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🧠 The Red Velvet Strategy that Starbucks, Liquid Death, and Grey Goose used to become billion dollar brands

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Hi there - Jen here :)

Have you ever heard of the Red Velvet Strategy?

Liquid Death, Starbucks, and Grey Goose have used it to flip entire product categories on their heads, and today we’re going to unpack how you can use it, too.

Today you’ll learn:

  • What is the Red Velvet Strategy?

  • How Liquid Death, Starbucks, and Grey Goose have used the Red Velvet Strategy to build billion dollar, industry-redefining brands.

  • The psychology behind the Red Velvet Strategy

👉 But before we get started, I wanted to let you know that I’m holding a 60-minute live workshop called “Digital Product Psychology Essentials” on June 28th.

The key to a digital product that attracts a massive - paying - user base is baking psychology into every step.

I'll show you how in this live workshop - click to learn more and register. 👉

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What is the Red Velvet Strategy?

If you're unfamiliar with Red Velvet cake, it's a deep shade of red cake layered with buttercream frosting.

Delicious. Decadent. A little bit fancy.

But Red Velvet cake is an imposter.

You see, it's really just a chocolate cake with red food coloring and vanilla frosting.

It takes a well-loved, but common, cake flavor and reframes it with a few superficial twists (a new color and a new name).

But those twists transform how the cake makes people FEEL when they order, bake, or eat it.

And those new emotions turn a commodity product into a luxurious experience.

How Liquid Death, Starbucks, and Grey Goose used the Red Velvet Strategy to build billion dollar, industry-redefining brands

You can see the Red Velvet Strategy at work in your favorite brands if you know where to look:

1. Liquid Death

✅ Liquid Death reframed bottled water into a category rebel whose branding speaks more to punk and metal fans than health-conscious folks.

2. Starbucks

✅ Starbucks reframed coffee in the US from a quick, utilitarian caffeine fix into a premium experience with a artisanal touch.

3. Grey Goose

✅ Grey Goose reframed vodka - considered a rough drink at the time - into a refined, luxurious French spirit by talking some ailing Cognac distillers into switching their stills over to vodka.

How you can use the Red Velvet Strategy?

When clients come to me to ask how to reframe a product that's not connecting with customers, we start by deeply understanding the buyer’s psychological drivers, product perception, positioning, and mental associations.

We answer questions like:

  • ✅ Who is your ideal customer?

  • ✅ What do you want them to feel when they buy your product?

  • ✅ What psychological signals do you want your product to send?

But the Red Velvet Strategy isn’t just about getting to know your customer.

It’s also about understanding category conventions, behavioral scripts, customer expectations, and visual codes in order to break them.

And it can turn a commodity product into a premium experience.

PS. If you’re interested in using the Red Velvet Strategy to launch or transform your business just reply to this email and say “Let’s chat.”

Thought of the Day

Entrepreneurs will burn $100k on Facebook ads and spend $0 on customer research then wonder why their ads don't convert. 🫠

If this hits a little too close to home, then consider a Buyer Psychology Report - it’ll help you get your marketing back on track.

Read, Watch, Listen

  • 10 Cognitive Biases and How to Outsmart Them [Read]

  • How to use email to build (or break) customer habits [Watch]

  • The Choice Hacking Podcast wrapped up Season 5 a few weeks ago, but will be back for Season 6 soon. Click to catch-up before the new season starts on June 12th → [Listen]  

Until next time,
Jen

Jen Clinehens, MS/MBA
Founder & MD Choice Hacking
Courses, Coaching, and Consulting to help brands use psychology, behavioral science, and AI to grow

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👉 A note from Jen: Ads help me keep the newsletter free, but if you want to get rid of them you can upgrade to Choice Hacking Ideas Premium for $5 - or less - a month. Your support is truly appreciated!

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