Posted by admin on July 07, 2012 in Uncategorized tagged with

Starting a business in today’s economy is no easy task given the tremendous amount of expense, hard work and creative brand building effort required to gain ‘mindshare’ and distinction in the market place. Beginning  one in an already cluttered and competitive industry such as ‘sports drinks’, takes some real moxxy, patience and grassroots efforts which have been the trademark of Mark and Jon Sider from Highland Park, Illinois.

As a ‘consulant’ to ‘Greater > Than’, an all natural coconut water sports drink — assisting the Sider brothers in the areas of brand public relations and marketing, I have seen firsthand how hard work and family blood has emboldened their mission to be successful despite the economy and stiff competition by established brands such as Gatorade, Powerade, Vita Coco, Zico, water and others.  While many of these brands have grown their marketing appeal by strategic alignment with star athletes and celebrities, the Siders are taking a ‘wait & see’ approach while capitalizing on the ‘underdog’ status and getting the product into the hands of local professional and amateur athletes including their favorite Chicago Bull – Brian Scalabrini.

In addition, they have forged strategic partnerships with the Chicago Red Stars, the famale soccer team, along with local events such as the ‘The Pipe City LaCrosse tournament in Vernon Hills and the Lollapalooza Festival in Grant Park August 3-5.  The response has been well received, the product thirst quenching, and the distribution and sales ever expanding. Having been part of a couple of ‘start up’ company’s myself, I have experienced firsthand the tremendous resource$ required to build a brand while possessing the patience and attitude to ‘fight the fight’ and be creative at the same time.

If you met Mark and Jon, you would root for them because of their approach to life and committment to their invention of the product and the GT brand. These 32 and 27 year old brothers are in for the long haul and believe together they can create the kind of marketing and consumer appeal and succeess other brands have achieved in the ‘space’.

Their distinct competitive advantage is that unlike most sports drinks which contain a number of artificial sweeteners, sugar and other ingredients along with a higher level of overall caloric content, the Siders took the natural flavor of coconut water and added the right formula by raising the sodium content to levels unmatched by their competitors while lowering the potassium to create an electrolyte profile which better reflects sweat electrolyte losses during intense workouts. The product is available at Mariano’s, Whole Foods, Sunset Foods, Mariano’s, Treasure Islands, Pete’s and beginning in August – Jewel Food Stores.

Check-out this article from July 17 Crain’s Chicago Business:



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