PowerCoco is a real life company I recently discovered. PowerCoco markets and sells sports drinks made from coconut milk. Apparently PowerCoco’s formula has more electrolytes and no sugar. This company is very new. PowerCoco’s website says they got the idea in 2010, and I found an unofficial source that claims they filed for a patent on 4/25/2011. Needless to say they are very new. In this post… I’m interested in starting a discussion about marketing. Specifically, how PowerCoco is and should be trying to penetrate the sports drink market with a coconut-based beverage.
Ok, so how did I hear about PowerCoco? I clicked on a sponsored add on Facebook (I’m a sucker for those). The ad took me to a welcome tab on PowerCoco’s facebook page. Taking viewers to a welcome tab is great. You never want to take people directly to your wall. There are tons of facebook applications that allow you to send viewers to a customizable page. This allows you to promote you product and branding in a more controlled way. The use of tabs also adds some credibility to a brand. Besides, most Facebook page walls are just random links, comments and photos anyway. Walls usually lack a clear message.
The first thing I noticed on their page was that they had over 1,000 “likes.” For a very new brand that is very impressive. Now, many of them could be people associated with the company, other Facebook pages, and people, like me, that have never tried the product. For social media marketers “likes” are like gold. “Likes” allow to develop a relationship with that individual and it allows them to take ownership of your brand. One thing PowerCoco has not done that many companies do is give facebook fans access to exclusive information. Most likely, PowerCoco hasn’t done this yet because of size or the nature of their product. Nevertheless, offering fans access to exclusive information is a good way to encourage people to “like” your facebook page. Again, there are numerous applications that can do this too. Exclusive information could be online deals or coupons. It could also mean breaking the brand or company news on Facebook first.
PowerCoco also has a twitter account– kinda. They haven’t tweeted anything yet. Twitter is a unique phenomenon in social media. Many companies are using twitter in different ways. Some use twitter for advertising, others customer service, and others public relations. In my experience it is very industry specific. Really, its all about what you want your brand to be. In my opinion, PowerCoco needs to get on the ball. Having an active twitter account is worse that not having on at all. The link (here) has 50 tips for using twitter in business.
I mentioned earlier, this is a very young company. I couldn’t really find any other information about their marketing efforts. It’s interesting that such a young company is using social media as they primary means of advertising. Social media is usually a large company game. I like the fact that they are committed to social media on a small scale. This could be a sign for success later.
Let’s move on to place and price. As far as I can tell PowerCoco is not sold in any major retail locations at this time. It appears all PowerCoco’s sales are done through an Amazon storefront. Amazon storefronts are an easy way for to add ecommerce to a business. The downside to relying on Amazon is that they require a commission to be paid on all sales. Over time this could really cut into PowerCoco’s bottom line. Their goal should be to move into retail locations and host their own ecommerce their site.
PowerCoco has decided to use a premium pricing strategy. The goal of a premium pricing strategy is to keep your price higher than the competition in order to differentiate yourself. The hope is the differentiate leads to favorable perceptions about the product, based solely on price. A premium pricing strategy could be risky for PowerCoco if you consider how widely accepted their competition is, namely Gatorade and Powerade. PowerCoco sells 12 20 oz. bottles for $27.50. For comparison, at most stores Gatorade is sold in 20 oz. individual bottles for approximately $1.50 – $2, cases of 24 for approximately $22 – $24, or in powder form. That’s nearly twice as much. There are a couple possibility.. (1) PowerCoco is really using a percentage costing method and their cost of production is very high (2) PowerCoco has plans to enter the health food market which usually demand a higher price.
Overall I feel PowerCoco’s social media and ecommerce strategy is risky. A brand this young is fragile, and customers can be brutal online. $27.50 for a coconut based sports drink is a fairly risky purchase. I’ll hold off judgment for now, but I’d like to try some samples.