In Plain Site

To those who have read my columns over the years, you know I’m into the good old days of simplicity and direct communication. One of my most commented-on columns was on my tirade on the overuse and fascination with cell phones (Blackberry was the rage at the time). It centered on the lack of consideration and respect signified by mealtime use, not to mention the fact that we have a new set of folks with the attention span of a two-year-old. It’s a wonder how people actually conduct business. I concede that I’ve lost that battle, sadly. People are always on their devices. It’s a sad commentary on our culture, personal and professional. But enough on that point, I just had to get it in.

My column today is about a very positive part of beverage marketing and promotion through technology. During one of our many recent snowstorms, I spent a very quiet Friday afternoon perusing the web sites that dot the beverage landscape.

I looked at the sites for established brands, for newbies, and for everything in between. I came away from it very impressed, by and large, with these online efforts to position and articulate brand messages. After a while, though they were mostly unique to their brand, the format and construction of these sites all seemed to be the same. I understand how hard it must be to differentiate when there is a structure to the sites that must be followed. Yet, within those confines, the messaging came across very well.

To the brands that had a great story to tell in their founding, the execution was terrific. Each one demonstrated the passion and emotion of their founders, whether from the coconut plantations or the rainforest, whether the products were exotic berries, leaves, or other natural ingredients indigenous to a region and culture. You all made me want to try and support your efforts.

I found the graphics and visuals to be arresting and capture the essence of the brand. The beauty shots did a great job in enticing the viewers into your world. It’s come a long way from the bland, generic sites heavy on copy.

The news sections helped convey the excitement of the activities, sponsorships and community involvement of the brands, real or perceived. It’s an important part of strategy and most brands got it right.

Interactivity with the consumer was done very well. I’m still amazed how many people react to your brands and their ardor in communicating it. Their reaching out would impress those going onto the sites. It did for me.

Communication and connection are an integral aspect of beverage marketing when it’s done right. Websites are an integral part of your marketing plan and its one that I saw many brands had nailed brilliantly. Keep up the good work.