LaCroix is *EVERYWHERE*…at least in the United States. For some of you, LaCroix Sparkling Water needs no explanation. For others, you may be wondering why I’m about to dedicate an entire blog to a brand you’ve never heard of.
LaCroix is a U.S. based sparkling water brand that’s been around for more than 30 years. But, if you’d asked a majority of the U.S. population about LaCroix 10 years ago, we would have returned your question with a blank stare. About 10 years ago, LaCroix water saw a gap in the market. They took action and now their brand name is recognized not only in the U.S., but internationally as well. It’s grown into a powerhouse brand dominating the sparkling water market and dwarfing their competition.
Entrepreneurial Tip #1: You never know when success will hit. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t achieve the *insta-success* that’s *supposedly* saturating the marketplace!
How did they accomplish such success? How have they grown so quickly in such a small timeframe? How have they captured the hearts of their audience and secured fierce brand loyalty in their following?
Today, I’m analyzing LaCroix’s brand techniques and tactics for your benefit. I’m never one to say copy another company’s tactics and you’ll be successful. If you have followed my work for any amount of time, you know that’s not my jam. But, I love inspirations that come from big brands and the techniques they deploy. It demonstrates new ways to think about your branding strategies. It also reinforces the importance of building a killer brand. And how that killer brand affects your business…and your profit line.
Time to dig in. (LaCroix in hand for extra inspiration.)
Spending some time on LaCroix’s website was intriguing and eye opening for many reasons. They definitely don’t follow a big brand corporate guideline about website design. They don’t have the normal “about the company” page that explains who they are and where they came from. I know this because that’s what I was looking for to start my analysis. Fortunately, you can still identify what values are most important to their brand. They highlight their simple, innocent product from the start along with the community they’re building.
Entrepreneurial Tip #2: Your values should *shine* through in everything you produce for your brand.
First thing on LaCroix’s homepage is an introduction to their newest water flavor. With a *not so subtle* nod to their simple, natural ingredients.
Following their Tanger-een flavor announcement, LaCroix invites you to share how you #LiveLaCroix. It’s the perfect introduction to their community. It immediately makes you curious about the lives of people who drink LaCroix water.
LaCroix water 110% emulates the Innocent Brand Archetype. Yet, it’s very refreshing (pun intended) to see such bright design work coupled with the Innocent Archetype. LaCroix reminds their audience not to over complicate life. The same way they don’t over complicate their ingredients. Find joy in the simple, and have *fun*. Do what makes you happy in life, and drink a LaCroix while you do it.
More evidence of the Innocent Archetype comes from their message of pure and natural ingredients. They are very transparent about their product as you can see on their webpage dedicated to nutritional information. They overcome any objections about their drink in a clear and concise manner. This ensures their audience has faith in their product. It’s a genius approach since their answers also happen to fit *perfectly* with today’s healthy living movement. Their audience wants to go back to wholesome, natural ingredients. They no longer want a laundry list of ingredients they can’t pronounce in their food and beverages. They want GMO-free, vegan, and gluten free options without sacrificing taste. So LaCroix is here to offer a pure and natural alternative.
Entrepreneurial Tip #3: Find a creative and fun way to overcome objections about your product or service.
As for a secondary archetype, LaCroix’s focus on building a community along with it’s origin story point towards Girl/Guy Next Door. LaCroix recognized a need for a more “approachable” water brand. With competition like Perrier, there was a gap in the market surrounding an “all occasion” bubbly water. From the start, LaCroix has positioned themselves as a bubbly water for everyone. This has created a community that didn’t previously exist. Midwestern moms, New York trendsetters, paleo nutritionists, and a movement of people cutting soda out of their diets now have a way to connect: their love of LaCroix. Spend some time on their social media accounts. You’ll see the true passion their audience has for their product. It’s astounding. And it’s from their branding.
Entrepreneurial Tip #4: Don’t copy the competition! Set yourself apart in a unique way and you’ll find more success.
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If you are familiar with the LaCroix brand, you may have noticed a lack of traditional advertising. They don’t have commercials on primetime networks nor do they spend much money on advertising in popular magazines. And I doubt you’d *ever* hear them on a radio ad. These are all *very* strategic decisions LaCroix has taken to nurture their ideal audience. This tactic has worked by attracting their target audience of young and influential adults. This audience tends to be desensitized towards traditional advertising methods. They grew up exposed to hundreds of ads a day. Because of this, they tend to be skeptical of being pulled into a brand through commercials and billboards. LaCroix decided early on they wanted to attract this specific generation of young adults. So, they eliminated most traditional marketing tactics. Instead they dedicated their efforts towards visual social media platforms.
Entrepreneurial Tip #5: Don’t spend money on traditional advertising just because you *think* you should. Identify your ideal client and strategize how you can get *them* to notice you.
One thing we can all agree on – millennials *love* their social media. LaCroix recognized this shift and changed their marketing tactics accordingly. LaCroix has an *extremely* active presence on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. They invite their audience to post how they #livelacroix each and every day. LaCroix has built a strong, loyal following through the use of this hashtag. It has capitalized on their ideal market’s desire to share their lives on social media. We see LaCroix at the beach, at music concerts, at the playground. We see fridges 80% stocked full of various LaCroix flavors and fun summer drinks mixed with LaCroix. LaCroix Mojito? Yes, please!
LaCroix has created an interactive community where their ideal clients thrive, and they’ve worked hard to get there. They post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter 2-3 times per day. On Twitter, they even go one step further by retweeting messages about LaCroix from their fans.
Entrepreneurial Tip #6: Consistency is key. LaCroix is the proof. They post multiple times a day *every day* and stay top of mind with their community.
