the formulation is synthetically produced (www. Snoops. Com/toxins/redouble. HTML, 03/10/2004).