Promotional Products Add Pop to New Beverage Launch, From "Success Stories"
By Kenneth Hein
John Bello made his small beverage brand SoBe so viable that PepsiCo saw fit to snap it up for about $370 million. How did he do it? Among the many tricks Bello used to build a grassroots following for the brand was a heavy dose of branded promotional products featuring SoBe’s now iconic lizard logo.
Now, a decade after Pepsi acquired his beloved brand, Bello is at it again with a new brand: Adina Holistics. To get his line of herbal elixirs noticed, he is going back to his old tricks – namely giving away plenty of branded products. This time around, he is leveraging his monkey logo and sayings like “Drink no evil!”
“At SoBe we gave away 400,000 T-shirts via our in-store offers over five years,” says Bello. Why do it again? “Simple logic: This is a consumer reward and continuity device.” Adina Holistics consumers can collect three under-the-cap “herbalisms for life” to get a free “Show me the monkey” or “Got herb?” T-shirt.
The offer is “one point-of-sale piece that always gets put up because it is something that the store owner or manager is doing for the consumer; something for nothing complements the store and the consumer gets a T-shirt as a bonus,” says Bello. “Most companies are too small or too big to make this happen. At Adina, it is job number one, all day, every day.”
As of press time, more than 5,000 shirts had been requested. “They are already being offered on eBay,” says Bello. “With slippage, that’s about 10,000 cases out the door just for redemption and a huge number of ‘Drink no evil’ advertising impressions.”
Part of the trick is having cool giveaways and a cooler logo, says Adina Chief Marketing Officer Bruce Burke. “We have an icon that appeals to young and old. It goes beyond just the beverage and lends itself to promotional products. People have asked for the file so they can screen their own T-shirts. Another woman wanted it tattooed on her back. We know we have a very nice symbol for years to come.”
BIZ TIP Make the products functional
As Adina Holistics continues to build its business, it relies on promotional products for a variety of purposes:
- To communicate the beverage company’s goal of selling a million cases in 2010, Chief Marketing Officer Bruce Burke sent out long-sleeve T-shirts, vests, jackets and hats to key beverage distributors and business partners. They read: “The million case march starts now.” Adina uses branded items to “create some enthusiasm for what we are doing,” Burke says.
- For people who are influencers, Burke selects higher-priced shirts bearing slogans like “Got herb?” If he’s looking to blanket an event, he may choose a less-expensive shirt.
- At the same time, “lanyards and memory sticks are great too. You want the thing to be something they use so they think of you and your brand,” Burke says. No matter what the product, he plans to leverage his company’s logo to the hilt. “We can have fun with the monkey.”