Within the energy drink category, an emerging “recovery” drink segment is penetrating the beverage market. Most retailers still lump energy drinks and recovery drinks together in the same beverage area, causing confusion among shoppers. Adding to the confusion is that these recovery beverages have similar packaging and sizes, and bigger name manufacturers include Monster Energy and Rockstar Energy. Lush Recovery is a beverage that is leveraging social media (among other traditional marketing tools) to help gain brand exposure and educate the shopper on the differences of recovery drinks.
First of all, what is a recovery beverage and what social media tools has Lush been using to differentiate themselves and educate the public? A recovery beverage helps the body regain nutrition following rigorous activity, containing both caffeine and electrolytes. The latter normally found in sports drinks like Gatorade to replenish the body on hydration. Lush Recovery incorporated an iPhone app, a blog section, and a usage/formulation section on their website (link here). Having a blog, a product information page, a Facebook page link and a Twitter account are nothing new anymore, so I won’t really be talking about these components of their social media plan.
What intrigued me most was their iPhone app. In addition to alerting you on where their latest San Francisco-area party will be hosted, there was a section educating you on recovery and how to best use the beverage. In a emerging category where consumers are not fully educated on the benefits of your product, this is a smart move. Similar to how Red Bull “created” the energy drink category by educating the consumer on the product benefits, Lush Recovery educating the iPhone app user on the the product’s benefits may propel them to market leader status. As consumers understood the uses for energy drinks before with Red Bull, consumers will also understand the uses for recovery drinks with Lush Recovery. By improving everyone’s understanding of their beverage, they will be associated as leaders of this category and reap the benefits of promoting recovery drinks.
How can Lush further leverage this iPhone app to gain more brand exposure, as there are so many more opportunities to build on? Would providing samples through location check-ins at promoted events help? How about providing coupons through the iPhone application so users can purchase their beverage as a discount, in order to drive demand and push for more distribution? Those ideas and many other possibilities exist to help raise the beverage’s profile.
I also contacted Lush Recovery to find out some more information on other (if any) social or mobile promotions they may be. Their response indicated that they will be coordinating an email blast with LivingSocial in the San Francisco area to promote their product. In my opinion, another great use of social tools to gain brand exposure.
As my focus is primarily on Canadian beverages, I also asked whether Lush Recovery would be selling their beverage here any time soon. Their response indicates that there are plans of Canadian expansion as soon as they U.S. coverage is large enough. I guess I’ll have to wait until they’re available here or when I make my next trip down to the U.S. to find their product. For those that live in the area and are interested in this product, please let me know what your thoughts are on this drink!