Water: The Ultimate Marketing Project

Bottled WaterI’ve read two articles in the last 3 days relating to the bottled water industry. The first one is in this month’s Fast Company, and then the next one is on my 2 cents. Reading through it reminded me of the two products that I believe are the ultimate in product marketing.

Bottle water is one of them.

Think about it. What makes you choose bottled water over tap? What makes you choose a certain brand over another? What makes you choose a bottled water over a coke, or juice?

Water is, basically, nothing. So all your choices are based on something else. It could be . . .

  • Your beliefs on health.
  • Your beliefs on contaminants
  • Your opinion of taste
  • Your opinion of the packaging
  • Your need for convenience
  • Your paradigm of what’s expected, cool, trendy, etc.

Basically, the decision is based on a story you’ve decided to be a part of. You like Ozarka because it’s pure but not the most expensive. You like Fuji water because it’s exotic and expensive. You like Dasani because it’s cheap and you can find it anywhere.

Even if you prefer tap water, you’re believing in a story, a certain way to view what you drink.

So, for a marketer, it’s crafting that story to fit that perfect customer. It’s making the cheap (but pure) water for the cheap guys, and the expensive (but pure) water for the guys who assume expensive = better. It’s tailoring the packaging for your customer, from the look of the label to the feel and shape of the plastic. It’s who is seen drinking your water. It’s the story of the great lengths you go to producing your water. It’s the new claims and must-haves that you communicate, from reverse osmosis to glacier water to vitamin water. It’s the publicity you generate to build awareness.

In a nutshell, it’s the ultimate marketing project.

(Anyone want to guess what I think the other ultimate project is? I’ll give you hint – it contains some water)


8 responses to “Water: The Ultimate Marketing Project

  1. H2O + coffee grinds.

  2. i think it has to do with availability. what’s available is what you drink. it’s not like soda where you have a bunch of choices…you usually have 2, maybe 3 at the store.

  3. CWD – No, it’s not coffee.

    Moth1 – You’re probably right. Distribution is a big key, along with our naturally American need to drink something when we have nothing else to do. But I think the choices for water are still pretty big – not just 2 or 3 in a lot of places.

  4. The other ultimate marketing project? How about Vitamin Water? Glaceau has consumers convinced they’re drinking a healthy product, when in actuality, the sugar content and calorie count is through the roof.

  5. Vitamin water is such a joke. The whole idea of drinking water is its purity. If you’re gonna drink vitamin water, which has very little nutritional value but lots of sugar, then you might as well go for Gatorade (or AdvoCare’s Rehydrate) or something that has some real nutritional value.

    But, I still consider this the water market, so no, that’s not the other ultimate marketing project.

  6. Mountain spring water – beer!

  7. Not tea, and not beer, although that’s getting very close!

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