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Case Study: ZICO

We gave a voice to the new bottle on the shelf.

BrandFire worked on packaging, brand story, point of sale and guerrilla tactics that resulted in a 100% year-over-year revenue increase and doubled retailer sell-in. The platform communicated the ZICO brand message to consumers both at retail and at the “point of hydration” – yoga studios, sports events and anywhere the promise of “natural hydration” would resonate.

The challenge

With sugary drinks being vilified as the cause of America’s collective obesity problem, consumers and beverage makers were looking for a healthy alternative. But consumers were used to the taste, and the beverage giants had spent billions of dollars over the years gaining market share and consumer loyalty. ZICO delivered a powerful alternative, but the taste was polarizing. BrandFire worked with the brand to develop communications that would assure consumers that the acquisition of the taste was worth it.

Our approach

We positioned ZICO as the natural sports drink which immediately communicated to consumers that ZICO delivered the function of a Gatorade without the high sugar content and poor nutritional profile. BrandFire created POS and advertising that communicated “function” to consumers at the “point of hydration” — starting with Bikram yoga studios and extending to endurance sports followed by more mainstream activities in which hydration was a necessity.


ZICO was at the forefront of a national movement to embrace more natural foods and drinks, and consumers responded. The brand became a staple in natural foods stores, and as the brand expanded to regional markets, Coca-Cola took notice. In 2009 Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands Division purchased a minority stake in ZICO and in 2013, Coca-Cola acquired the outstanding stake in ZICO.