LaCroix reminds its audience daily why it’s fun and engaging to follow their brand. They keep all posts on brand by using bright, colorful imagery, emulating happiness, and finding joy every day. Even their audience’s posts on their website stay on brand with people living a life to strive for (which I’m sure is by design!).
Speaking of community, LaCroix has it’s ideal client niche down to a science. You can see their ideal client profile emerge from their social media platforms and branding tactics. LaCroix has targeted social media savvy millennials that love to share their lives. Millennials take pride in finding the next best thing by more “grassroots” methods. LaCroix found a way to grow their popularity using this fact. As I said before, it was essential that they avoid traditional marketing methods. A few influential social media users started sharing their love of a *new* sparkling beverage. Their ideal clients ran with it. They wanted to be the first to share this discovery with their friends. And don’t forget, these are users that *know* how to make their posts look good! So with a little money, and a lot of effort, LaCroix built a community around their ideal clients and it exploded.
Entrepreneurial Tip #7: Find fun ways engage *your* ideal client. Allow your audience to help you grow!
Another branch of their target audience focuses on health conscious individuals. Health issues are on the rise, and people are educating themselves more and more on how to stay healthy. The result? Cutting out sugars, sodas, and artificial flavors is immensely popular. New diets (#paleo, #Whole30) are popping up everywhere that cut out the ingredients mentioned above. LaCroix noticed this trend and discovered a huge opportunity of a new target audience. LaCroix water is *exactly* what people need who are cutting out sugar or trying out these new diets.
Entrepreneurial Tip #8: Once you are successful with one target audience, it’s smart to expand who you target with segmented partnerships, marketing tactics, or new product lines. Partner with related brands to expand your reach.
Obviously, from the content above, you can see that I’m a *huge* fan of the LaCroix brand. They have use unconventional methods to take over a huge portion of the sparkling water market share. They are an ambitious example of social media platform techniques. Plus, I love their product. I can’t get it in Italy so I ordered it from Amazon to curb my cravings. (True story!)
That being said, brands should always be changing and improving! Brands and their audiences are ever-evolving. Businesses must constantly adapt to keep their profits up. Here are some humble recommendations I’d give to the powerful brains over at LaCroix.
Update and highlight the “About LaCroix” webpage.
The history of LaCroix page isn’t easily accessible on their website, but I was able to find it through Google search.
LaCroix has a rich history and a very Innocent Brand Archetype origin story. Their original branding was simple and very similar to their competition. It wasn’t true to their identity or their target audience so they rebranded. The revamped their brand to a more emotionally driven message and a vision that was true to their target audience. It hasn’t *just* brought them amazing success. It has also created a fun-loving, spirited community of people from all walks of life. They should be sharing this story with their audience to show their appreciation of the journey LaCroix has been on.
Entrepreneurial Tip #9: Share stories that are on brand for your brand archetype. It further nurtures the emotional connection with your ideal clients.
Expand on the theme of transparency.
LaCroix has full transparency on ingredients and nutritional information of their product. They should expand on this transparency to other aspects of their brand. LaCroix water is a subsidiary of National Beverage Corp, so that does add a layer of complexity. But, adding more company information would still be a very strategic move to stay on brand with their Innocent and Girl/Guy Next Door archetypes. They should review their company mission, vision, and worldview. Expressing these viewpoints on their website is an unexplored avenue of connecting emotionally with their ideal clients.
Another fun addition would be adding transparency to some higher positions within the company. This brand thrives on simplicity and joy. Why not have executives talk about their favorite weekend activities? What they do to unwind after a stressful day? Or, how fun would it be if they told a lighthearted story about the first LaCroix they ever drank? Or what’s their favorite flavor? If not the executive team, then highlight employees that aren’t normally in the spotlight. The possibilities are endless!
One last idea to expand on transparency for LaCroix would be to bring their sponsorship and donation efforts front and center on their website. In their contact form, there’s a section for these types of requests. In their events video, you can see some examples of LaCroix sponsoring some very on brand events. But it’s hard to find anything else about what they actually provide. A very popular theme when categorizing millennials is their strong desire to give back and have an affect on bettering the world. LaCroix should have an area on their website dedicated to highlighting donations and sponsorships. This would be a great opportunity to connect with their ideal clients. Plus, it would provide value to the causes they’re supporting! It would give these organizations extra visibility to a *huge* untapped audience. #winwinwin
Entrepreneurial Tip #10: While your website should complement social media, it is also your best tool for developing a deeper and more meaningful emotional relationship with your audience. Share stories and get personal.
There is no doubt that LaCroix sparkling water is a brand to watch. They are immensely successful and are the A+ student of social media platforms. As long as they keep true to their ideal audience and continue to adapt their marketing efforts, I have no doubt this brand will continue to win the hearts of new followers everywhere. Especially as they expand to additional countries. And what an inspiration to startups and personal brands everywhere! It takes hard work and perfecting your target audience above all else. Once you know your brand personality and who your ideal client is, ALL other decisions fall into place. That’s the biggest take away that anyone reading this review should remember. All decisions about your brand should help you better connect with your ideal client and stay true to what your brand stands for.
Outstanding analysis and tips. Thank you, Kaye! I’m not a young millennial and don’t care for sparkling beverages, but I’m “almost” convinced to give it a try.
I became thirsty reading this blog, luckily I had refilled an VOSS bottle with river water. So refreshing, a friend uses store brand seltzer water and soda water is available at fountains of businesses she frequents. La Croix is available to me and I am starting to ease up on my sugar consumption particularly in soft drinks and juices. Thank you for unlocking a subtle product in a ever evolving market of humanism.