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What Sets Your Brand Apart? 3 Differentiation Tips

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Have you ever tried a great coffee from a can? Jash Mehta and Blair Fletcher Hardy are on a mission to make it your favorite way to consume a cup of joe.

The duo launched Pop & Bottle in 2015, creating plant based lattes with no refined sugar and pure, purposeful ingredients. Pop & Bottle stood out against the competition and the brand has grown year over year to become a 7-figure business. 

Jash sat down on the Shopify Masters podcast, to share how Pop & Bottle found a gap in the coffee market—and ran with it. From her expertise, learn how to make a space for your own business within an established industry.

Pop & Bottle’s five canned beverage flavors laying side-by-side in an open cardboard box.
This Ultimate Mini, Oat Milk Latte box comes with a sampling of five delicious flavors so customers can discover their favorite beverage. Pop & Bottle

Determine what sets your idea apart from the rest 

“Back when we started our brand the idea of wellness and coffee or tea didn't really exist in the grocery store format,” Jash says. 

Since all the products on the market at the time focused on hyper caffeination, double and triple shots, and none of them were offering very clean ingredient profiles, Pop & Bottle was filling a gap in the market offering a healthy yet convenient alternative. 

From sourcing their ingredients intentionally to the local partnerships they went after, every piece of their business aligns with their mission to make high quality and healthy products designed for an underserved audience.

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Research less, experiment more

When going through the development process, be open to making new iterations, and willing to scrap some. “You have to have the appetite to try and take a risk,” Jash says. 

Jash suggests finding a sweet spot that exists between too much research and not enough experimentation.“It's [about] doing all the research, and doing your due diligence, but then putting up a boundary, [because if] you do too much of it, you get analysis paralysis,” Jash says. 

Looking too closely at your competition will leave you less confident than before you began researching. Make sure to evaluate what’s already on the market without getting caught up and discouraged.

A hand pours a can of Vanilla Oat Milk Latte into a clear glass full of ice.
All of the ingredients that go into making a Pop & Bottle latte are certified organic, and are made with zero preservatives. Pop & Bottle

Get feedback from friends and family before launching 

“The best way for us to get feedback was to ask our friends and family to help us,” Jash says. When it comes to aggregating responses, Jash recommends setting specific data points and questions to measure the results of your taste tests. “What was their favorite? Why? Which ones would they buy again? How much would they pay? Anything they didn't like?,” Jash says. 

After reviewing the responses, Jash and Blair decided on just three of their five favorite products for the initial launch of Pop & Bottle. It turned out to be a smart choice. The brand grew year-over-year to expand on its core offering based on research and feedback.

Jash Mehta (left) holding Matcha Green Tea, and Blair Fletcher Hardy (right) holding Golden Chai Tea latte, as they smile in front of a pink wall.
The Pop & Bottle co-founders created flavors and tested out mixtures based off of their own cravings. Pop & Bottle

Jash and Blair continue to collect data, listen to their customers, and scale based on the feedback from their audience and retail partners, making Pop & Bottle a part of so many people’s morning routines and afternoon pick-me-ups. 

Tune in to the full Shopify Masters episode and learn more about developing purpose driven content that will make your brand stand out against all the rest.

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This originally appeared on Shopify and is made available here to cast a wider net of discovery.
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