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Product Branding in Marketing Strategy: A case study

You complain, "I can't find any competitive core marketing advantage for my service or my product!"

Well, I can tell you that anything is possible. People successfully market imported water to Americans! The marketing of imported water is what I would call the ultimate marketing hurdle. It involves finding the "unique selling proposition", which is the thing that differentiates your product or service from all of your competitors'.

You still complain, "A unique selling proposition for water?! How is that possible??" I believe that this case study answers that question. But you be the judge.

Marketing Strategy Case Study
In Yosemite National Park, in the United States of America, over 8 inches of rain and snow precipitation was recorded in March of 2002 ALONE!

As I took this photograph, I wondered: It's intuitively obvious that the United States has wonderful sources of water, from incredibly beautiful and unique sources. If needed, the United States certainly has the technology to further purify water. So why do Americans buy imported bottled water?

Can you suggest how corporations successfully market imported water? Why do Americans pay over $1.25 for a bottle of water imported from overseas?


How would you market water? Have you seen other products or services that are just as difficult to market? What are your opinions on how to successfully market "refrigerators to Eskimos"? Can you guess the secrets behind marketing imported water to the United States?


INITIALS CITY, COUNTRY COMMENT
R.T. Mexico City, Mexico People who have more money think they are fashion experts. They spend too much money. You can sell them fashion if you say water is a fashion.
J.S. San Francisco, CA, USA That's not why they buy bottled water. Have you ever tasted the stuff from the tap. Wake up! Read the news on the dangers of tap water!
R.H. Turnbridge Wells Kent, UK There is a large amount of people who only want to put the purest things in to their body - probably a mixture of health, fashion and status.
R.W. Philadelphia, PA, USA These are good points. But, why do people in the USA want to spend more to buy water shipped to the USA from France? The strange thing is that nobody seems to know why -- even though it's a fact.
H.W. Vancouver, B.C., Canada We're working hard to introduce technology ... make tap water safe to drink and eliminate the need for bottled water ... We are a small company trying to market a solution against a highly entrenched technology in the hands of thousands of government employees and academics. This is a real marketing challenge.
R.W. Philadelphia, PA, USA The marketing issue here is more than the need for safe water or obsolete technology. I'm sure that most people appreciate the need for safe drinking water.

Most people in the United States have good safe water. There are many companies in the United States that sell bottled water. So then, why do so many people want expensive water that is imported from overseas? And, more importantly, how do corporations motivate people to want that?
J.W. Greensboro, NC, USA People buy imported bottled water for the same reasons they buy anything else. Quality. Import water tastes better!
Not Provided Not Provided Imported is always better than indigenous ... for every country ... not just US of A!!
R.W. Philadelphia, PA, USA Getting closer, but we can do better than that.
N.R. Saudi Arabia Buying is an emotional decision, and the consumer emotions towards the imported country [France] are apparently positive in this case.
R.W. Philadelphia, PA, USA Excellent! THAT is THE outstanding point!

France has established a national "brand name" for artistic elegance, fine wine and excellent food. THAT is a solid brand image that has taken centuries to establish.

As a result, consumers have developed positive attitudes toward French products. Attitudes are not logical comparisons of specific "product features and benefits". Attitudes are more permanent emotional issues and do not easily change, and thus are the source of customer loyalty.

People who purchase French bottled water surely feel that they are buying taste and style -- not just water. As a result, French companies are able to export water.

THAT is the importance and value of a "brand"!

We can now close this marketing case study.


In this case the difficulty was to create a unique selling proposition for water. The creative genius here was to associate "taste and style" with water. Brilliant!

Can you be creative with your own product, to find an emotional association?

As always, sales and marketing research finds that emotions are powerful motivators. Now you see how to promote water as having "taste and style". Can you find an elegant brand to strengthen the emotion you want for your product?

Keep in mind that it is important to creatively associate a positive emotion and positive attitude with your product. This must be credible so "product features and benefits" are assumed -- you don't need to individually list them. Then, your branding will be successful.


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