Contrast this dynamism evident in much of the increasingly vibrant vegetarian and vegan category with a sense of tiredness amongst many of the whisky brands on display at SIAL this year. Names like Vegas and Uncle Sam for bourbons, and (somewhat bizarrely) Paddington for a scotch just feel unimaginative, built on opportunism and hastily arrived at reference points rather than any sense of distinctiveness – the inference is that the product within is a ‘me too’ copy that will trade on its price rather than any unique qualities.
To really stand out in this busy world of food and drink a brand needs to have a point of view; it needs to stand for something.
Diva is a Slovakian functional beverage brand that has decided to unequivocally position its range to women – drinks with a range of internal and external health-benefiting properties that target “…a woman who doesn’t fear to be herself”.
It has led to packaging that is closer to that of bath or beauty products and brand imagery that seeks to reflect a range of different, strong, independent female characters.
Diva is not a brand for everyone. It’s not supposed to be. But it is a brand that stands out from the crowd of functional drinks that have emerged in recent years from across the water, energy drinks, tea and dairy drink sectors, because it has a clear purpose and a single-minded intent.
And that was the real lesson that I took from my two days at SIAL – that whatever sector your brand is operating within, be it new and developing or old and established, you need to ensure that it has a clear purpose and proposition that its branding can bring to life.
To demonstrate how it is better, or different to the many competitors that surround it, and to make it stand out, grow and succeed.
Words by Chris Blythe