Over the past two years, Jones Soda Company has successfully acquired strategic alliances with various companies in order to provide deeper and more diverse market exposure. Some of these companies include Barnes & Noble, Panera Bread, and Starbucks. Since Jones does not deal in multimillion dollar advertising campaigns, this is their best way to promote their brand. By offering their wide assortment of beverages in stores and restaurants, Jones has been able to sell more to the consumer than would be at all possible on their own. In order to best continue on this route to success, the current recommendation is to acquire a strategic alliance with Applebee’s. The New Age beverage industry is relatively new and is showing lots of growth despite an overcrowded market. It is clear from analyzing the EFE Matrix that Jones is well positioned as a provider of energy drinks, premium juice, and premium soda to succeed in its industry. They have been able to accomplish this largely due to their many strengths, as listed in the IFE Matrix. Jones’ culture and allows them to generate and maintain consumer interest and demand for their products. A SWOT analysis of the IFE and EFE revealed two strategies that would benefit Jones; they could either form a strategic alliance with Applebee’s or develop strong relationships with their distributors. Further evaluation using a QSPM Matrix revealed that further strategic alliances would be the strongest course of action. In moving forward with this strategy, Jones will gain a larger competitive advantage against other companies in their industry as well as increase their market share. Applebee’s is more of a family dining experience that Panera Bread or Starbucks, and would serve as an additional outlet to a wider variety of consumers. By utilizing their experience in forging past strategic alliances, Jones is fully capable of working with Applebee’s in this endeavor.
Jones started out as Urban Juice and Soda Company Ltd. in 1987 by founder and president, Peter van Stolk. They originally served solely as a distributor of what they called unique alternative beverages. This included various brands such as Fresh Arizona Iced Tea, Pik’t Juice, and Thomas Kemper Soda. Jones became a popular full line beverage distributor in 1994. With the experience they had gained, Jones decided to develop and sell their own products. They began with WAZU Natural Spring Water in 1995 and followed up the next year with the first six flavors of Jones Premium Soda. Jones introduced their first energy drink, WhoopAss, in 2000 and followed up in 2001 with the first line of Jones Juice. Jones products can be recognized by their award winning packaging. All of their beverages are sold in clear glass bottles with black and white labels featuring constantly changing pictures sent in by loyal customers. To deliver their products to the public, Jones began with what they call an “alternative distribution strategy.” They put their Jones coolers in unique venues such as fashion outlets, piercing and tattoo parlors, skate parks, and surf shops. Their marketing relied on word of mouth and Jones Pro Riders Team, a group of sponsored extreme athletes who promote the brand. Over the last few years, Jones has acquired successful strategic alliances with various stores and restaurants to distribute their products. Refer to appendix 1 for a detailed timeline of events in Jones history.
II. Goal and Mission
Jones mission statement, which is shown in appendix 2, is printed on the back label of every bottle they produce. And while it does not seem like something you normally hear from a company, they mean every word. Their approach is to be simple, fun, and honest. Everything in Jones reflects these ideas. One of their company mottos, “Run with the little guy… Create some change” illustrates this point. They want to be seen as the everyman who just...