Impact at a glance
Aura Bora launched in November 2019 and hit the ground running with in-store demos and events. It was three months of normalcy for any early-stage CPG startup. But we all know what happens next in March 2020. Consumers were going to the store less and spent less time browsing.
As a new beverage brand, they’re competing with the widely distributed Pepsi and Coke-owned brands. In order to retain and grow their shelf presence, they needed a way to effectively drive trial in this new normal.
Buyers were still taking meetings, so giving up was not an option. They dabbled in Amazon and DTC. Aura Bora looked for out-of-the-box ways to drive trial like outdoor socially distanced sampling, but it just didn’t work.
One day, they heard about Social Nature and its community of shoppers who pick up products right off store shelves.
The Solution: Product Sampling
Social Nature’s Digital Demos provided Aura Bora with a solution to drive trial at retail with added benefits. Aura Bora reached a new target audience, gained product reviews, email opt-ins, and consumer insights to continuously improve the brand and product experience.
“We were a bit skeptical at first thinking the community might be people trolling for free samples. But that hasn’t been our experience. The Social Nature community is made of people who genuinely want to try new products. Digital Demos has helped us drive trial at retail and then some.”
-Paul Voge, Co-Founder, Aura Bora
Capturing 37% repeat purchasers
Aura Bora is impressed with Digital Demos’ capability to follow up with consumers three months after they tried their free sample. These consumers are sent a survey where they answer questions related to their repurchasing habits. This survey provides Aura Bora with a way to measure the ROI on their initial program spend.
Three month post-trial survey results:
of consumers who tried Aura Bora repurchased Aura Bora
of repurchasers are buying Aura Bora at least once a month
of consumers returned to Fresh Thyme and 15% to Sprouts to repurchase
of consumers repurchased at Walmart and 21% repurchased at Whole Foods
replaced other sparkling beverages with Aura Bora
purchased Aura Bora in addition to other products they buy (incremental sales)
The 43% incrementality is an important number to highlight with retail buyers since it shows Aura Bora is bringing the retailer net new consumers and results in incremental retail sales.
Digital Demos supports growth at key accounts
After the success of their first sampling campaign, Aura Bora looks forward to sharing their sparkling waters with Sprouts shoppers through a Sprouts retail-specific campaign.
“Digital Demos provides us with an exciting way to learn more about our consumers and their purchasing habits. Compared to in-store demos, the three-month post-trial survey allows us to measure ROI and ensure we’re being efficient with our spending. When we mention that we’re running Social Nature programs to retailers, we definitely see their eyes widen when we tell them we’ll be sending thousands of consumers into their stores to pick up our products from their shelves.”
Insights on shopper communities across the USA
Most shoppers picked up their free sample of Aura Bora sparkling water at Fresh Thyme, Sprouts, and Harris Teeter. The access to reviews and insights from shoppers from different retailers and regions helps Aura Bora better understand the regional differences between their consumers, such as their preferred flavors.
“Some Social Nature community members have gone out of their way to have conversations or share feedback we didn’t expect, like talking to store managers to ask them to stock our flavors that weren’t available.”
– Paul Voge, Co-Founder, Aura Bora
Digital Demos supports retailers objectives too!
Retail buyers aren’t very risky. But you can derisk their investment and give them confidence in your brand by having a plan to support your product launch at their store.
“One thing that Digital Demos does well and captures the buyer’s attention is this: telling them that you’ll send 1000 of their customers to their store to buy your product. This is incremental dollars in the retailer’s pocket. Buyers feel confident knowing that you have a proactive plan to drive trial and the products won’t just sit on the shelf.”
– Paul Voge, Co-Founder, Aura Bora
Pro tip: Use competitive survey data to handle retail buyers objections
60% of a store’s fastest turning items are usually not emerging brands. Often in retail buyer meetings, they might ask, “How would you compete against [insert conglomerate brand in your category]?”
Thanks to Digital Demos, Aura Bora had the competitor and consumer insights they needed to respond to the buyer. Having this type of data ready at buyer meetings can give you an edge to secure your renewal or additional listings.
About Aura Bora
Co-Founder Paul Voge is a lifelong sparkling water drinker and noticed there were no craft products on the market. Peanut butter has Justin’s, but what does sparkling water have? Thus, Aura Bora was born. Aura Bora’s heavenly sparkling waters are made from herbs, fruits, and flowers. Now sparkling water drinkers can enjoy refreshing bold flavors every day with no sugar or artificial flavors.