Case Study: New Healthier Energy Drink

How do you find clear space
in a crowded marketplace?

The challenge

A completely new start-up offering natural, ‘clean’ energy drinks turned to us for help to establish their brand in the UK’s healthier energy drink market.

Their product straddled the healthy beverage category and the energy drinks category. By exploring/investigating both, we helped them find an innovative space, while also making their ‘naturally healthier energy’ proposition clear and relevant to millennial consumer tribes.

What did we do?

We started by analysing the cultural codes, narratives and symbols of both ‘energy’ and ‘healthier lifestyle’ in the UK. We identified a major shift in the cultural ‘story’ of achieving a healthier lifestyle. The prevailing narrative had been about exclusivity and living up to expectations through performed displays of fitness. By contrast, the emerging story was all about inclusivity, enrichment from the inside out, and collective empowerment (not competition). After this, we moved on to the category analysis. That meant looking closely at competitor brands in both categories. We uncovered the market’s two key dominant pillars: aggressive energy, and healthiness as a bland compromise.

Where did it lead?

This gave an opportunity to show clean and sustained energy working with bodily rhythms, rather than against them. We advised on design cues that invoked both energy and healthier lifestyles, and gave the clear direction on pack design, communications and social media – as well as highlighting elements not to use. The brand launched in 2017 and is currently making significant headway in the competitive UK market.