Clearly Better Than Crowdfunding: Customers Pre-order a Co-packer Run

Why Wait For Sales After Producing When You Can Lock Them In Before?

Clearly Canadian anti crowdfunding campaign success
Clearly Canadian confirms fan loyalty and desire by taking production pre-orders. Clearly Canadian screenshot

"Did you know that Clearly Canadian hit the market in 1987 and roared to life through the 90s?"

That's just one of the Facebook updates Clearly Canadian has shared with fruit soda-starved fans since its campaign to bring back Clearly Canadian launched on December 23, 2013. idea that venture capitalist Robert Khan anticipated when he acquired the company with a plan to revive the line of beverages.

Clearly Canadian has a clearly crazy-loyal fan base, nostalgic for many years of drinking this sweet beverage. So loyal that more than 12,000 customers have pre-ordered for the chance to taste this not-very-lowcalorie sparkling water beverage since the company stopped production in 2009 after a long, successful run

For food and beverage brands with a proven following, the direct pre-order approach, rather than funding orders through Kickstarter or Indiegogo, is positively brilliant. 

  • It gauges customer interest in the soda going back into production
  • It puts success in the customers' hands, as in "You want our soda back? Walk the talk!"
  • It eliminates extra fees incurred with other fundraising methods.

Avoiding a Traditional Crowdfunding Campaign Has Several Benefits

1. Set up incentives to a referral reward to increase sales.

Clearly Canadian set up viral promotion rewards that for every 5 referrals customers receive 1 free case.

 And customers who buy 5 cases get 1 case free.  

Offering free product rewards will help Clearly Canadian: 

  • increase production
  • decrease unit costs and 
  • eliminate the hassle of fulfilling rewards usually expected with a crowdfunding campaign

PLUS they know their fans want the Clearly Canadian beverages.

No thinking about whether the reward is worth it or not!

2. But wait — is this a limited production run? Not if the fans have anything to do with it.

The company explains that 25,000 cases is the bottler's minimum production run (the kind of question you need to ask co-packers). They also share that if they can pre-sell 50,000 cases or more — more than 30K sold, as I write — the price will come down.

Better yet, the momentum will solidify Clearly Canadian’s popularity with beverage distributors and retailers. 

Basically, success is in customers' hands.

3. Communicated transparently with fans

The Clearly Canadian campaign may have the world's most complete and transparent FAQ document. For example, in response to a shipping costs question, they say: "Compared to beverage pricing in physical stores, it is a bit more expensive (about $1 a bottle), but not jaw dropping. Remember, this is a limited-time fan-sourced revival campaign for a reason." 

For many people, $1 could be a make or break difference in a drink's cost. (After all, they're not alcoholic beverages to which a drinker would be less price sensitive.) So, there really is an incentive for fan involvement to get this product into stores and lower distribution costs!

4. Simultaneously offered retailer incentive promotions

With clear pent-up demand for Clearly Canadian, a retailer would be crazy not to stock up. Clearly Canadian's sell-through promotions are as juicy as the drinks:

  • Promotion to drive fans to the stores in social media and other marketing
  • A poster touting the store as an early place to buy the beverages

5. Kept at it, month after month, year after year.

Nearly two years will have passed between the time Clearly Canadian announced the idea of going into production and their delivery, expected in August, 2015. 

The fans keep liking the updates and eagerly anticipating the launch.

The Clearly Canadian revival will surely go down in history as one of many innovative food and beverage product launches. 

What will be most interesting to see is if the recipe stays the same or has tweaks for today's trends in less sugary drinks.