RANDOM LAKE, WI – Staying relevant is an important part of brand management. No one knows that more than the soft drink industry. In the 80s, Coke introduced “New Coke” in an effort to recapture younger audiences. Pepsi claimed an entire generation in an effort to gaslight consumers into thinking people like it and then wouldn’t even give that kid his fighter jet.
It’s easier when you dominate the market, but for niche brands like Jolly Good, it’s been harder.
A Wisconsin staple since 1966, Jolly Good was known for their variety of delicious flavors before going defunct in 2007. As nostalgic revivals became more and more popular, fifth-generation owner John Rassel dusted off the rodent feces from a pallet of cans and got right back to making soda.
The return of Jolly Good was met with resounding success, quickly selling out at grocery stores and specialty markets in its first release in nearly a decade. It boasted a new, thinner can and updated design. Now, just a few years later, the brand is looking for a glow up that’ll resonate with Gen Z and keep the brand bubbling up for years to come.
The 2022 Annual Report from the Office of Children’s Mental Health suggests that youth depression has jumped 10% over the last decade. In an effort to address gaps in care, Governor Evers made allocations in his 2023 budget promising increased access to mental health services.
But it’s not just the State thinking about Wisconsin’s youth. Late last week, Jolly Good Marketing Director Heather Danhauer held a press conference at the Krier Foods plant in Random Lake announcing a rebrand.
“Today’s kids suffer enough without having to endure the effects of toxic positivity constantly being thrown in their faces. They get on TikTok and they see all these influencers living their best lives, getting stitched by celebrities, and getting sponsored by burgeoning ecommerce brands that will go under in 8 months – and it’s just a lot to live up to.”
Danhauer went on to provide results from the brand’s recently conducted study that polled 250 local teens. “Children 12-18 stated that they preferred adults were honest with them, no cap, because the crushing weight of reality that adults portend with extends to them too.”
She read from the comments, where one student indicated that “everyone in their life is high-key aggressive” and that they are attracted to products with that “idgaf” attitude.”
“You can’t just throw a Squishmallow at a 15 year old that’s wondering if the next big school shooting will be in their school, they need to be treated like the fully-actualized people they are. That’s why we’re rebranding as ‘Just Alright’,” continued Danhauer. “Just like Gen Z, we’re here, we’re growing, but we’re not fully okay, and that’s alright – at least for now.”
‘Just Alright’ sodas will retain the original flavor lineup. The brand will also introduce a stevia-based option that uses plant based colorings for the more discriminating palate, under the brand ‘We’re Managing’.