Despite advancements in water filtration, demand for bottled water has increased by 17 gallons per capita in recent years.
The same study found that over 90% of consumers expect bottled water to be available wherever other bottled beverages are sold.
The sustained interest in shopping local is even more exciting. Independent entrepreneurs like you have an edge over big-name brands. Plus, launching a bottled water line is just one way to grow your name in the industry.
Get your small business off the ground with these refreshing tips for starting a bottled water company.
What Makes Your Bottled Water Brand Unique?
If starting a bottled water company was easy, everyone would be doing it. Your first step is to study brands that got it right. You could call this the initial phase of the branding identity process.
A brand identity is an umbrella term for all the elements that define your brand.
Get Inspired: A FIJI Bottled Water Company Case Study
Take the FIJI bottled water brand as an example. This famous store item pops out from display cases with its signature look.
Compelling visual elements include:
- Colorful labeling with flowers and Fiji-inspired imagery
- Blue-tinted plastic
- Signature rectangle bottle
- Its premium price point
Despite being more expensive than its competitors, FIJI is still one of the most popular bottled water brands. Its crisp, clean taste coupled with a higher price point and relevant visual elements are instrumental to its success. The water is also sourced directly from Fiji, which is a critical point of the company’s brand story.
Keep peeling the layers of FIJI’s brand identity to uncover more elements:
- Print advertising
- Digital Marketing
- Web and app design
- Video commercials
- Giveaways and promotions
- Social media
- Goodwill marketing
For example, visit the brand’s website.
You’re immediately greeted with a breathtaking video backdrop of Fiji’s natural scenery. The brand’s tagline, “Earth’s Finest Water,” is reflected throughout the UX design.
Goodwill marketing is another crucial point.
As a bottled water company, you’re in a unique position to grow your brand through nonprofit partnerships. You’ll notice FIJI partners with various nonprofits, encouraging global water conservation and sustainability.
Water itself symbolizes purity, health, and cleanliness. These qualities are powerful marketing elements, providing endless creative business possibilities.
Sourcing Your Bottled Water
Sourcing is a cornerstone of all bottled water companies, not just the FIJI brand. Taste and sourcing are the two most significant selling points. Other marketable water sources include spring water, glaciers, and snowy mountains.
For example, some brands have a hint of sodium while others are more soft and sweet. Other companies are known for their tart and tangy water. Taste-test as many bottled water brands as you can find to discover the perfect flavor!
Water engineered with extra electrolytes and other healthy minerals is another selling point. These bottled water brands also overlap with the fitness water aisle. Core water is probably the most recognizable brand of this type.
Electrolyte-infused fitness water leads into another popular category: the flavored water aisle.
Brands like Vitamin Water toe the line between bottled water and sports drink, delivering a string of refreshing, lightly-flavored beverages. Vitamin water is less intense than Gatorade, but its flavor is often preferred over bottled water brands like Dasani.
The Relationship Between Water Sourcing and Marketing
Going back to the FIJI water example, your sourcing (or infusion) is central to your brand story. Think about concepts like brand colors, logos, label design, and other branding elements as you formulate your beverage.
Remember, the formulation phase is part of the marketing process.
Think about the audience you want to attract, and include their preferences in your formulation. For example, if you’re trying to appeal to holistic fitness enthusiasts, you may want to consider water infused with lemon, honey, ginseng, and extra electrolytes.
Getting your water or flavored-water formula perfect is crucial before moving on to the production step.
Health and Safety
Bottled water companies also put their beverages through rigorous lab testing.
Afterward, the final product goes through another round of focus group tests. Not only is testing mandatory for FDA compliance, but it’s a crucial marketing point.
Ensure you have the proper health and safety labeling on your water bottles to avoid recalls or customer complaints.
Make Your Bottled Water Company a Reality
You’ve tested and engineered your water to perfection. Your brand is consistent, and the marketing materials are ready to go.
You’re now ready for the production phase!
First, ensure none of your hard work goes to waste. Find reliable commercial label applicators to produce resilient, high-quality labels. Bottle water labels must withstand freezing coolers, condensation, and fluctuating temperatures.
You could work with a white label company that specializes in labeling products like bottled water. Companies work with beverage scientists to develop formulas and marketers to create compelling brand strategies.
You can also hire independent consultants to craft logos, brand designs and conduct market research.
Pay Attention to Bottling
Your bottle material also plays a unique role beyond being a vessel.
For example, to counteract the negative press about plastic bottle waste, more companies are selling reusable water bottles; this tactic solves the problem while growing brand awareness.
Remember to highlight that your bottles are reusable and made from 100% recycled material. Suggest consumers reuse your bottles as planters, birdfeeders, and food storage containers. You could make “eco-education” a central theme of your brand story.
More Logistics to Consider
When your product is ready, embed a user-friendly order form on your website for buyers.
While your product marketing is consumer-friendly, your website should be B2B-friendly since your target buyers are store owners. You also need a sales expert who can secure and manage these types of accounts.
Install the best inventory system from the beginning, as well. This system should be accurate, automated, and compatible with all connected devices.
Good inventory storage is essential in your industry.
A Refreshing Start to Your New Brand
Are you still daydreaming about unveiling your bottled water company to the masses?
Take action while there’s still time!
New bottled water brands and flavors are always in demand. Keep this guide handy as you develop the perfect product, brand, and marketing strategy.
The blog is also packed with creative inspiration for ambitious entrepreneurs.