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Marketing, Strategy, Growth, Sales

Why thinking about bottled water is GREAT for your marketing strategy

I’m always in for a good bit of imagery to help explain a concept and this is no exception. One of our super clever team members Miranda came up with this great analogy that I thought deserved to be shared – how marketing is just like water.

Marketing is complicated… but if you wanted to boil down the basic principles into one kick starter model – consider the question of bottled water. How do you sell bottled water to a market that can get water free from a tap? The answers can be applied to your product or service.


In the global marketplace, scarcity is a diminishing commodity – but using the bottled water analogy, there will always be places where there is no free water available.Where in the world is your product or service a rarity?  


Why have just plain water when you can choose flavoured, with a higher pH or vitamins added? Today you can buy water from France, Australia, Fiji, Germany and Italy; from glaciers, mineral springs and mountain streams.  What varietals does your product or service offer over competitors?


Bottled water sells well where it is convenient – at the gym, salad bar or petrol station, dairy, on a hot day in the park or at the beach. Plus in most cases its portability makes it easier to purchase than bring from home. Where is most convenient for your target market to buy your product or service?


Did you know you can purchase bottled water infused with energy from rituals using diamonds? Or desalinated sea water collected from two thousand feet below the ocean off Hawaii, or sourced from an iceberg three days from the coast of Canada? There is even water gathered exclusively from rainwater in Tasmania: straight to the bottle from the sky without ever touching the ground. Does your product or service operate in the premium market and if so, what makes it a luxury?


If all bottled water at the supermarket was the same price, would you choose by brand? Are you willing to buy bottled water endorsed by a celebrity or sportsperson? With 10 to choose from, 9 of which you had never heard of, would you select the brand you had seen advertised? How much of a difference to brand awareness of your product or service would endorsement or advertising make?


If they had identical costs, would you purchase bottled water that supported a charity over one that didn’t? Consumers like to feel that their spend is making a difference.Does your product or service lend itself to commercial altruism?


Bottled water is usually sold in plastic that can be recycled: but they still cause a huge ecological problem. Bottles made from degradable plant derivatives are already here, as are easily collapsible bottles that use less plastic and water in easier to recycle boxes and cartons. Is your product or service able to be sustainable, eco-friendly, organic or somehow green?


Many people are purely price driven when it comes to water, believing that most bottled water is the same and therefore choosing the cheapest per litre available. How can you compete if your product or service is chosen by price over your competitors?

(Our team includes writers like Miranda, who can write effective (and clever) blogs for your business. Contact me if you’d like to know more about how we cna help you with this.)

Rachel Klaver is managing director of Identify

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