Sunday, 13 April 2008

Dumbed-down Bionade

Brand Channel is one of my favourite websites and a brilliant source of information and ideas. But every now and then an article appears that I feel I must take issue with. This week, there was a piece in which North American marketing experts criticised the Bionade website in the light of the brand's North American market entry.

The website was pooh-poohed by the experts for having a "distinct lack of marketing" and for have "too much information" on how Bionade is made, rather than "talking about how it tastes". Now, forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't think many people spend sleepless nights trawling the Web to chance upon descriptions of how new products that they might like to try taste.

And then comes the comment "it should at least tell an interesting story about the company, the founders or the origin of the product. It doesn't even have to be real, just a good yarn." Excuse me, but the joy of Bionade is its authenticity. They don't need marketing hype and spin because they have a real story to tell, as compelling as that of any malt whisky or Real Ale.

Finally, the Canadian expert also suggested changing the name: "it lacks the zest of same-suffixed beverages such as Gatorade or Powerade. It sounds like I'm drinking some sort of medicine. I'd change the name to something snappier that reflects the product more or come up with a story and market that." I suppose the English pronunciation is a little different to the German one...but I think it has some nice associations with "bionic" which sounds pretty "zesty" to me.

I did wonder whether the article was written on April 1st but I fear not. Let's just hope that Bionade don't take it too seriously otherwise we'll have "Mega-tasty Schnappi-Ade, brewed by cute baby polar bears" on the North American market before we know it. Cheers!

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