Five brilliant failures from the creator of Baileys

5th September, 2017 by Patrick Schmitt

The think drink

Picture source: ‘That S*it Will Never Sell!’

IDV didn’t just have Bacardi in its sights: the drinks giant also wanted to take on energy drink phenomenon Red Bull.

“It was an interesting challenge,” writes Gluckman. …”the idea of going head-on against a strong competitor with a ‘me-too’ product is fraught with problems. You must have a strong competitive edge that will attract at least some of the target brand’s consumers. Or instead of competing head-on, you can compete with part of the entrenched brand.”

Taking the latter approach, Gluckman opted to isolate the appeal of ‘mental energy’, as opposed to Red Bull’s position as “the brand for physical energy”.

Continuing, he records, “Red Bull could go on stimulating the body but our brand would focus on the mind. We called our brand IQ and described it as ‘The Think Drink’.”

Having come up with a “vibrant metallic yellow” for the brand, and a bottle shape inspired by Purdey’s, Gluckman says that IQ “had huge personality as a kind of nerdish Big Brother starting out at you from a supermarket shelf.”

Concluding, he writes, “I was bitterly disappointed that it never got off the drawing board. In fact it never got onto it.”

However, he notes that today Red Bull talks about mental energy, “which suggests that we may have been onto something”.

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