Snapple's Marketing - An Unconventional Brand's Claim to Fame


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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG148
Case Length : 23 Pages
Period : 1972-2006
Organization : Snapple Beverage Corporation, Quaker Oats, Triarc Group of Companies, Cadbury Schweppes Plc.
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : USA
Industry : FMCG

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"We don't always do things in an expected way and we always are looking for distinctive opportunities where our brand can appear. It's that little bit of element of surprise. You'll see us on pizza boxes. You might see us in a fortune cookie. Those are just some of the ways that we connect with our consumers."1

- Sheryl Adkins-Green, former Senior Vice President of Marketing, Snapple Beverage Group, in July 2003.

"We're not in the soft-drink business; we're in the fashion business."2

- Michael Weinstein, former CEO of Triarc Beverages Corporation, in December 1998.

Snapple - The Real Fact!

On June 29, 2006, the Snapple Beverage Group (SBG), owned by Cadbury Schweppes Plc.3 (Cadbury Schweppes), launched its 'Snapple White Tea'4 with a unique representation of the product's characteristics.

In an event held at New York City's Bryant Park, the company harnessed several volunteers to helium balloons and let them rise several feet into the air. The event was intended to emphasize the attributes of its newly launched white teas, which were touted as the 'Lightest Teas on Earth'.5 Snapple announced that it would hold similar events in other cities across the US over the next few months to promote the white teas.

This was just one of Snapple's many unconventional efforts over the years to promote the brand. Since its launch in 1972, Snapple had captured the interest of professional marketers with its unconventional approach to promotion.

So much so that it was widely believed that taste was not the only reason for the popularity of Snapple's range of juices and iced teas - the brand's innovative promotions and advertisements were believed to be equally responsible for making it a favorite with the public.

Snapple was regarded as a 'fun' brand. As of mid-2006, the Snapple range was available in the US and in about 80 other countries around the world.

Snapple changed hands several times between 1992 and 2000. The Quaker Oats Company (Quaker)6, which acquired Snapple in 1994, did away with the off-beat marketing associated with the brand. Consequently, Snapple sales declined dramatically during the period the brand was with Quaker, and revived only after the next acquirer, the Triarc Group of Companies (Triarc)7, restored its 'wacky' image. Even after Snapple was acquired by Cadbury Schweppes in 2000, it continued to be promoted in an off-beat manner.

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1] "The Snapple Lady," www.reveries.com, July 21, 2003. (Accessed on August 16, 2006)

2] Nikhil Deogun, "Snapping Back," The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 1998.

3] Cadbury Schweppes, a British confectionary and beverages manufacturer, owns many international companies spread across 200 countries. As of mid-2006, the company was the third largest beverages producer in the world behind Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, with annual revenues of $ 11.2 billion as of December 2005.

4] Snapple white teas were naturally light because they were made from leaves that were plucked from the first tender buds of the plant. Snapple launched its white teas in three flavors - Raspberry, Green Apple and Nectarine.

5] "Snapple Flies High," www.snapple.com/news shack, June 29, 2006 (Accessed on August 11, 2006).

6] Quaker Oats was a leading producer of cereal based breakfast foods and the leading sports drink - Gatorade. It was purchased by PepsiCo in 2000.

7] Triarc held diverse businesses like textile manufacturing, propane distribution, chemical and dyes, beverages business and Arby's quick service restaurants.

 

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