Will just water sell?

Since writing the post about Evian bottled water a few months back (and spending generously to purchase bottled water during my recent trip to Europe), I have been following the bottled water industry more closely. This is one industry that fascinates me with its innovative marketing and advertising practices. If we take the bottled water industry as a whole, we got to think who are they competing against? The free flowing tap water? Yes, that’s correct. A tasteless, colorless, odorless liquid that sells for more than gasoline in any developed country is competing against something that is freely available. And that’s not all, many activist organizations taking their aims and trying to paint the industry a big fraud, keep FDA and the likes on high alert. So to let alone strive, I think even to survive in this business, you need to be extraordinarily creative.

Speaking of creativity (and assuming Evian is out of this World), let’s start with something thatFiji Water created controversy with its advertisements: “The Label Says Fiji Because It’s Not Bottled in Cleveland.” (ok, that was dumb, but it created a hell lot of buzz). Fiji Water that markets itself as affordable luxury sells about a 180 million bottles of water every year, all exported from the Fiji island. The company has made the isolated location of the Fiji island as an important selling point. Fiji Water has done great product placement by linking itself with exotic places and selling it to the elite consumers as a form of cultural capital. Today you can find a bottle of Fiji Water in your room in an upscale hotel, in hands of celebrities and on any news conference featuring the rich or the beautiful. What Fiji Water has successfully done is added a distinctive status to its water.

Fiji water claims that it has a naturally high level of silica which strengthen your hair, skin and nails. When a survey was conducted targeting a group of people who regularly bought Fiji water, they asserted this statement. But actually, as stated by some independent research labs, the silica in Fiji water is so less that it doesn’t have any effect on human body! This is just amazing. The marketing forces at Fiji Water justifies shipping water from Fiji islands and successfully sell it for double the price of any regular bottled water by making people believe what they are drinking is nutritious, which in fact is just plain water. This, combined with the status symbol, has made Fiji water one of the most successful bottled water companies in the World.

Then there are cola giants, beer companies and other FMCG brands trying to grab their share of the market. Coke’s theme for selling Dasani bottled water: “Treat Yourself Well. Every Day”, while Pepsi’s slogan for selling Aquafina: “Nothing but pure refreshment”. Both Coke and Pepsi were late to join the bottled water race following the Used Apple Policy, but due to their deep financial pockets and cheaper methods to produce bottled water (they accept that they are selling re-purified tap water), they are gaining considerable market share.

Bottled water is a Worldwide phenomenon. Companies in different parts of the World use different slogans to sell water. Bisleri in India sells water using “Play Safe” campaign, Kerry spring water’s slogan for selling water in Ireland is “Refreshes in every sense”, Korunni in Czech Republic says “Perfectly balance with no bubbies added”and Rocchetta in Italy base their advertisements on “Cleansed inside, beautiful outside”. If you just see these campaign slogans and not the bottled water, you might not even realize what these companies are trying to sell!

About seventy percent of earth is covered with water, sixty percent human body is water, most fruits and vegetables contain up to ninety percent water, while meats and cheeses contain at least fifty percent water. Still we pay lavishly to buy bottled water. There are about a fifty to hundred thousand water bottle labels in the World. It is about a $7 billion industry in US alone, making bottled water America’s second most popular beverage, just behind soda. The real question…are we really buying just water? Or to put it the other way, are they selling just water? No, absolutely not. Just water won’t sell. As I claimed before, it’s the faith, happiness and purity being sold in that bottle which contains a byproduct known as water!


10 responses to “Will just water sell?

  1. I think you bring up a very good point. Never really thought about it like that. The thing that gets me is these businesses are oligopolistic, this is a business that I have wanted to get into for a while and cannot because of this. That being said there are water stores”locations to sell water, filters ext. for 50k” not what I had in mind.

  2. Pingback: Who’s your competitor? « Adscovery

  3. i have a brilliant mineral water to market. is this an impossibility.

  4. Hi, I want you to look at my company website and tell me what you think. You can also try it and you will believe!

    • Thanks for your comment Phill. I have not tried your product, but the way you explain your product being colorless and flavorless and with all the health benefits around it, you attest my theory that just water won’t sell. You are selling healthiness, pain relief and what not in a bottle that also contains a byproduct i.e. water.

  5. The information here posted is not an opinion but facts. If you have not tested the product, then how can you comment on it’s effectiveness?

  6. I am not saying your product is ineffective. I am fine believing it does all you say it does . The point here is totally from a marketing perspective. What are you selling? A bottled product. How are you differentiating it from others in the market? By claiming that your bottle is healthier than other bottled water because of all that’s inside it. Are you really trying to sell water? See your website. Your home page doesn’t even say it is water. You have a site EvolvHeath. You focus on everything else that goes in your bottle. You are really selling a lot more than just water and there’s nothing wrong in it. Your proposition is don’t buy just any bottled water, buy Evolv because we have all healthy stuff in our bottle and you will still get water.

    • The best way to know is to try it yourself. I know it’s more than water but water is just the vehicle the formulas is mixed with. This is why you should of went to the site first.

  7. Cool post. Thanks! -barktlysf