Taste exists as the primary and most crucial hurdle for consumables to overcome. Even with marketing support, no product could sustain success if they produced really bad-testing drinks. 5-hour Energy kicks off 2015 by announcing that they’ve improved on the taste profiles for their entire line of energy shots (link here).
If 5-hour Energy has been able to find sustained success the past 10 years, their products could not have tasted that bad. This is merely a product tweak, though an important change since it affects their total energy shot portfolio. After improving flavor profiles, 5-hour Energy will be a better position to leverage their insights around demographics (targeting women & seniors) and frequencies (usage occasions and mixing opportunities). That said, no one can equally focus on three different priorities. So what should the energy shot provider do first: grow their customer base by targeting women & seniors, or increase consumption among their current customers?
It seems like the answer was part of the statement by their director of communications, Melissa Skabich. Here’s a partial statement from her:
“The message is clear. Our customers want an energy shot that tastes great, and we’ve given them what they’ve asked for,” said Melissa Skabich, director of communications for 5-hour Energy. “The new and improved taste of 5-hour Energy shots is a testament to our ongoing commitment to always improving our product, and we’re extremely proud of what we’ve created. Fans of 5-hour Energy shots won’t be disappointed because we still offer the same 10 great flavors, as well as decaf,” Skabich added. “We’re optimistic that the better-tasting product will result in increased demand through the existing and new user base.”
Even as Skabich mentions existing user base, it would be clear that this is more about growing the new user base. After all, there is only so many energy shots a single consumer can drink. There is stronger growth potential for 5-hour Energy by targeting new demographics. In fact, changing the taste is positioning them to reach new consumers more than satisfy brand loyalists. Current customers will be rewarded with better tasting shots, but the priority is to attract new users.
Marketing to new users could prove more difficult than increasing consumption from their loyal customers, though the payoff will undoubtedly be more rewarding. Following their Yummification campaign, 5-hour Energy already understands when people use their shots and what tastes delicious when mixed with it. Leveraging these insights, they can target women & seniors through advertising or in-store coupons or bundled products.
5-hour Energy says they will be launching a new national advertising campaign in February to market the energy shots’ new and improved taste. Be on the lookout for what would appeal to women and seniors, as it’s likely that the campaign may cater to them just as much as it caters to their current customer base.