Have you ever heard of Zevia soda before reading this blog post?
I hadn’t, but judging by their 25,000 plus ratings and reviews, a lot of other people have heard of them. Now the question is, how do you get sales as an unknown soda brand?
If you’re selling in a bricks and mortar store, you try to negotiate with the buyer for placement adjacent to famous brands, at eye level etc.
If you’re selling on Amazon, eye-level shelf space is Sponsored Brand headline search. Look who’s showing up on the keyword 7Up, a PepsiCo brand. Zevia – not a PepsiCo brand – are showing up for 7Up.
It’s not just that brand. I’ve seen them showing up on Coke’s keywords, on Pepsi etc. Heck Coke’s keywords seem to be a free for all for soda upstarts:
How do you think Zevia got to 25,661 reviews & ratings? It wasn’t just people searching for Zevia or soda, I can tell you that. When you consider how few people leave reviews – 2-3% – you can see they’ve sold 1 million plus orders. This strategy seems to be working quite well for them! (Googling around, they even went public in the summer of last year!)
What’s the lesson here?
Even if you’re a big CPG brand – actually, especially if you’re a big CPG brand, you need to also play defense with Sponsored Brands. You need to buy your own brand keywords.
And while you would probably get many of those sales anyways from the organic product listings on the page, buying your own brand is cheap.
And if you do so, you can make competitors pay a ridiculously high CPC for trying to take market share from your loyal customers. As a result, the competition will fall away because of the extreme unprofitability of targeting your brand.
You can bid high but get a cheap cost-per-click, because of how the ad auction works. And they would need to bid very high – and pay very high CPCs. Because their click through rate (Zevia’s in this case) is never going to be as high as Coca-Cola’s on Coke’s own terms.
If you don’t buy your brand, competitors will. It’s called taking market share.
We helped increase a seller’s Sponsored Brand sales from $201K/mo to $524K/mo: