Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dry is the new Jones

Much has been made of the Jones Soda phenomenon, as it should be. Despite some perceived missteps in attempts to expand their target audience (Jones Organics? Jones Naturals? Jones candy?), very few if any brands have captured a web-based movement the way they have. Early on Jones recognized the power of social media and blew up their online space without relying on traditional media. The gallery of folks who've plastered their faces, ideas, and artwork on Jones bottles is truly something to behold.

However, if you've not been following along with the soda trends, you're missing out on the latest brand to take advantage of a carefully targeted audience. Dry soda really hit the nail on the head in creating an upscale soda market. Pardon me, "the first culinary soda". Honestly, though, it's a brilliant piece of strategy. They're the only ones of their kind out there. They found the hole, the gap, the market. And now, they offer 4 flavors of "all-natural, lightly sweetened beverages designed for those wanting a sophisticated non-alcoholic option to accompany a great meal or simply a night out with friends." And oh, what flavors they are. Kumkwat, Lemongrass, Rhubarb, and Lavendar? I still have yet to try Rhubarb, but I'll tell ya, they know what they're doing. The others taste really good. And you're nowhere if your culinary soda doesn't taste amazing.

While everyone and their grandmothers were busy chasing after the young, extreme sports demographic, sponsoring events at the X Games or surf tournaments, Dry stepped in and hit a home run with a more discerning crowd. They are being very selective in where their product can be found, and it is unlikely that you'll find it at Safeway, Target, or Costco anytime in the first couple of years. They'll place themselves in upscale restaurants and Whole Foods to the delight of those still in the mood for exclusivity.

Although the website is still filling in its content, the groundwork has been set to develop sections of the site devoted to recipes, serving suggestions, and taste profiles, continuing the high-end, culinary proposition. The model is red wine, not Red Bull. Smart. All of it, very smart.

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the thoughts and opinions expressed below are entirely my own, and are not necessarily shared by my friends, family, or employer. (though they very well might be...)