Marley Beverage Company, best known for a line of relaxation drinks emblazoned with an image of iconic reggae figure Bob Marley, has launched a brand revamp and redesigned packaging that company executives hope will resonate with a broad range of consumers.
In an interview with BevNET, Marley Beverage CEO Harry Bigelow said that the company “wanted to dial it back a bit” in terms of its original reggae-themed labels and marketing initiatives, while maintaining the brand equity of Bob Marley. Bigelow called the artist someone whose “music crosses all demographics,” and wanted Marley products to reflect that mindset.
Marley Beverage marketing director Mindy Spire led the rebranding effort, which resulted in a new can package and updated labels for the company’s Mellow Mood relaxation drinks and One Drop iced coffees. The most significant change is in the presentation of Bob Marley. Original labels featured a large photo of the singer surrounded by swaths of green, yellow and red. On the new cans, a small caricature of Marley as a younger man with short dreadlocks sits in a circle at the center of the package.
Label hierarchy has also changed: the product name is now positioned first and foremost, followed by a short description of the beverage, Bob Marley’s image, and then the flavor variety. Spire said that the goal was to create a premium, clean looking package that would be eye-catching and easily understood by consumers.
Along with a shift from glass bottles to aluminum cans, Mellow Mood’s five decaffeinated teas, are now joined by three zero-calorie sparkling waters. The waters, along with two zero-calorie teas, are sweetened with a blend of erythritol and stevia. Priced at $1.99 per 15.5 oz. can, each variety is distinguished by specific color, something that Spire said was a key element of the revamp, because original labels lacked significant differentiation from one product to the next.
While the teas and sparkling waters will be positioned as light and refreshing beverages, the One Drop line is targeting consumers seeking “an indulgent experience,” Bigelow said. The formulations of One Drop’s Mocha, Vanilla, Banana Split and Swirl (a mix of vanilla and chocolate) varieties, were designed to attract consumers of Starbucks’ Frappuccino brand, which owns the largest share of the packaged iced coffee category, he said. The coffees contain 37-41 g of sugar and 220-240 calories per 11 oz. can, depending on variety. Each has a suggested retail price of $2.49.
The revamped Mellow Mood and One Drop products are now available at select retailers, and Marley will continue to expand availability over the next two months. Distribution will be primarily handled by a national network of DSD operators, and where needed, natural foods wholesaler UNFI. Bigelow, an experienced beverage executive whose 30-year career includes roles with PepsiCo, Diageo North America and Red Bull, said that he began building the distribution network upon joining Marley in 2014.
Meanwhile, the company will promote the new branding via a new marketing campaign called “First Taste.” Spire said that Marley will lean on a thriving social media presence to promote the campaign and revamped look and attempt to align the brand with grassroots events that encompass aspects of music, health and wellness.