A few posts ago I talked about 5-Hour Energy targeting the older demographics to expand their reach outside of the typical energy drink user (link here), and it appears that Xyience is trying a similar strategy. To be concise, Xyience has always been an all-natural calorie-free energy drink, but now has the opportunity to capitalize on their positioning.
Xyience became a major player through their partnership with the UFC, where the energy was originally featured within the Octagon as well as other UFC apparel such as round cards, towels and t-shirts. The partnership has since expanded to cover UFC fighters, which appear at autograph signing events when Xyience launches into convenience stores and grocery stores (more info from a beverage industry article here). With their calorie-free energy drink, female consumers are a prime target since they are the ones that really look at the ingredient table to check on the beverage’s contents.
As energy drinks transitioned from an emerging beverage category to one that is stabilizing, manufacturers must be innovative and look for new growth opportunities or risk becoming irrelevant. We saw Red Bull try energy shots briefly before discontinuing them, and also saw 5-Hour Energy targeting senior consumers groups with their energy shot. Now we see Xyience targeting female consumers. The main difference between Xyience’s target and that of Red Bull’s is that there should be little to no cannibalization for Xyience. Someone that buys an energy shot may not buy an energy drink since both products perform the same function. And Xyience is not necessarily penetrating a category that has numerous competitors (there are some energy drinks that target female consumers – Rockstar Pink, Pink Energy, Tab Energy, etc – but not many manufacturers are targeting the female consumer). And the difference between Xyience’s target from that of 5-Hour Energy is that they do not have to educate the audience on the product’s benefits since the female consumer is already knowledgeable about energy drinks.
After all is said and done, Xyience stands a stronger chance to reach the female consumer than other energy drinks. However, simply relying on the product’s ingredients to appeal to the target is not enough, so Xyience may need to adjust some of their packaging to better communicate with females. For example, Rockstar Pink comes in a 12oz/355ml pink can (stereotypically female targeting, as no males would want to be seen drinking from a pink can) with a straw. The insight may be that females would prefer to drink out of a straw than directly from the can, so the straw’s addition may help with reaching females. Xyience may consider adding a straw in addition to changing some of the Venn circles to white or pink (again, stereotypical female colors). This will allow them to keep the core colors of black and silver constant, while making slight alterations to appeal to the opposite sex.
The female energy drinker is both elusive and profitable, and if Xyience effectively reaches them and can translate sales from this group, then we may see this mid-size energy drink player rising to the same status as Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar.