Generating New Product Fanfare within a Competitive Category
Oklahoma City‐based craft brewery COOP Ale Works came to Sharp to help launch its first brand, SONIC Hard Seltzer within a very competitive category. With a slow national rollout, Sharp knew that our approach needed to be steeped in creativity and brand fandom.
To launch SONIC Hard Seltzer and gain widespread attention, Sharp developed a phased outreach approach. While the product started with availability in only six markets, Sharp knew that consumer love and fanfare for SONIC Drive-In would help generate excitement. We leaned into nostalgia as our core messaging to build affinity for the brand and ultimately drive appetite for sampling and coverage from media. The response was incredible, resulting in broad top tier coverage creating demand ahead of national availability.
While Hard Seltzer is known as the drink of the summer, we tapped into SONIC’s loyal following to expand key occasions for enjoyment to include tailgating, fireside sipping and more. Sharp conducted phased outreach focused on each new market - with continued excitement.
We developed an aggressive product sampling program and with each new flavor launch, we identified new media and brand loyalists to be among the first to taste test. Coverage spiked with each new roll out.
Fanfare for SONIC Hard Seltzer quickly grew. Press buzz and consumer excitement propelled the brand from regional distribution in smaller stores to a nationwide Walmart presence within a year of launch.