When Jones Soda Company started its operations in 1986, it was necessary to market its products to the consumers. The company applied the four Ps (product, place, price and promotion) that ensure successful marketing (Kotler and Armstrong, 2010).
When Jones Soda hit the market 25 years ago, it operated under the name Urban Hand Limited. The first product came under a brand name of Jones Soda and it was packaged in a glass bottle. The carbonated soft drink faced competition from Coke and Pepsi due to the nature of its design.
The company introduced several other flavors and there was a need to penetrate to new markets to distribute the products. However, Jones Soda products faced competition due to their poor packaging design as opposed to its competitors. Packed in long-necked glass bottles, the product lacked the visual appeal required to attract consumers in any new market.
On the other hand, the products gained popularity due to their unique formula derived from consumer’s suggestions in its website launched in 1997. In the promotion strategy, Jones Soda relied on word of mouth as the marketing strategy and free product give away to young people. The website also enabled the consumer to order any desired product.
However, the move was characterized by certain challenges such as inadequate market segment to reach his product and competition. When Jones Soda penetrated the new market, it had to be innovative in its promotional strategy. The company adopted direct consumer relations with its consumers such as shops and bakeries.
As regards to price, the company had to lower its selling price regardless of the amount of money it had spent on its promotional strategies due to competition. It had to come up with competitive pricing that would eventually lead to its downfall. This was further characterized by the economy crunch that hit in 2007 that saw the company record the lowest sales.
As regards to place, the distribution strategy adopted in the regional market that Jones Soda set up its base was through word of mouth. However, upon penetrating the new national market, the company had to change its distribution strategy and infrastructure to accommodate the needs of the new competitive market.
Despite the above marketing mix, the company sales declined drastically in 2007 due to high competition, high prices and the economy crunch that hit the region. They therefore had to change their marketing mix.
In regards to the product, the company had to reduce the quantity of their beverages by packing them in cans instead of bottles. They further introduced photo contest that allowed consumers to send in their photos which were used as custom labels.
This enhanced the visual appearance of their end product hence increasing the sales revenues. As regards to price, the company had to adjust its prices to suit the consumer’s needs. The new competing prices put into consideration the competing beverage companies in the markets. The company also gives discount to its consumers who purchase in large quantity or during special events.
Due to fierce competition from the dominating companies in the new market region, the company had to change its distribution strategy to include both the regional and national markets. In choosing the appropriate place to market its products, the company adopted to use large retailers stores such as Wal-Mart.
The promotion strategy adopted was shelf display in such stores and other consumer shops. The company also has introduced contests with the consumers being awarded free shirts and caps to increase participation. The other promotion strategy adopted is through social media which is popular with its target market (Kotler and Armstrong, 2010).
Differentiating Attributes With Other Soft Drink Industries
Jones Soda’s target market is comprised of young progressive generation that seeks to create a connection with their brand. It is this reason that distinguishes Jones from its competitors. The differentiating attributes range from its branding to marketing strategies. One differentiating attribute is its brand which relates to the consumer’s individuality and personal interests.
Its slogan, ‘run with the little guy’ invites the customer to be part of the branding process. As opposed to other beverage companies such as Pepsi and Coke, consumers are invited to submit their photos through the website that is meant to appear on the label of the product (Jones Soda Co., 1997). The consumers vote for the photo of their choice.
They are also allowed to submit slogans that are displayed under the bottle caps. In addition, consumers are also involved in the marketing strategies through several contests. The other factor that easily differentiates Jones Soda from other brands is its innovative nature of flavor combinations. The mixture of these flavors and their names creates a buzz to the consumers hence promoting its brand image.
It is also important to note that unlike its competitors, Jones do not advertise its products through print or broadcast media. They rely on shelf advertisement, social media and their website. The company’s distribution and infrastructure network is therefore very important as it affects the purchasing power by the consumers. In addition, they penetrate new markets through various channels.
These channels include direct-store-delivery and direct-to-retail strategy to increase its annual sales revenues. The products are also available in large retailers’ stores nationally such as Target and Wal-Mart.
This attributes differentiate Jones from other soft drinks companies and continue to gain popularity among its consumers.
The Customer Needs Met By Jones Soda Company
Jones Soda Company strives to meet certain needs of the customer. The company creates a friendly atmosphere for the consumer. This is achieved through its website where it acknowledges the consumer on its home page.
The consumer therefore does not feel like an intruder when contributing to the company’s activities. The company further ensures that the consumer’s personal interests are associated with their favorite brand.
Any consumer requires the company to understand their needs and appreciate their feelings without criticizing them. The connection therefore plays this role with the consumer having a say when choosing their choice of brand. Jones Soda introduces new products with different combinations of flavors on a daily basis as per the request of the consumers.
It further allows them to criticize a flavor and to vote for one that they like most. This ensures that the company understands the consumer’s needs and are quick to meet their demands. The products range from energy drinks to zero calorie drinks. The company also treats all its consumers fairly without discrimination. Their products are available to all class of persons due to its affordability.
The branding is also as per the consumer’s wishes where fairness is assured through voting their favorite photos to be placed on the labels. Its marketing strategies include its products being distributed nationally to large retailer stores such as Wal-Mart. This is to ensure that everybody gain access to their choice of products.
Another need that is met is the consumer’s feeling of control. Through contests, custom labels participation, branding, their contribution to innovative strategies and voting, the consumers feel in control of the product. The consumer is therefore satisfied with the end product as they are made to feel part of it (Jones Soda Co., 1997).
Jones Soda Co. (1997). Retrieved August 26, 2011, from
Kotler, P. and Armstrong, G. (2010). Principles of Marketing (13th Ed.). USA: Pearson.