Build your brand on a budget, like Tenzing

Posted on January 25, 2022

Updated on March 10, 2023

4 min read time

Tenzing is making serious moves in the energy drink space.


They are taking on the big dogs in the market - armed by an audacious brand proposition, which aims to bring health and sustainability to the forefront of the sector, and innovative, customer-centric products.


In this exclusive interview, we speak with Tenzing Marketing mastermind, Ralph Strampfer, to find out how to create an impact in Marketing on a budget.



First, let’s hear more about Tenzing


Founder of Tenzing, Huib van Bockel, is no stranger to the energy drink space, having previously worked at Red Bull as Head of Marketing.


He launched Tenzing as a healthy and sustainable version of the traditional energy drink. And it now sits comfortably within the ‘healthy drinks’ market. The products are made purely from plants, with no artificial ingredients, low calories and 50% less sugar, compared to traditional energy drinks.


But what sets Tenzing apart from the competition isn’t just the contents of their products but also how they conduct themselves in the world.


As Ralph puts it, “Any energy that we take from mother nature, we also give back to Mother nature. This is how we’ve managed to become the world’s first carbon negative energy drink. By working closely with local charities that are focused on the environment and sustainability, we ensure we are leaving the world in a better place than when we first found it.”



Tenzing Q&A - Tenzing


What obstacles stand in Tenzing’s way?


A key challenge of Tenzing’s is cutting through a market that is dominated by established, household names, with marketing budgets 10x bigger than their own.


To do so, the brand is focused on awareness driving campaigns with messaging that hero’s their product benefits. Ralph explains once people realise what’s in Tenzing’s product, it’s difficult for anyone to justify buying elsewhere.


“We ask people if they had the choice of an energy drink that is either made purely from plants or from artificial ingredients, which would you choose? Unsurprisingly, 90% of respondents choose plants.”


This is why boosting awareness – of both the brand and its product – is a key mission of Tenzing’s.


Strategies Tenzing are using to drive awareness


Tenzing’s awareness-driving activities range from digital campaigns on social platforms, like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, to large-scale ATL media campaigns. Tenzing’s television campaign last year resulted in their biggest awareness increase yet.


You can see on ProQuo AI’s brand management platform how their awareness scores spiked after the campaign.


Tenzing Q&A - Awareness


To boost awareness, the brand went after a broader target audience of 18-35 year olds within the UK. In the past, Tenzing preferred to target based on interests - going after individuals within the fitness and health space - but going broad has helped the brand to achieve their biggest increases yet, getting their message out to more people.


Tenzing’s marketing measurement solutions, uncovered


Small brands encounter many challenges when trying to determine the impact of their marketing. One major factor in this area is cost.


Ralph explains how Tenzing used to use quarterly brand trackers, “They worked reasonably well but it was a significant cost, and it only gave us a surface-level reflection of our brand at one specific moment in time. It couldn’t give us the continuous tracking and daily metrics that we get from ProQuo AI. ProQuo is roughly the same cost as four brand trackers, but the return is infinitely higher.”


For a small brand like Tenzing, the ProQuo AI platform is an essential. It shows Tenzing how customers are thinking and feeling about them, every day. It gives next steps for the brand to take to make the most out of this intelligence. And it allows Tenzing to test creative assets before campaigns - giving clear feedback on where to improve for the best results.


“We don’t have big budgets, so we can’t afford ‘big research’. Focus groups are simply too expensive. But with ProQuo, we get access to awareness data, intelligence on our audience, and more. And this year we’ve based key strategic decisions off ProQuo’s data.”

Tenzing’s strategic decisions are informed through ProQuo’s 16 Driver framework. These 16 Drivers are backed by neuroscience and are used on the platform to indicate areas of growth and areas of weakness. Tenzing is focusing on the Familiarity, Relevance and Innovation Drivers. Throughout the year they align their marketing activity with these Drivers, taking them into careful consideration before planning campaigns. And after any campaign has elapsed, the brand also checks their scores on ProQuo to gauge whether their strategies have worked.


“After our TV campaigns, our ProQuo Score and Driver Scores changed – all in a positive direction. Familiarity, Innovation, Relevance and Value for Money all see an upward trend. Innovation particularly, at the campaign peak it went up by 15 points – which is quite significant.”


Tenzing Q&A - Driver Scores



Why is real-time intelligence crucial for Tenzing?


Having live data on Tenzing and its competitors is key for the brand’s development.


“Having real-time intelligence is so valuable because it gives us the ability to react really quickly. In our autumn campaign, we weren’t noticing an impact on the platform on our target Drivers or on awareness. This helped us to see our strategy wasn’t cutting through. So, straight away we changed our strategy on Facebook and Youtube, making our target audience broader. This helped us to reach more people and grow our awareness.”



What does the future hold for Tenzing?


An important focus area for Tenzing is consistency. Up until now, the brand has been in the development phase, experimenting with tone, branding, and product packaging, to see what worked best. Ralph has seen the impact of this on the ProQuo platform, as the Attraction Driver took a dip last year. He believes this reflects the changes the brand was making at the time to product design and messaging.


“The inconsistency of our Driver Scores match the inconsistency of our appearance. And because of this we’ve made commitments next year to have no changes in can design or tone of voice. We are definitely using the Drivers to inform current and future strategies.”



Tenzing are also looking to increase ‘brand love’ next year. But they want to do this in the ‘Tenzing way’ - targeting people that are in line with their mission (sustainability) and creating activations that suit their audiences (the active community). In doing so, the brand hopes to create loyal, enduring communities, made up of likeminded individuals.


They’ve already executed similar campaigns in the past, like their ‘Clean Air Tracker’, in collaboration with KCL. The tracker supports runners, helping them to find healthier, less polluted running routes.



If you want to find out more about Tenzing’s awareness-driving campaigns, click here.


Tenzing Case Study Kit - CTA

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