29 December 2014
Hansen Beverage Co. and Red Bull GmbH simultaneously launched the energy drink category in 1997. However, by 2000, every other beverage company had entered the category and Hansen’s once handsome half-of-market share was reduced to a lowly 8%. Meanwhile, a regional player was making headway with a 16 oz energy drink called Rockstar – at a decent price point compared to the standard 8.3 oz can – so this new “double-size” can was seen as an opportunity for Hansen to distinguish their offering and renew their growth in this vicious and overheated segment.
BUSINESS OBJECTIVE Capitalize on the emerging double-size trend and fend off competitors entering the category. Drive sales, volume, and market penetration via the 16 oz proposition. Other energy drinks were gaining momentum and more 16s were imminent, so Hansen needed decisive action to preempt other majors and stay ahead of the trend.
PROJECT CHALLENGE Succeed where others were failing. Create a new, ownable standard and become “the” 16 oz energy drink. Stake out a leading position in the category – second only to entrenched leader Red Bull with 74% of the market – by carving sales directly out of their share.
DESIGN CHALLENGE Create a desirable offering engineered to become an icon for a generation inherently suspicious of traditional marketing and advertising.
Final decision is Monster! The reasons behind any brand taking on a life of its own are many and varied. However, tracking backwards to the original premise and our carefully defined consumer attitudes, this project was engineered for success.
First and foremost, the product benefit is clear in both name and execution:
Monster = Big, Double Size at 16 oz
Monster = Maniacal Energy
Monster = Social Renegade
Second, the promise of an energy drink is captured in the green glow ripping through a sinister void.
Third, on shelf the packaging creates its own quiet space and brand blocking in a cluttered retail environment.
And finally, the powerful and iconic brand elements embody an ideal that ultimately translates – for the company and consumer – into an broadly extendable
Within seven years of launch, Monster reached the billion-dollar mark and has gained worldwide recognition. The original intent to become second in the market was quickly achieved and Hansen Beverage Co. continues to make headlines for the phenomenal success of Monster.
Understanding how to create a billion dollar brand from scratch isn’t easy, but the basic principals apply across the board.
Our learnings from creating this monster:
• Simplicity is power in a noisy category.
• Less is more. Say less, but with authority. Be heard.
• Define emotional connections first. Graphics follow.
• In a parity product, brand & package are everything.
• Even new products with little support can break through and win the day!