Why LaCroix Fell Flat with Consumers
LaCroix, once the beloved default beverage for the millennial generation, is in hot water. Sales of the flavored seltzer have plummeted, and analysts say marketing claims and a stagnant brand message are to blame.
A few years ago, LaCroix took the world by storm, shedding its modest Midwestern origins and inspiring millions of brand devotees. Songs were written about the drink. There were LaCroix bathing suits.
But in recent months, sales have fallen. As one analyst wrote — “The LaCroix brand has gone from bad, to worse, to disastrous in a relatively short period.”
LaCroix’s sinking reputation stems from a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company’s all-natural claim is bogus and that the beverages include artificial ingredients. The company has denied the claim, and the science behind the lawsuit is a little shaky.
LaCroix’s response to the crisis has been muddled at best, and the lawsuit was enough to get many devoted fans to do a spit-take.
Some say the upcoming warmer weather could heat up sales for the brand this summer season. But LaCroix’s facing another major challenge with the influx of competition from beverage industry heavyweights like Coca Cola and Pepsi.
LaCroix Marketing Lessons
These brands have deep marketing know-how and are pulling customers away from LaCroix. After making a marketing splash a few years ago with a brand redesign and tight social media strategy, analysts note LaCroix has failed to keep up excitement in its branding efforts in the face of new competition.
LaCroix has referred to its fans as a “cult.” But that brand devotion has to go both ways. With the lawsuit, once-loyal fans are now questioning if LaCroix’s marketing claims hold water. And there are plenty of competitors waiting to offer a carbonated alternative.
Long story short: Increased media attention is like a spotlight shining on your brand. You have to make sure your marketing claims hold up and you’re keeping customers interested when they’re ready to take a look – or a sip.
This article also appeared in our weekly newsletter, Long Story Short. It was written by Alex Irwin.