Oh Boy, LaCroix

Have you experienced a major pain point recently? I mean, somewhere, someplace in your life, there is some kind of pain, right (whether it be personal, business or health)?

The old adage goes, the bigger the pain, the faster you’ll take action to fix it.

I get it. Not only have I been there, paralyzed to take action, but we see our political clients sometimes too afraid to address a major disruption in their campaign — whether a self-inflicted wound or something different. And it infects every part of that campaign until the pain is so massive that they have no choice but to take action — no matter the cost or risk.

Which brings me to a company that is experiencing some major pain right now: LaCroix Sparkling Water.

Did you hear about their recent scandal?

A few weeks ago, LaCroix was hit with a devastating lawsuit that alleges “the sparkling water advertised as ‘all natural’ includes an ingredient used in cockroach insecticide as well as other artificial ingredients…. and claims testing revealed the synthetic ingredients. LaCroix denies the allegations.” Click here to read the full story.

Ooooof.

This scandal can absolutely bankrupt LaCroix.

Over the past few months, my company has been conducting research and gathering data and analytics for various marketing projects and we found that consumers are choosing “safe, green” products over cost.

Why?

The economy is roaring — and purchasing decisions are being upgraded based on quality, rather than price. By simply being “organic” or “green,” a business has a HUGE leg-up right now. It’s a higher standard.

Here’s my advice if LaCroix wants to take action and save their company:

  1. Figure out the problem internally, come up with a new communications plan and spend whatever it takes to fix the problem (pain). New formula? Go green/organic? Yes! Make the decision and get it out to the public….NOW!
  2. Pause any and all marketing ad dollars and redirect them to a proactive campaign that educates and addresses the scandal and lays out the high “green” quality of the product going forward (see above).
  3. LaCroix’s competition is about to pounce. While LaCroix is busy defending itself, the competition is in an all-out race to take their market share and crush them. LaCroix should eventually pivot their marketing plan to a “phase 2” stage — educate and use a comparative ad strategy to explain how their proactive changes to make their product safer and better than the very competition trying to beat them right now. That’s right, even though LaCroix is having a moment of pain and weakness, they should absolutely be proactive as well and “go negative” on the competition. Why? It will throw the competition off balance, it will muddy the waters and it will re-establish LaCroix as an industry leader in the consumer’s mind. While it may seem risky, it’s not. It’s the safest, smartest move LaCroix should take.

And here are two BIG lessons for YOU:

  1. How big your pain is will determine how fast you move. We all will go through our “15 minutes of hell” at some point — I see it on most political campaigns. Your reaction speed, transparency, and willingness to win are what matter most.
  2. Do you truly know the reasons why your customers/clients are making purchasing decisions? Had LaCroix understood that their customers wanted a higher standard product — a truly “green” sparkling water — and would be willing to pay more, they could have pivoted their model, served their customer, and thus avoided this “pain” altogether.

Phillip


P.S. — Believe it or not, the world of political marketing is a lot closer to the corporate world than you might think. To explore how proven political strategies can be incorporated into your own business and pay off, check out my recent interviews with Stephen Woessner on Onward Nation and with Dennis Brown on Growth Experts.

P.S.S — Want to learn more? It’s easy, just click on PhillipStutts.com, scroll to the bottom, and subscribe in the “Connect with Phillip” section to receive twice-monthly emails like this one. You can also email me your thoughts and ideas here: ps@phillipstutts.com