Memo to Jones Soda

February 5, 2008 at 5:59 am | Posted in Advertising, Communication, Companies, Decision making, Jones Soda, Marketing, Online marketing | 2 Comments
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Imagine you’re a small business owner and you have an awesome product. A really awesome product. You’ve spent so much time getting your business together and making said awesome product, and now you’re so busy trying to get the damn thing out and get people to buy it, right? What if I told you there was an (almost) free way to get in front of high-end consumers and increase your brand’s cool factor?

BG and I were shopping at Arhaus Furniture on Sunday. They sell very nice furniture with an emphasis on design. But they’re still down-to-earth enough to have beverage holders in a couple of their leather chairs. I noticed that they filled the beverage holders with sleek glass bottles with striking colored liquid and nice packaging – Jones Sodas [sidenote: I have no relationship with this company nor gain anything by blogging about it].

Here’s the gist of my conversation with the sales clerk:

Me: Is there a deal between Arhaus and Jones Soda to only display their stuff in the store?
Bespeckled clerk: No, that’s just what the set designers buy. They just go to Ikea or wherever and buy whatever is in bulk.
Me: Seriously? It’s displayed right here on the floor though – that’s pretty prominent.
Bespeckled clerk: Well, I think they like that the colors are so bold; they stand out without standing out too much. Plus, we like to crack open a few after closing.
Me: I don’t blame you.

Just off the top of my head, this means that Jones Soda is:

    1. Being exposed routinely to consumers who can afford premium prices [we were just shopping for wedding registry stuff, btw]
    2. Marketed in a relaxed environment – the ultimate soft sell
    3. Associated with cool design and good craftsmanship

I think the Jones Soda folks have done an amazing job marketing their product in such little time, so I can’t fault them for missing this lead. Plus, this could be a single instance. But, it remains an opportunity. Here are some ideas you might want to pursue:

  • Add that Arhaus location to your delivery truck’s normal route. Giving them a case or two on the house is worth the exposure.
  • Call up the Arhaus corporate folks and see if you can get an exclusive deal with them. If not, pitch another cool furniture place.
  • Throw in a couple of t-shirts or hats for the dudes working the floor (and maybe an extra case for them to put in the break room). Create brand advocates where no one expects.
  • Whenever Arhaus has a special sale or event, make sure there’s plenty of Jones Soda on hand for the customers, gratis.

These are just a couple of ideas off the top of my head. I’m sure your marketing staff can think of more (and better) ones – in fact, I would challenge them to. Feel free to leave a comment and let me and my readers know how it goes!



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  1. One really interesting thing about Jones Soda is their weird holiday flavors. I’m sure you’ve seen them but they come out with strange soda flavors like mashed potatoes and gravy and weird stuff like that.

    At first I thought this was an awful business move as, guess what, the sodas do not taste good. But then I noticed myself telling everyone ABOUT this soda and how generally their soda is awesome but these are not.

    They had basically created a walking PR machine in me. All they had to do was create something talk-worthy, even if that something tasted like monkey you-know-what.

  2. Jones Soda is a mastermind. From allowing customers to send in photos to get selected to be printed on the labels that go out to the general public, to allowing those very same pictures to be printed on labels for custom packages. They have even upped the ante with the ability to get photos of you and your friends at the game (Qwest Field here in Seattle, and the New Jersey Nets new arena opening next year or the year after), custom printed on bottles of Jones. With the acquisition of the Nets’ beverage account (in their shiny new arena in Brooklyn), Jones has stomped a footprint on the media capital of America. They are also the first soft drink brand to shy away from corn syrup and use pure cane sugar as well. For these reasons I recently bought some shares of Jones when they were at the yearly low. I have full confidence that these will skyrocket.

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