October 1, 2014

Grumpy Cat Grumpuccino Is Here, Proving This Cat’s a Marketing Machine

grumpy cat marketing

The popular Internet meme Grumpy Cat is continuing to grow its brand. The cat is now the face of a new beverage, Grumpy Cat Grumpuccino. The line of bottled coffee from Grenade Beverage LLC is being marketed with the tagline, “It’s awfully good.” The drinks officially became available for purchase online earlier this month.

Grumpy Cat also recently received some recognition in the business world, gracing the cover of Direct Marketing News’s July issue. A cat might not be the most traditional choice for the cover of a marketing publication, but Grumpy Cat has made an impact on the marketing world since being introduced on Reddit.com in 2012.

grumpy cat marketing

Within the past couple of years, brands like Wonderful Pistachios and Vitamin Water have begun to partner with memes and other Internet sensations for their marketing efforts. And some meme originators, such as the owners of Grumpy Cat, have even built successful brands around their memes.

But a meme needs more than just a few reposts on a website to reach the fame of Grumpy Cat. That’s where Ben Lashes comes in.

Ben Lashes: Meme Manager for Grumpy Cat Brand

Lashes serves as Meme Manager for the Grumpy Cat brand, as well as for other online sensations like Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat. Since this is fairly new territory for anyone, he has had to try to figure out exactly what it takes to manage a meme.

For Lashes, that starts with securing a name and all the digital property associated with it, including domains, copyrights and trademarks. Protecting a meme doesn’t necessarily mean preventing others from creating fan art or putting their own spin on memes. It just means making sure that others don’t make money on the meme at the expense of its original creator.

Promoting a meme isn’t always a big part of a meme manager’s job, since distribution on sites like Tumblr and Reddit can happen so quickly. Photos of Grumpy Cat, for instance, were shared on social media millions of times within weeks after the original post. It was only after the cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, became an Internet sensation that the owners began securing domains, building a brand and hiring a meme manager.

But Lashes can help meme originators get involved with larger scale projects such as Grumpy Cat’s Grumpuccino or movie deal. Since memes are generally made popular by the masses, rather than by the attempts of a singular person or organization, the built-in notoriety can help secure such deals. But part of a meme manager’s job in these situations is to help the owners avoid getting taken advantage of and sidestep bad deals.

For some, there’s a fine line between a popular meme and one that has become too mainstream. Lashes and other managers have to find a way to keep their clients in the spotlight without overexposing them. Since Grumpy Cat has already secured a book deal, feature film, merchandise at stores like Hot Topic and now the Grumpuccino, it seems this cat really has become a marketing machine.

10 Comments ▼

Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles and feature stories. She is a freelance writer specializing in marketing, social media, and creative topics. When she’s not writing for her various freelance projects or her personal blog Wattlebird, she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

10 Reactions

  1. Great mag. Great article. Just so happens I spent several hours last week looking at possible logos for a small biz idea, I decided the biz idea was too small for the cat related name I’ve been sitting on for years. Don’t know me nothin’ ’bout no antropronerness but I think this pub is going to learn me some. Since I know what I want the visual to look like I looked at Corel but it’s so simple I’m not sure I need. Just pay someone to draw it for me.

  2. Annie,

    You know what, I have this love-hate relationship with Grumpy Cat. I prefer not to see any Grumpy Cat memes, videos, etc. on Monday morning; it’s so depressing. But on the evening, I can’t stop browsing for anything Grumpy Cat.

    Wait – is this mean I am “grumpified”? A new fan here :)

  3. It’s only a matter of time before this fad gets out of hand and starts to take the pitfall. I’m actually a bit surprised Grumpy Cat’s still living strong up to this day (I mean the meme, not the cat) since the average meme’s lifespan isn’t usually that long.

  4. I don’t know what is it with people and cats. icanhasacheeseburger became popular because of all the cat pictures and you cannot deny that Youtube videos with cats are also popular. I guess those furry little creatures have something in them that is simply irresistible.

    • There are so many cat owners and cat lovers out there, I’m not surprised at the whole cat popularity thing when it comes to cat pics. Cats, to me, can also be quite human-like, which is why I think that anything with blurbs is funny and at times hilarious! It’s like you can imagine that’s probably what they’re thinking!

  5. Hahaaaaaaa! Grumpy Cat ‘Grumpuccino’! I love it!

    I suspect it probably won’t taste that great (just my opinion); probably average tasting at best (again, my opinion), but the main star of the show and the following it’s built will ensure that it sells really well, I reckon.

  6. As you all should know by now, “internet is made of cats”… ;)

    Our cats, Robin & Rufus, are not grumpy, they are happy! :)

  7. The picture of this cat and Jesus talking was irreverent I will not ever read or look at grumpy cat ever again. There is no fear of God anymore. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? What shall a man give in exchange for his soul? I guess you will find out when you face eternity if you do not repent and turn to God.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Compare your business to the industry - Try our new tool