By Robin Robins, Owner, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
A while back, I read a story on the Jones Soda Company and its founder, Peter van Stolk. It told how he built a multi-million-dollar soft drink company in an extremely competitive environment against competitors like Coke that sold billions of cans a year at the time. He knew he had to stand out and make consumers WANT his product, which he did by coming up with “cool” flavors — such as blue bubble gum — and by putting people’s names and photographs on the bottles. One soda, marketed as “Dave,” became notorious for containing 1,000 milligrams of hemp, which generated more free publicity than they could afford to buy. He also brought out a Thanksgiving pack, with flavors such as turkey and gravy, mashed potato, and green bean casserole, produced in only a small quantity to gain massive PR (which it did), not thinking it was going to be the next “big hit” of in-demand flavors. But the most important quote (lesson) in the article was a one-line statement he made:
“I started with the concept that the world doesn’t need another soda company, or another company of any kind.”
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