Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why Coca Cola cannot hear the cheer of "Bravo!"

In 2001, Bravo Brands formed to offer flavored milk that did not need to be refrigerated.

On the surface, this may sound piddly to you, but within short time, 2 'big' things happened.

1) they signed a distribution deal with Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE).

2) they signed a licensing agreement with Marvel Entertainment (yes, the people who bring you SpiderMan, Iron Man, DareDevil and once upon a time...Captain America) and with Mars (the people who bring you 3 Musketeers and Milky Way candy bars).

Pretty strong relationships to have!

These colored-and-flavoured milks were sold in bottles that features some of the above super heroes or candy bars on the bottles under the brand name 'Slammers'. (pretty appropriate for a Super Hero bottle of milk!)

My brother in Law turned me on to Slammers in late 2005. I thought the taste was really good, and my small children were suddenly motivated to drink milk! The SuperHeroes were PERFECT for my son, and the candy bar flavors appealed to my daughter.

I was so impressed, that I called Bravo Brands and began asking the sales team how I could get involved in serving as a re-seller. The man I spoke with (I've willingly blocked his name out of my memory) was INCREDIBLY rude! He even apologized for his shortness and then attacked me AGAIN! (I guess he really wasn't very sorry...)

Regardless of my lack of experience in the 'beverage' field, I had a successful 20-year career in sales and just wanted to promote a product that I loved. What company wouldn't want that kind of support?! Remember the groundswell of success that Red Bull enjoyed? They sponsored parties on college campuses! How many of those would-be marketing majors had experience selling beverages that week? I'd say roughly 'none'...but I'm just guessing.

Anyway, he completely turned me off of Bravo as a 'company'...and then a month or 2 later I don't see the SuperHero Milk on the shelves anymore! (I swear, I had nothing to do with it. As much as I resented that jerk, I still wanted my kids to drink the milk!) Within a few months after that, the Candy Bar flavours were gone, too! (Just as well. My wife had a hard time willingly serving up a bottle of 'Milky Way flavored milk, just to get my daughter to drink calcium...)

When Shop Rite stopped carrying the products, I stopped thinking about them. But it occurred to me the other day...where did they GO?

Well, my research answered my question, and with no surprise: In September of 2007, Bravo Brands filed for Bankruptcy. (Be sure to click the link...the article may be interesting, but the comments from former employees were AWESOMELY revealing!)

And if that's not bad May of 2008 a Class Action suit was filed against them!

So while Coca Cola Enterprises still stands strong in it's distribution of will not be distributing any milk that has a super hero or a candy bar on it's bottle.

So long, Bravo.

You've proven on many levels that you don't deserve to HAVE fans or customers!

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