Despite the fact that many small startup premium fruit drink companies stayed small or even disappeared during the period from 1972 to 1993, Snapple was able to flourish. A large part of Snapple avoiding the fate of these other companies can be attributed to how successful it was in utilizing the four Ps of marketing, especially product and promotion. Of the four Ps, the marketing mix typically starts with the product, which is one area where Snapple separated itself from competitors. The product not only entails the physical unit but also, among other factors, its package, warranty, after-sale service, brand name, company image, and value. Snapple prides itself on being 100% natural. Although the original product was a bottled apple drink, the company eventually added carbonated drinks; fruit-flavored iced teas; diet juices; seltzers; an isotonic sports drink; and even a Vitamin Supreme to keep distributors occupied. Snapple is also well known for the noise the bottle caps make when one presses them. Place, or distribution, strategies are concerned with making products available when and where customers want them. Snapple has succeeded exceptionally well with small, predominantly family owned distributors servicing convenience chains; pizza stores; food service vendors; gasoline stations; and so-called mom-and-pop stores.
As a result of new management, Snapple has expanded to supermarkets where they’ve sold their products in bulk and in larger sizes; however, the company has not seen the success in sales it had expected. Promotion includes advertising, public relations, sales promotion, and personal selling. In the promotional arena, Snapple really separated itself from the rest of the competing companies. Snapple’s promotion was an offbeat blend of public relations and advertising. For the brand the company hired a spokes model, Wendy Kaufman, who had a brash New York attitude and eccentric personality. Wendy embodied the essential Snapple qualities: fun, genuine, personal and working from the bottom up approach, all characteristics easily relatable to customers. Snapple also sponsored the radio programs of two highly outspoken men, Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh, who promoted Snapple’s various products on-air. Finally, price is what a buyer must give up in order to obtain a product. It is often the most flexible of the four Ps. Although not explicitly stated in the case study, I know from further research that Snapple isn’t significantly cheaper or more expensive than substitute products.
The average sixteen-ounce bottle of Snapple is $1.50, which is comparable to what one would pay for an Arizona iced tea or a bottle of Coca-Cola. A significant advantage was not gained in this area. In order for Mike Weinstein to regain the level of success that Snapple once enjoyed, he needs to make a serious effort to return Snapple to its roots. First and foremost he needs to reestablish the public relations and advertising strategies the company once used. Weinstein should reach out to Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, and Wendy Kaufman to again promote Snapple’s products. He needs to communicate to them how instrumental they would be in returning Snapple to its former status among fruit drink companies. If he can’t get these individuals “on board,” then Weinstein needs to find suitable replacements that have similar personalities to the aforementioned spokespersons. In addition, because today’s society is so reliant on technology, he should advertise Snapple products through various social media. Secondly, Weinstein should focus much of his attention on the “cold channel.”
It has been reported that a high percentage of purchases are single bottles for immediate consumption. Snapple sales tend to take place while people are on the go, between here and there, such as while stopping for gas or driving on long trips. Because of these specific points of sale, Snapple needs to be sold individually in restaurants, delicatessens, recreation centers and by street vendors. As a result, sales in “warm channels” can be reduced, which will cut the costs that go along with distributing products to supermarkets. Also, along the lines of distribution, a final initiative Weinstein should take is to make sure that Snapple drinks are always in stock in the places in which they are sold. It was reported that customers couldn’t find the flavors that they wanted in some stores. This failure of catering to consumers’ tastes could have disastrous repercussions because at some point customers are going to stop wanting to buy a product if it’s constantly out of stock. Weinstein needs to make sure that the top ten selling flavors are always available for sale and phase out the poorly selling flavors if need be. However, customers should still be able to order those flavors not sold in stores through Snapple’s website. Making these three change will show consumers that Weinstein is making a conscious effort to return Snapple to its roots, roots that its consumers loved and, in turn, benefited the company.