Everyone is jumping on the high-octane energy drink these days, usually by upping the caffeine dosage from “Alert” to “Jumpy” to “So-Freaking-Wired-I-Can’t-Tie-My-Shoes.” So it’s always nice to see someone break from the pack of lemmings with a different approach.
Brain Toniq (as in IQ, if you didn’t catch that) definitely goes against the grain. It’s a premium beverage positioned as a healthy alternative that improves your mental capacity. What is it? Basically a carbonated citrus drink sweetened with organic agave nectar and filled with a proprietary blend of “pure herbs and natural compounds,” which include roots, algae and other stuff I personally don’t recognize, but has a solid pedigree in the natural health community. More importantly is what is not in it: No processed sugar. No caffeine.
Brain Toniq claims this makes you think better, says founder Scott Ohlgren, author of several book on natural health. The tagline on the can is kind of fun: “Fuel your cranium. Get thinking again.” The cans are sized and shaped like Red Bull, but with a softer positioning. An 8 oz. can sells for $2.50, unless you buy in bulk.
This is a smart, innovative product. They started with a familiar and established market that has about hit its peak—premium energy drinks—then came at it a completely different way. It’s the anti-Red Bull. It’s good for you. Plus the benefit, while perhaps met with skepticism, is certainly relevant to millions. Who doesn’t want to think more clearly? I’m guessing that many of the boomers reaching the age of declining mental acuity would be willing to spend a few bucks for the chance of stemming the tide.
And besides, it all feels fashionable, hip and … well … smart. Give me a can of Brain IQ and a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and who would challenge me at Trivial Pursuit?
Ohlgren’s story sounds a lot like many entrepreneurs with a product and a passion, but not a lot of capital. Their only marketing is guerilla. “Our most successful events are when we walk onto a campus and give out samples. It works great until the campus police show up!”
Brain Toniq is currently carried in health food stores across the country and sold over amillion cans this year.
Why we like it as an innovation: BrainToniq zigs while the world is zagging. Their all-natural, no-caffeine approach is the perfect counter to the proliferation of me-too’s in the energy drink category.