Legendary former Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson backs BOS Ice Tea, a South African success story that aspires to penetrate the U.S. market. The healthy drink brand has done well in Europe, and has plans to expand. Its target? American iced tea drinkers.
One of the most innovative and interesting brands available from a marketing point of view, the ice tea, which is made from organic South African rooibos, is prepared to shake up and wow the American drinks market.
These are 12 ways South African ice tea brand BOS plans to compete with similar drinks on American shelves.
Using a custom-built vending machine BOS showed how innovative it could be, creating the first ever tweet-activated vending machine to connect to potential customers through Twitter and reward their social media engagement with an ice tea when its geo-location feature detected that they were in range.
With rooibos as the main ingredient, BOS drinks are rich in anti-oxidants, electrolytes, anti-inflammatory properties, and essential minerals, while containing no caffeine, colourants, preservatives, while they offer sugar-free options too.
BOS co-founders, entrepreneur Grant Rushmere and rooibos farmer Richard Bowsher, have the entrepreneurial nous and experience to carry the ice tea brand forward, as they have done thus far, taking it from an idea in 2010 to a mega-brand that is ready to conquer North American shores.
Continuing the trend of unique marketing communication with consumers, BOS recently launched a mobile augmented reality app called ‘BOSify YOUR WORLD’, where customers can plant virtual trees, which contribute to actual trees being planted through the GreenPop initiative.
Many ice tea companies only offer a couple of flavours, but variety is important to the BOS brand, which is why they created flavours such as lemon, peach, berry, lime and ginger, energy, and apple, alongside their BOS Sport flavours, lemon lime, mandarin orange and red berry.
BOS sources its organic rooibos from a private nature reserve in South Africa that is committed to producing rooibos ethically, naturally, and in an environmentally sustainable and socially aware way.
BOS Ice Tea will not be the first rooibos drink available in the U.S. American consumers have many rooibos options at their local grocery stores, but the unique brand that has been built around BOS is likely to stand out and be appreciated in the U.S. if delivered in the same way as it has been in other markets.
Since launching in South Africa in 2010, the organic ice tea has experienced huge growth, especially in European markets, with Belgium and the Netherlands standing out in particular, while it is now distributed in Singapore and other parts of South East Asia.
The brand takes an interesting approach to marketing, and in the beginning, without the huge budgets available to competitors, the aim was to “get cans in hands”. Campaigns included people in giraffe suits on bicycles handing out ice tea, and swimmers with pretend shark fins strapped to their backs emerging from Cape Town’s coastline to give the drink to beachgoers.
Grant Rushmere, one of the co-founders of BOS, already has one successful drinks brand under his belt, having launched the Afro Coffee brand, which he sold to Red Bull GmbH in 2007.
The South African company has attracted some big name investors, including legendary former Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson, who was knighted for his contribution to sport in the U.K. with one of the world’s most famous soccer clubs.
Alongside the original flavours produced by the popular ice tea brand, they have added BOS Sport, sports drink variants designed to appeal to the athletic consumer who wants a refreshing drink that will refuel and replenish.
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