It’s lunchtime, but I’m not eating now. So to fill the void, I’m posting about food. Well, to clarify, I’m not really writing about food, rather I’m writing about drinks that wish they were food.
Yep, you guessed correctly, I’m posting about Jones Soda. I take a certain level of pride with Jones since it’s from where I’m from—Seattle. (Yes, I know all my friends are thinking that everything and everyone is from Seattle, but hey, I can’t help that cool people and companies flock to the Pacific Northwest!)
Well, now that I’m off-track, let’s get back to Jones. Known for their creativity and efforts to reach their audience effectively, Jones is a great example of successful marketing. How? They see the importance of reaching their audience on multiple channels in ways customers are interested in. For example, they’re heavily active on Twitter, and maintain a company blog.
One way they accomplish this connection to their customers is by inviting the general public to submit photos to be the labels of the Jones products. (Don’t believe me? Where else do you think they get their crazy, awkward, funny and ugly labels? My brother took a picture of our cousin water skiing, submitted it to Jones, invited his friends to vote for his picture, and low and behold a few months later the picture was circulated around the country as the label of the Cherry Jones Soda.)
Jones has established their brand so well that the Seattle Seahawks have selected them as the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage vendor. That’s a big account for a relatively small beverage company (compared to the usual Pepsi or Coke vendors). Clearly, the Seahawks have taken the Jones tagline seriously and have “run with the little guy.”
The Jones tactic that intrigues me the most is the creation of their flavors—namely creative holiday flavors. You know, the candy corn or turkey and gravy flavored sodas (I’m only referring to it as “soda” because it is part of their name, but really it should be “pop.”) This year, they have teamed up with Tofurky, the vegan brand of tastes-like-meat-but-is-not-meat products. Yes, Jones is selling Tofurky-flavored soda for their vegan audience. Wow! What a way to partner with another company and get another audience interested in both products. I’ve tried several varieties of Jones Soda, but the only holiday flavor I’ve had is candy corn. (If you like liquid sugar with tons of orange food coloring, be my guest because I didn’t like it. The holiday flavors of Jones Soda are a great option if you’re not big into holiday cooking, or if you still need to find that perfect gift for Uncle [fill in the blank]. As for me, I’m going to stick with my Fufu Berry, thanks.)
But what can B2B marketers learn from Jones Soda? Here are a few ideas:
- Involve your customers. After all, they are (or at least should be) the reason behind all of your marketing efforts. Find a way to get them interacting with your brand regularly – perhaps a contest, or a regular e-newsletter.
- Be creative. That doesn’t have to mean formulating odd beverage flavors or product labels, but find that differentiator that will set your business apart from others. Maybe it’s a virtual trade show. Or a unique way of showcasing your product in a direct mail campaign.
- Do more. Just a brochure and a website isn’t enough anymore. For instance, Jones has a good presence on social media, which helps them connect with their customers. Your company can, too.
- Think big. Jones fought the big competitors and won a large client by positioning their brand in the right place at the right time with the right message. You’ll never get the big accounts if you aren’t careful to set your brand apart while being consistent with its message.