Over half of adult consumers report they are reaching for functional beverages for energy, sleep support, immune health and more. Branding expert and social media influencer Ben Ricciardi has been instrumental in developing successful brands, including the launch of C4 Energy. The Times10 Agency Owner joined the NutraCast to shed some light on how functional beverage brands can stand out in this increasingly crowded category.
“You have to figure out a way to cut through the clutter, you have to figure out a way to disrupt it differently. You have to really have a point of view and come at it pretty hard. I hate to give this point, but you gotta be expecting to spend a lot of money on the marketing side of it because for you to cut through right now, a lot of people have deep pockets and you got to be ready to play–because if you're not, you're going to lose the battle really quickly,” cautioned Ricciardi.
“At this point, if you're a brand and you're not investing in content and social media and in the right type of celebrity and influencer marketing, you're going to get passed by,” he added.
Whether it’s actress Jennifer Aniston for Vital Proteins or tennis champ Venus Williams for Happy Viking, Ricciardi said celebrities have to have a genuine connection to the product they’re endorsing.
“One of the big things I keep telling brands is when you're looking at talent, make sure it seems authentic, because if it doesn't seem authentic consumers at this point can see when somebody's just taking a check, and I find that if it looks like somebody's just taking a check, that's going to come back to haunt you and you're going to probably waste your money. But if you really have a celebrity or an endorser that feels authentic, feels real and you can create content that makes it seem like they're a really big part of this, it's a game changer.”
To hear more about social media marketing and where it’s headed, listen to the NutraCast.