It’s one of the most successful independent beverage brands in the world, as well as a darling of Wall Street, but Monster Energy’s chief achievement seems to be its near-limitless ability to apply old school beverage experience to entice a cohort of edgy product adopters.
That was the dynamic on stage during a brief discussion between Monster Beverage Co. President Mark Hall, Monster Marketing Director Geoff Bremmer, and BevNET moderators during the BevNET Live event on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Monster, which has run a tight number two in terms of dollar sales but tends to sell more units than rival Red Bull, has become what Hall called a “lifestyle company” as opposed to the “media company” that Red Bull’s own VP of Marketing, Amy Taylor, had referenced during her own presentation the day before.
To their credit, when it comes to that lifestyle, Hall and much of the founding crew of Monster understand they aren’t of the demographic that the company seeks out, so this led to the introduction to the BevNET audience of Geoff Bremmer, a former Quicksilver surf apparel employee who was hired as he completed his MBA. Bremmer has now become something like Hall’s “generation energy drink” litmus tester, given responsibility for the brand “to make sure we were talking to our consumer in an authentic away.”
The duality works like this: when talking about his role at the company, for example, Hall told the audience that he is largely the visionary conceptualizing line extensions and making assignments about design and taste. While he still writes the label copy on the back, he said, Bremmer makes sure he uses “the right words.”
“If you aren’t part of the demographic,” Hall said, “You can’t ever be sure. I’m much more comfortable,” he added, with Bremmer behind the desk running the brand aspect of Monster.
Meanwhile, Bremmer is also deep in the numbers, analyzing the brand’s penetration into its core consumer segment. And while the early adopters of that segment might be aging a bit, he says, there’s tons of room for energy drinks to grow – only 18 percent penetration thus far in the consumer public.
“Younger adults are the ones proclaiming they drink energy drinks,” he said. While currently older age brackets have lower usage rates, as current users start to age, “they’re going to stick with the category.”
To hear more thoughts about the energy drink category, as well as Hall’s analysis of the shot category and Monster’s philosophy on line extensions, check out the entire interview.