The National Beverage Corporation’s website, www.nationalbeverage.com opens with a repeating slideshow of people of different races, ages and demographics drinking, and enjoying, a combination of beverages, bottled water and soft drinks. The message over a drum loop is “Get a taste of our flavors!”
Clicking continue takes you away from the opening slideshow and to the main page of the website. The website employs a sparse design that begins with an overview under the heading “A Formula. A Philosophy. A Tradition.” The paragraph below goes on to explain how “we” strives to be the best in everything that they due. “That’s why we continually work to improve our performance and four on those things that will make us a better company.” (National Beverage Website)
This overview implicitly reveals some of the history of the national beverage corporation. As the company exists today it is the product of mergers, takeovers and acquisitions. In the 80s and 90s. Unlike companies whose brands have an iconic place in consumer culture like The Coca-Cola Company or PepsiCo, The National Beverage Corporation relies on strategic placement of products. This strategy has worked for them the fifth largest soft drink company in the United States. (Beverage Digest, 2007).
The website would not rank with competitor websites that offer a fun, interactive interface. There is not newsfeed on the front page and only through clicking around are you brought to a page where recently press releases put out by the company are archived.
Without knowing about the process that web development in the company began. When judging the website for sufficiency, this depends on the intentions behind it. The website certainly could do a lot more than it does. As it stands, it seems put in place to offer a bare minimum amount of generic history and information about the company.
The website seems dated. Even the opening video is considerably inferior to other such entrance pages that company’s of the size and means of National Beverage Corp. Nothing in the site is very bold. Even the top menu bar contains a font that might be difficult for people with poor vision even to read. The company, one can conclude has not invested much in terms of financial or intellectual capital into the creation of a website that can help the company achieve its objectives.
The National Beverage Corporation website does not have any links to social media. Even with the launch of a “hip,” new energy drink “Rip It,” which is responsible for most of the last quarter’s gains, this drink does not even appear on the front page. Nor does a twitter link, or Facebook, and from the website one would conclude that perhaps the company does not have such pages.
Coca-cola’s website immediately seems personable, whereas The National Beverage Corporation’s website seems vacant and distant. It tries, but fails to draw a reader’s interest in the company. I was able to read every page that I could be directed to in a less than an hour. There are not parts of the website that would appear to be regularly updated for new content, and after reading the website, unless one were writing an essay on it, there is little reason to visit again.
It is clear based on size that The National Beverage Corporation could not expect to compete with the marketing budgets of a company like Coca Cola. However, The Internet has become a place where companies do not need to. It is possible to invest little into a website and hope for it to have a high return. There are also contests, which allow consumers to create content that advertises for a company that The National Beverage Corporation is not currently using.
The most recent press release, “National Beverage Corp. Points with Growth + Pride” showed strong indicators for the current state of the company. It shows revenues increased, up 6.6%, net income increased, up 7.3% and earnings per share increased to $.75, up 7.1%.
The press release pointed out that these increases were achieved in a climate that was hostile to such gains, “Consistent quarters of revenue and earnings growth — achieved in a volatile environment of political and economic chaos”
This came from the winter quarter, which the company indicates in the same release as an “always challenging” quarter. This is positive news for any stakeholder in the company. In line with the message on their front page, they attribute this success to their ability to react to a changing business climate by “repositioning our products and distribution to the higher-growth segments of the beverage industry.”
A Jan 25, 2013 press releases announcing the selling off of 400,000 shares to raise $20 million dollars in cash to pay a $2.55 per share. CEO Nick A. Caporella was quoted in the press release saying, “The pledge to continuously enhance shareholder value is reflected by the Board's action today,”
These press releases paint a picture of a healthy company that is not a departure from industry analysis of The National Beverage Corp. The stock, which takes the symbol FIZZ, while certainly not a hot stock, is a steady one with long term potential. Thomas Reuters Industry Analysis has a positive rating. Smart Consensus report lists it as a hold, and equally neutral is the Market Edge Technical research. This data was accessed by The E*TRADE profile of it. This profile accurately profiles the company as being well positions for it’s occupying all levels of development, manufacture, and production of soft drinks.
The Standard & Poor’s Factual Stock Report dated March 23, 2013shows that in the last fives years The National Beverage Corp has shown gains in volume. Even the quarterly data shows a history of consecutive gains. One weakness that could be considered from this report is the age of CEO Nick Caporella, and the length of time he has been at the helm of the company. He is currently 75 and has run the company since 1985.
The Standard & Poor’s outlook as stated is neutral for the company, but they do say that they “expect earnings and cash flow to grow, driven by pricing gains and new product introductions.” They see improved trends for non-carbonated beverages as consumers return to healthier products after briefly trading down to cheaper alternatives during the recession.
The healthier beverages are what is emphasized with images on the website, although they are not presented in a manner that would stay strongly in the mind of someone visiting the website. They do not jump out and the website would rank zero on any buzz scale for this. Their strategy appears to be embedded in “cheaper alternatives” rather than products that can outcompete based on branding.
What the company could specifically do to have a more sufficient marketing strategy based on online presence, first with social media, Twitter and could use the product labeling to promote these pages without additional expenditure. More so, these sites could bolster the online website if it had added elements of consumer interactivity
One does not get a sense of the balance sheet success of the company by visiting the website. While it is a well-run company that posts consecutive profits, more could be done to improve the sufficiency of the company’s website.
S. &. P Stock Analysis (2013). National Beverage Corp Report. Factual Stock Report, 12, 1-10.
National Beverage - Press Releases. (n.d.). National Beverage - Investor Relations. Retrieved March 28, 2013, from http://ir.nationalbeverage.com/releases.cfm
National Beverage Corp. . (n.d.). Vuru Analysis . Retrieved March 25, 2013, from www.vuru.co/analysis/FIZZ
National Beverage Corp. Points with Growth + Pride. (n.d.). Stock Market News, Business News, Financial, Earnings, World Markets - CNBC. Retrieved March 28, 2013, from http://www.cnbc.com/id/100534119