Chances are if you’ve been awake and a part of American culture in the past ten years you’ve had a can of LaCroix. Or at the very least, heard of the Millennial “it” brand.
The naturally flavored sparkling water brand is one of the most recognizable cans of all time with its colorful abstract packaging and papyrus-esque logo. In a market that is now saturated with dozens of other sparkling water brands, like Spindrift, Waterloo, and Bubly, now more than ever LaCroix has had to determine a specific target audience and define what makes them stand out against their competitors.
Even though LaCroix was founded in 1981, the brand never found itself in the beverage spotlight until they began to zero in on who most wanted their product. Determining a target audience is key; with it comes the knowledge of who to market to and the foundation for any successful marketing strategy.
With its “casual sophistication,” the brand knew they were attracting a specific audience; millennials who were not only searching for a healthier alternative to sodas but desired to be seen as trendy. Ideally, their target market is the girl/guy next door ages 22–38 who live in areas defined by urban sprawl and are upper-middle class. By focusing their attention on this group of people who are intentional with what they put in their bodies and have the means to do so, they’ve built almost a cult-like following for their brand and have become the face of an entire generation. A generation of “Healthy Hannahs” and “Trendy Todds.”
They’ve also been highly successful because once they identified who their target audience was, they moved to the social platform where Millennials lived. LaCroix’s Instagram feed is filled with people who look and act just like their target audience. The brand doesn’t have to put in thousands of dollars for ads, instead, they dominate the sparkling water competition simply by working with micro-influencers and user generated content.
A unique selling point always wins:
LaCroix matches their bright and fun packaging with an equally bright and fun social presence that allows their target audience to identify with the brand and not just the product they sell. As competition has gotten steeper in recent years, LaCroix has been unwavering in their brand voice because they know exactly who they are talking to.
Compared to other sparkling water companies, LaCroix offers 21, and counting, flavors. The brand goes above and beyond for its customers by providing a large selection of flavors they know their fans will love. And with a large selection like that, fans are able to interact with the brand more. For example, hosting taste offs to determine which flavor ranks supreme.
Something LaCroix has over other sparkling waters is that ultimately, they were first and have been immortalized as “the sparkling water.” Much like how tissues are Kleenex, sparkling water is LaCroix.
Even the name hints at its unique selling point. LaCroix means “innocent.” It’s innocent of all sugar, calories, sodium, or other artificial ingredients that a consumer is looking to cut out of their diet. And at the end of the day, LaCroix as a brand stands for cutting out things in order to live the best version of your life. And it starts with putting the right things in your body.
All things considered, LaCroix is still number one in the sparkling water war because they’ve taken the effort to understand who their target customer is and why they want LaCroix over other drinks. And never underestimate the power of the “cool” factor.