Bai had to achieve critical mass in terms of awareness and trial to accelerate distribution development. Specifically, Bai’s challenging 2017 targets were 50% awareness – tough goals considering their limited initial distribution and they only had 30% awareness at the start of the year.
Bai’s challenge was to achieve enough brand recognition and loyalty in the heavily saturated beverage industry fast enough to be recognized as an important player that major distributors had to carry, before other, more established brands could own its desired positioning. This was tough for a new to the market segment niche brand, with extremely limited initial distribution and even less marketing budget.
Consumer research revealed “Conscious Authentics” (CAs) were frustrated and hadn’t been able to find great tasting beverages without health or other negatives. Bai targeted them and used package, labeling and taste to stand out from the rest of the field and position itself as the “uncompromise” brand.
Next, Bai analyzed website traffic to find CAs and reach them at scale. Research showed CAs were heavy online shoppers who loved learning about new products, reading customer reviews and shopping on Amazon.com.
Bai formulated a branding and media strategy anchored around Amazon - using Amazon both as an eCommerce solution and as a media vehicle to build brand recognition and drive trial, purchases, and loyalty among its target audience. Using Amazon Media Group for advertising allowed Bai to build their brand without being constrained by a lack of offline distribution – since, for CA’s, Amazon was a a very acceptable lead distribution alternative.
To further boost trial on Amazon, and to cater to CA’s desire to explore new experiences, Bai developed special, introductory priced mixed cases with multiple flavors and great, sponsored reviews and featured these online.
Bai integrated its media strategy with Amazon media and eCommerce to create a flywheel effect. The two forces – media and eCommerce - continuously reinforced each other across Amazon, magnifying the brand’s positive presence, expanding the customer base and driving sales.
On the media side, Bai created media campaigns that reach customers at multiple stages of the customer journey while they were in a shopping mindset. Bai and Amazon developed a sophisticated targeting and dynamic creative approach, leveraging Amazon’s Dynamic eCommerce Marketing ads. This was implemented arcoss Amazon’s programmatic solution (Advertising Platform) and Amazon owned and operated sites, ensuring reach to the target audience precisely across the web with customized messaging. This effectively created brand awareness and moved customers from awareness to purchase and to loyalty (aided by Amazon’s Subscribe and Save automatic repurchase functionality).
On the eCommerce side, Bai encouraged consumer engagement by using provocative creative both online and in offline media. This resulted in a best in class glance view rate online and helped drive more than 3,000 consumers writing reviews for Bai.
Paid media then further amplified this effect, driving an increase in traffic to Bai’s Amazon product detail page and stimulating a high conversion rate. This increased customer engagement contributed to additional earned media and Amazon’s eCommerce recommendations, with Bai appearing more frequently in the relevant product aisles because of the higher earned consumer relevancy and performance. Together, the elements of this synergistic strategy enabled Bai to achieve an average of 103% annual sales growth on Amazon over the last two years.
Bai was the first brand to use dynamic eCommerce ads, now a generally available Amazon product offering. With this functionality, targeted Awareness was built to drive new audiences in. Complementing this, retargeting was used to drive retention and encourage consumers to convert to Amazon’s Subscribe and Save product (SnS). Bai broke out targeting strategies for both tiers (new and existing customers) and developed different, tailored creative executions, messaging and delivery algorithms.
• Targeting: exclude Bai purchasers from the awareness tier to get new customers. Bai also excluded anyone who interacted with the brand (hit a detail page, gone to Bai’s site, etc) to target only truly net new customers. Similarly, for retention, Bai excluded existing Bai SnS customers, focusing only on people who had purchased previously but not subscribed. Bai also investigated categories it could expand into. For example, since analysis revealed that Bai over-indexed with coffee and tea drinkers, Bai began targeting consumers who searched for tea brands.
• Creative: Bai looked at Amazon analytical customer insights to drive creative strategies. For example, Bai over-indexed with coffee and tea drinkers, so “Pick me up” messaging was used.
• Bai also used Pixel placement on its website to understand customer overlap with Amazon and set up appropriate targeting strategies. For example, snack bar purchasers buy Bai at high rates so Bai behaviorally targeted audiences that were in-market for snack bars.