Snapple

Snapple and its competitors

Napa Naturals, Natural Quenchers, SoHo, After the Fall, Ginseng Rush, Elliot’s Amazing, Old Tyme Soft Drink, Manly Sodas, Syfo, Original New York Seltzer, Ocean Spray, Sobe, Lipton, Arizona, Nestea, and Fruitopia are Snapple’s key competitors in the New Age or Alternative beverage category in the non-alcoholic beverage industry. They compete in the areas of teas, fruit drinks, diet drinks, and water. They are alternatives to carbonated beverages (e.g., Coke, Pepsi). Snapple stands out from the crowd by differentiating itself as natural, real, personal.

“100% Natural” is Snapple’s mantra. It aspired to appeal to young, health-conscious consumers in the 1980s. The “made form the best stuff on earth” tagline was solid. Advertisements featuring the Snapple lady, Wendy, helped establish a solid base for the brand in the 90s. After Quaker bought Snapple for $1.7 billion in 1994, the brand seemed to lose focus and sales fell in the next few years. In 1997, Quaker sold the brand to Triarc for $300 million.[1] However, Triarc rebuilt the brand successfully in three years with the following marketing strategy. In 2000, Cadbury Schweppes bought the brand for $1.45 billion.[2]



Target audience

Snapple is not the drink of the serious athlete, but it is not for the idle either.[3] Its target audience should be health-conscious consumers with youthful attitude. The brand appeals to both older and younger consumers. They know that (a) Snapple is an alternative to carbonated beverages; (b) it is for them when they are on the go in between activities; (c) it is a healthy alternative; and (d) it is sensual, stimulating, and soothing.



Communication objectives and message strategy

Its communication objectives include:

  1. Category need – Need for Alternative beverage category and choices for consumers with health concerns (e.g., health-conscious consumer, diabetics and school children).
  2. Brand awareness – Ability to recognize or recall Snapple within the category.
  3. Brand attitude – Perceived ability to meet relevant need (e.g., sensory gratification).
  4. Brand purchase intention – Promotion to encourage consumers to purchase Snapple products.

Its message strategy is a sensory-reward promise with connected product-in-use experience. Its ad tagline is, “100% Natural,” “100% Juiced,” or “Made from the Best Stuff on Earth.” Snapple moves from a “fashion water” to a staple brand with well-defined benefits and image. Its messages include:

  1. Sensuality: It is smooth but complex, with blend of different flavors and tastes both exotic and immediate, soothing and stimulating. It is a treat.
  2. Experience: It is a way to “seize the moment.” It is a sense of “letting go,” or “being good to yourself.”
  3. Authenticity: It needs to be just healthy enough.
  4. Fun: It is a “pure escape” but of a circumscribed sort. The playfulness is exhibited by imaginative use of names, e.g., Melon Berry, Kiwi Strawberry, Mango Madness.[4]
  5. Brand image: It is a caring brand. For example, Snapple and New York City have become marketing partners since 2003. Under the NYC nutritional guidelines, Snapple becomes the school’s exclusive provider via vending machines of water and 100% fruit juice in the New York City’s 1,200 schools. New products are already developed to meet the City’s strict nutritional guidelines.[5]



Communication mix

The marketing communication mix includes advertising, sales promotion, events and experiences, public relationships and publicity, direct marketing, and personal selling. Of all the communication tools available, Snapple utilizes the following communication mix variables to reach its audience and meet its objectives.

  1. Advertising consists of print media, broadcast media, network media (cable, satellite, cell phones) electronic media (Web page), and display media (billboard, signs, posters, bus shelters, mall kiosks, air banners).
  2. Sales promotions consist of consumer promotions (such as samples, coupons), trade promotion (such as advertising and display allowances), sales-force promotions (contests for sales reps), and product promotions at schools, athletic clubs, and supermarkets.
  3. Event and experiences include sports, arts, entertainment, and cause events that create brand interaction with consumers. Snapple sponsors some of those events.
  4. Public relations and publicity include communications directed internally to employees of the company or externally to consumers, the governments (e.g. New York City), media, and other companies.


[1] John Deighton, “Snapple,” Harvard Business Review (December 2003): 1-3.
[2] Vivian Manning, “Snapple,” November14, 2005, brandchannel.com.
[3] John Deighton, “Snapple,” Harvard Business Review (December 2003): 16.
[4] Ibid., 13-17.
[5] The City of New York Office of the Mayor, September 9, 2003, www.nyc.gov.
[6] Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, ­­­Marketing Management, 12th ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education, Inc., 2005), 551-56.