Sparkling Insights on Scaling a Beverage Brand with Paul Voge of Aura Bora | re:COGs Podcast Episode #37

The Genesis of a Sparkling Sensation

Unveiling the origins of Aura Bora’s quest to redefine sparkling water

In the latest episode of the re:COGs Podcast, host Mike Gelb chats with Paul Voge, Founder/CEO of Aura Bora, the sparkling water brand infused with fruits, herbs, and flowers about When and How to Launch Wholesale.  This enlightening discussion, which was originally live-streamed as part of Pipe17‘s comprehensive webinar Omnichannel Commerce Summit, explored the challenges and triumphs of launching and scaling an omnichannel consumer product brand in the highly competitive, and somewhat saturated beverage industry.

Bubbling Up: Aura Bora’s Effervescent Rise in the Beverage Industry

Paul shared the story of Aura Bora’s journey from a passion for unique sparkling water to its presence in over 8,500 stores nationwide. The brand’s success is a testament to the power of strategic retail and direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategies. Aura Bora’s evolution in distribution tactics, from self-distribution to partnering with large-scale distributors and the shift towards direct sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, provided invaluable insights for brands looking to navigate these waters.

Crafting Aura Bora’s Online Persona

Aura Bora’s robust online presence, exclusive flavors, and advertising strategy have been instrumental in cultivating brand loyalty. Paul and Mike discussed how Aura Bora concocted its dazzling digital presence. They also highlighted the importance of agile marketing tactics that are essential to stirring brand loyalty, including their clever use of unique flavors and savvy advertising approach, which helped them charm their way onto store shelves and position the brand for growth in a predominantly retail-focused industry.

Aura Bora’s Retail Breakthrough and the Digital Grocery Game

The conversation also touched on the ongoing evolution of the grocery industry and what it means for brands trying to break onto shelves. Paul provided a case study on Aura Bora’s Ginger Meyer Lemon SKU that exemplified the power of customer feedback and strategic marketing. The discussion also shed light on the game-changing role of platforms like Instacart, which serve as a conduit between e-commerce and traditional retail, are reshaping how brands reach their audience.

Stirring Up the Beverage Industry with Shopper Marketing

Paul shared his perspective on shopper marketing dynamics and its significant role in ensuring that every sip of Aura Bora reaches its destined taste buds. The conversation highlighted how Aura Bora’s Head of Growth, Cameron, is steering the brand through these challenges and opportunities as they prepare the brand for its fresh & fizzy future.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone eager to quench their thirst for business savvy. Not only does this interview offer a taste of the operational troubles and triumphs of launching and scaling an omnichannel consumer product brand, but it also offers valuable insights into the beverage industry’s retail and e-commerce challenges.

Listen In:

Paul and Mike discuss:  

Retail and Wholesale Strategies

  • Dynamics of retail vs. wholesale distribution models in the beverage industry
  • Importance of building a digital presence despite beverages being a traditionally retail-focused category
  • Aura Bora’s unique flavors and marketing as differentiation tactics

Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Strategies

  • Aura Bora’s journey navigating distribution systems from self-distribution to DSD to large distributors
  • Pivoting strategy to focus more on D2C sales during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Using exclusive online flavors and paid advertising to drive brand loyalty

Changing Grocery Industry Landscape

  • Shift in grocery buyer demographics and impact on product selection and go-to-market strategies
  • Challenges for emerging brands breaking into retail amid COVID-19
  • Pitching new products to grocery category managers

Beverage Product Launches

  • The importance of starting with a focused set of hero SKUs vs. too many product variations
  • Leveraging D2C as a testing ground for new flavors before retail rollout

Market Adoption Analysis

  • Tracking repeat purchase rates and limited-time offers to gauge customer favorites
  • Using retail partners as additional testing channels for market adoption

Evolving Shopper Marketing

  • Rise of e-commerce professionals transitioning into retail roles
  • Instacart’s unique positioning between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail
  • Potential impact of Instacart on brand equity and retailer relationships

Listen to the Entire re:COGs Series:

Tune in to re:COGs, the podcast series that examines the essential aspects of inventory management, supply chain optimization, and operational excellence, all through a COGs-focused lens.

Hear business operators and thought leaders from growing consumer brands share their thoughts on product manufacturing.  Through inspiring stories and critical conversations with top experts across CPG, food, fashion, and other industries, listeners are treated to valuable insights and actionable advice that can be applied to any growing business as it scales up operations.

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