What We Can Learn From Energy Drinks

While trying to remedy a hangover the other day I found myself sipping on one of the ubiquitous energy drinks that are so prevalent in our gas stations and convenience stores now-a-days. While I was considering whether or not I liked the “low-carb” version of this particular energy drink better, it occurred to me what a great marketing job has been done for energy drinks.

The Beginning

The first energy drink I can remember is Jolt Cola. They claimed it had the same amount of Caffeine as two cups of Coffee. However, Jolt! was never really popular with any crowd but the code slinging, hard talking computer crowd. It seemed that everybody had their old standby Cola and wasn’t really inclined to switch to the jolt lifestyle. Also, Jolt wasn’t available at the fountain. This was a negative.

Energy Drinks Predecessors
Years later, Coca Cola came out with a green cola to compete with the wild success of Mountain Dew. It was called Surge. They had a great media blitz, and were widely distributed throughout the network of Coca Cola affiliates. You could get a Whopper and Surge. You could buy it in the bottle, and you could buy it at the grocery store. But still, it found people unwilling to make the switch from their beloved Mountain Dew. Surge was the predecessor to Coke’s second endeavor into this arena, Vault. It’s an easy drinking “hybrid” of Soda and energy drinks.

Energy Drinks Grow Up

Today you can’t even go to a bar without being bombarded by energy drinks. They come in virtually every flavor, color and size you could ever want. Let’s take a look at why they’re so well marketed:

  1. Despite being just soda, they’re never called soda, but rather “Energy Drinks”
  2. They are more expensive than regular soda. And come in smaller cans.
  3. Brand name energy drinks aren’t available at the fountain.
  4. Don’t suffer the same “Sugary Stigma” as regular Soda

Energy drinks are the definition of “How To Create A Premium Product”. Using nothing but the same old soda from 100 years ago, Energy drinks have risen to one of the most lucrative beverage segments, using nothing but good marketing.

3 Responses to “What We Can Learn From Energy Drinks”

  1. Kingfish says:

    Blue Ocean mang. They totally created a new category of product so you don’t even compare it to soda. Pretty freaking brilliant. And now 5 hour energy shots are trying to do the same to energy drinks.

  2. Jay says:

    Nice observation. I went through a period of a month where I was straight-up addicted to Vault.

    Now it’s NASTY.

  3. Phillipmarlow says:

    I was 16 and working at a shitty littledrugstore when red bull hit the market. Busty co-eds were hitting up the retailers in full force. It was a winner fo sho.

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