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How successful beverage branding transforms bottles into beloved brands

A toast to successful beverage branding: what makes a product stand out?


Successful beverage branding is crucial in today’s crowded market – it takes more than a great product to stand out. A strong brand identity is essential to differentiate your product from the competition and capture the attention of consumers. So, here are some great examples that have recently used unique branding to unlock success:

Trip’s branding embodies their claims

Trip’s CBD-infused soft drinks are branded to personify their product claims of relaxation. As an alcohol alternative promising zero hangovers, the minimalist pastel packaging’s artwork evokes peace, luck and a carefree experience, targeting younger, health-conscious consumers who wish to unwind without traditional drawbacks. The brand emphasizes the pared-back quality of its ingredients, which include adaptogenic herbs and CBD, to promote relaxation and reduce stress without the need for alcohol.

Swoon collaborates with the classics to evolve for the future

Swoon is a US brand that produces sugar-free soft drinks. This summer, it has launched an exciting collaboration with Barbie to produce Barbie-branded packaging and an exclusive line of merch to get ahead of the trend with the upcoming Barbie movie. This collaboration targets health-conscious consumers who enjoy sweet drinks and appreciate appeals to femininity and fun, guilt-free. Accordingly, Swoon’s website states “Swoon and Barbie are committed to celebrate and evolve the classics to create a better future.”

Using AR to immerse, excite and promote, Lyre’s makes waves in a calmer category

In late 2022, Lyre’s, a non-alcoholic “spirits” company, launched an innovative branding strategy using the animal mascots and QR codes shown on their bottle labels to create an augmented reality experience called Lyre’s Impossible Bar. The animals on each label would come to life and immerse consumers in a virtual menu of cocktail recipes, promoting more of Lyre’s products as they go. The experience is built for sharing on social media platforms, creating excitement and exploration for consumers who are new to the category.

Funkin’ Cocktails uses timely launches to demonstrate their convenience to consumers

The UK’s first BCORP cocktail company, Funkin’ Cocktails has focused on ease and convenience in their branding, using taglines like “any hour can be happy”. As a result, their new canned cocktail range launched strategically in time for British bank holidays, Cinco de Mayo and summer, featuring eye-catching colours and playful messaging, all working to emphasise their easy-to-select and easy-to-enjoy products. Because of this, Funkin’ Cocktails’ branding effectively communicates their benefits of being RTD (ready to drink) and portable, capitalising on the increasing popularity of canned cocktails.

Even successful beverage brands like Coca-Cola need to innovate

Recently Coca-Cola launched an AI art competition through a custom platform called “Create Real Magic”. The innovative platform combines GPT-4 and DALL-E technologies to produce Coca-Cola-related text and images from prompts. Winning submissions will feature on digital billboards in New York’s Time Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus. Certainly the beverage market is rapidly diversifying – Coca-Cola is adapting to keep their share.

Successful beverage branding in today’s crowded market requires an understanding of the kinds of innovation your consumers want to see. Even juggernauts like Coca-Cola are innovating to adopt cutting-edge technologies that amplify their branding. The competition has never been fiercer.

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