In addition to Viking Coca-Cola Bottling, the company operates 2 other companies: Viking Beverages, a beer distributor of Coors, Blue Moon, Killians, Keystone, etc., and First Choice Food and Beverage Solutions, a vending services operation.
Over the years Viking has experienced growth and profitability through operating efficiency, restoring customer service, introducing new products and expanding its geographic presence through acquisitions – it now has operations in St. Cloud, Brainerd, Alexandria, Willmar, Marshall, Hutchinson, Fergus Falls, North Branch, Rice Lake and Red Wing/River Falls.
However, during this same period their main competitor has continued growing while also evolving to a Brand Architecture that focuses on their family name, Bernick’s Beverages & Vending.
In order to achieve its growth plans Viking management engaged Stellus Consulting in 2010 to guide a cross-functional team in developing a Brand Strategy that would build a strong relationship with Target Customers. The objective of a Brand Strategy is to create a Brand Promise that, when effectively expressed in the marketplace, will result in profitable organic growth, i.e., more customers buying more Viking products and services more often.
We began by interviewing current and potential customers in order to understand their perceptions of Viking, Bernick’s and other competitors. Next, we uncovered the underlying needs and motivations of these current and potential customers, and determined how we wanted the Viking brand to evolve in the future. We then created a Brand Promise that was compelling, believable and distinct in order to drive growth that was consistent with Viking’s Business Strategy. By doing so, Viking was confident it could develop more effective and efficient plans to accelerate and sustain profitable organic growth.
Lastly, we helped guide implementation of the Brand Strategy into all parts of the company, including; Operations, Sales, Advertising, Sponsorships, etc.
- Michael Faber, CEOWade Johnson, Sales Manager
- Roger Dingman, First Choice Division Manager
- Pat Mullins, Chief Operating Officer/CFO
- Dennis Patrick, Regional Business Manager
- Marv Soldner, EVP Sales & Marketing
- Dave Yantes, Director of Cold Drink
- Ryan Young, Marketing