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How to start your soda brand

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Soda and soft drinks brands of today are more than just a tasty drink – it’s a lifestyle. Pepsi’s mission is to ‘create more smiles with every sip and every bite’. They focus on offering joyful moments through their drinks whether that is having a Pepsi with friends or having one after a long day at work – it’s all about the experience. That is why it’s more important than ever for a brand to have their own values and identity. Thoroughly branding your soda or soft drinks business should be one of the first steps you take before launching your product.

One of the major selling points for a soda or soft drinks brand after the taste is the packaging. Your brand design plays an important part for the core of your business. The colour you decide to use should reflect your brand identity and values, it will be one of the first things a consumer recognises. If you think of Coca-Cola, the iconic red and script font comes to mind, alternatively Tango is associated with the black and orange packaging. The packaging for these brands are the brand itself and one of the main ways that their brands are represented to consumers.

The Purpose of Branding your Drink

The driving force for consumers to buy a product or service is emotions. Being able to evoke the right emotions from your ideal customer is going to attract them to your brand because of the connection you have created. The main purpose of branding is to elicit these emotions from your audience and make them choose your product or brand.

Social Media is a great tool to keep your brand at the forefront of people’s minds even when they aren’t drinking your drink. It enables you to engage and relate to your target audience so you can build a connection with your audience. Follow your brand guidelines and show up on social media consistently and you will show your audience that you are professional, trustworthy and relatable.

How to start your soda brand: The first steps

Before you dive into designing your brand, you need to ask yourself a few questions to gain some more information about yourself, your audience and your competition. All of this information will have outcomes that you can use to serve the branding process.

1. What is the purpose of your brand
Outcome: Mission Statement

Decide what you want to achieve with your product and why you are offering your product. Try to narrow this down into one sentence that will make up your mission statement that encapsulates your brand. Take a look at International Brand Coca Cola and independent British brand Soda Folk for example:

Coca Cola
To refresh the world… To inspire moments of optimism and happiness… To create value and make a difference.

Soda Folk
We make Good Soda and celebrate Good Folk doing Good Deeds.

2. Who are you
Outcome: Brand Personality and Brand Voice

Ask yourself who are you? Your brand should have a clear identity, as if it is it’s own person. List the personality traits your brand bears and then you have an idea of what your brand voice will be. This information is going to be the base for your brand guidelines and how you show up to your audience.

3. Who is your target audience
Outcome: Customer Persona

You need to know who you are aiming to attract with your soda and soft drink brand. Think about your ideal customer and create a profile with all their traits; occupation, age, hobbies and interests etc. This is going to make it easier to create your branding and market to your audience because you can focus on connecting to one person. Your audience will inevitably only share some of the characteristics of your ideal customer, but they will all find something they can connect to with your brand and therefore be attracted to your product.

4. Who is your competition
Outcome: Define your USP

Before launching your brand it’s super important to research your industry to know where you fit in the market. Look at similar businesses that have a similar audience and identify what their strengths and weaknesses are. Establish what your brand can provide that they don’t. Do you offer more environmentally friendly packaging or a recycling service for example that you can enhance in your branding.

Designing your Drinks Brand

 As mentioned, with soda and soft drinks brands, packaging and the visual elements are just as important as the drink itself because you are offering an experience, a lifestyle for your audience. We call the visual elements such as your logo, font or colour palette Brand Assets. These Brand Assets can be used consistently across your platforms to create a cohesive brand, whether that is your packaging, website, social media or print materials. 

Logo

Many drink brands focus on logos that incorporate the name itself, that’s why you need a name that represents your product and brand well. A distinct font that can be read on packaging will help your consumers recognise the product straight away. Look at the brand DASH. Their Logo is a simple san serif font that is clearly read, but they include the ‘-’ within the logo. It is easy to recognise and simply represents the brand and the name.

Fonts and Typefaces

Finding a font that represents your brand identity and personality is key. It needs to make sense to customers so that they can take in your brand and form an opinion. Multiple fonts can be used and are useful in creating hierarchy between all the information you want to provide. You may want to choose a bold or exciting main font and then stick to a san serif secondary font to provide lesser information such as ‘sugar free’ on packaging.

Let’s look at a packaging design:

Punchy is an alcohol free natural soft drink brand. The main font is soft and calming which is in line with the natural ingredients and down to earth vibe they want to create. Keeping the type lower case also helps simplify and soften their brand. Pairing this with a clear san serif font allows them to give additional information that contrasts but also connects to the overall style.

Colour Palette

Colours are very important when evoking certain emotions and messages to your audience. Too many colours and your brand won’t be recognisable, too little and your brand can lack distinction. Finding a unique colour palette that reflects your brand and product are essential for creating a successful brand design. For example, you see lemon flavoured products in yellow because that is what is going to make sense to a consumer – they can recognise the product easily. We know what you’re thinking, but aren’t all lemonade products going to be yellow? Finding unique shades or colour pairings can create a unique brand image too. Look at the brand Nix & Kix. Their original brand colours include a beige and burnt orange and you can see this appear on their range of flavours. However, each of their other flavours has a distinct colour relating to their ingredients. Instead of using the normal primary shades of these they chose more saturated versions which are unique and memorable, while also conveying the quirky product.

If you are launching a range of soft drinks, a useful technique is to create a unique colour for each of the products so that each can have their own identity while being recognisable of one brand. Look at Cloudwater Brew Co. each can has a different colour palette that detracts from the original brand palette of navy, pink and white. Each can however use the same logo, fonts and layout – it is only the colour and background design that changes. This helps expand the brand while maintaining cohesion.

Unique soda and soft drink brands are becoming more popular. You don’t need to be rivaling Coca-Cola or Pepsi.Co to make a name for yourself in the market. An exclusive branding design with specific values that your consumer can connect with is always going to create some fizz as long as you execute it well.

Utter Creatives are a little but lionhearted agency. We’re small enough to nurture close relationships with our clients and talented enough to compete with the big cats.
We use design and strategic thinking to help companies acquire and delight customers. We develop long-term working relationships with our clients, meaning we deliver a much more personal service than many other agencies.
We don’t overcomplicate or over-explain our services.
Our clients want their brands and products to look amazing, and we use creative design and thinking to make that happen.
We avoid using fancy design terms or fluffy accounts of our offering. Instead, we keep our services straightforward.
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