Drinking water is such a daily necessity.
Bottled water is a typical Red Sea market, with brands competing for water sources, subdividing categories, grabbing channels, and telling stories.
The old players such as Nongfu Spring and Yibao stick to the territory, and the latecomers are still emerging one after another. In the past, there was the vitality forest "Mining", and then there was the Mixue Ice City "Snow King Loves Drinking Water".
Now, you may have a new choice for drinking water – smartwater, a bottled water owned by Coca-Cola.
It appeared at Apple's press conference and headquarters restaurant, and has been endorsed by Gal Gadot and Zendaya. It recently entered the domestic market and was first released by Sam's Club.
Smartwater for the first time, can you stir up any water?
High-end water inspired by clouds
"Whenever you're exercising or need some quiet, smartwater is a smart way to hydrate."
Smartwater is positioned as high-end non-natural water and is a bottled water brand owned by Coca-Cola subsidiary Energy Brands.
In the Coca-Cola empire, smartwater is one of the fastest-growing brands and another billion-dollar hit.
In 2016, smartwater ranked among the top five bottled water brands in the United States; in 2017, sales were nearly $830 million.
How did the seemingly ordinary smartwater get out of the crowded bottled water track?
Smartwater officially joined Coca-Cola in 2007. At that time, Coca-Cola acquired Energy Brands for $4.1 billion, and the latter's first product, smartwater, was also included in the brand camp.
Founded in 1996, Energy Brands focuses on healthy beverages that reject excess sugar and artificial ingredients, as does smartwater naturally.
Smartwater is a kind of steam distilled water. The brand claims that its inspiration comes from "the formation of clouds". Its processing process is also very simple and natural. There are three main steps , namely steam distillation, filtration, and adding ionized minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
In simple terms, the water is first evaporated and then recaptured, and the lost minerals are artificially added back later .
However, in 2018, smartwater was named "the most outrageous lie in food advertising" by consumer advocacy group Foodwatch Germany.
The organization pointed out that smartwater is just ordinary water. The scientific production process sounds absurd, and there are no proven nutritional benefits. Consumers pay seven times more than ordinary mineral water.
Currently, the classic smartwater 6 bottles of 1 liter are priced at $10.51 on Amazon , and the unit price is $1.75 (about 12.5 yuan) a bottle, which is really not cheap.
▲ There are also 590ml and 700ml specifications.
Coca-Cola denied the criticism, saying smartwater complied with food labelling regulations and that Foodwatch nominated Coca-Cola only to attract attention.
It also stressed that "smartwater's success is proof that consumers love its taste" .
In fact, smartwater has never advertised how nutritious it is. The taste is pure, fresh, and refreshing. Some netizens commented that it tasted "light mineral sweetness".
The brand says this is due to proper pH control and a unique blend of electrolytes, and some styles are supplemented with natural flavors.
In addition, smartwater has no artificial flavors and colors, and no added sugar or sodium .
time out of the water
Smartwater ranks among the top five bottled water brands in the United States, which is also related to its marketing strategy.
In various reports, it is called the water that fashion and technology people love to drink.
It is of course a bit arbitrary to directly shoot two industries, but it is indeed tenable just looking at one example, and it is impossible to refute it for a while.
Perhaps the most well-known fan of Smartwater is Steve Jobs, who used to wear smartwater at an Apple event.
Forbes magazine also mentioned in a 2008 report that the cafeteria at Apple headquarters serves up plenty of sushi and smartwater.
In terms of fashion, smartwater's own design is more unique. The straight bottle body and modern fonts are both young and fashionable. It also appears frequently in fashion weeks, and uses the trend to gild itself with a layer of gold.
In 2018, for example, during Lakmé Fashion Week , one of the most well-known fashion events in India, smartwater appeared on the runway as an accessory.
▲ Picture from: vogue
Not only that, smartwater launched the "The Platform" project with Lakmé Fashion Week that year, providing a stage for emerging artists and designers. From form to fabric, each collection interprets smartwater's theme "Inspired by Clouds".
Some cutting-edge or innovative hotels, such as W Hotel, Edition Hotel, supply smartwater.
The spokespersons of Smartwater are even more top-notch.
From 2007 to the end of 2019, Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel in "Friends", served as the brand's global ambassador.
In January 2020, "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot took over , bringing "the brand's smart, modern and innovative spirit to life".
In June, actor and singer Zendaya became the latest global brand ambassador.
As part of her marketing campaign, she has partnered with smartwater, the Global Water Challenge (GWC) organization, to support water quality and water supply improvement programs in communities around the world, starting in her hometown of Oakland, California.
Smartwater is out of the circle, and there is a very important reason: it has never given up marketing its name.
After all, the name of smartwater is naturally stubborn, literally translated as "smart water" and "smart water", which is straightforward and easy to use, and has the same lethality as six walnuts.
During the Jennifer Aniston endorsement, smartwater was defined as "The water with all the answers".
In Zendaya's advertisement , she drinks smartwater and has more creative ideas, which fits the theme of "Keeping it Smart".
A question on Quora is "Does drinking smartwater make you smarter?"
Even more interesting is the related answer: "If you're dehydrated, you can get sick and not perform at your best. It's not about your inner intelligence, it's about how you perform on the spot."
In short, drink plenty of water, no matter what water it is, but smartwater remembers it.
Drinking water is not just for hydration
Up to now, in addition to classic models, smartwater has many innovative items to meet more hydration occasions and needs.
In 2019, an alkaline version and an antioxidant version are available, the former is pH 9+ and the latter is infused with antioxidant selenium.
For 2020, the flavors line offers more flavor options, including Passion Fruit Mango, Strawberry Blackberry, Pineapple Kiwi, Cucumber Lime, all fruit-flavored, sugar-free, calorie-free waters with added natural flavors.
In 2021, the smartwater+ line with natural extracts will be available, 700ml of which is 10 calories. The brand said that because of the different additions, the items in the series have different functions-
Clarity adds ginseng and green tea extracts to boost your spirits; Renew adds dandelion and lemon extracts to stay energized; and Tranquility adds ashwagandha and orange extracts to calm your mind.
▲ Picture from: BVD
In 2015, Coca-Cola also released a carbonated version of smartwater , which cost $1.99 a liter, also to follow the health trend of the year:
Enthusiasm for carbonated beverages like diet cola has declined, but consumption of sparkling bottled water is rising rapidly .
I have to admit that there is a question mark on whether smartwater itself is nutritious and healthy, but it has grasped the psychology of consumers.
▲ Picture from: BVD
Recently, smartwater entered the country, and it was only released in Sam's Club store, and only one model was sold. The official name was "Simante".
At the same time, the price has been greatly reduced. The price of 600ml 24 bottles is 79.9 yuan, and the unit price is 3.33 yuan (found on September 30, it has dropped to 69.9 yuan).
According to the Food Board report , some consumers have tasted the "Chinese version" and "American version" of smartwater, and found that the taste is slightly different, which may be related to the place of origin.
Although Coca-Cola has taken a small step in China this time, bottled water is still a business worth betting on as a rigid demand.
Water is a prime example of how to practice a truly integrated beverage company strategy in response to changing trends and tastes and to capitalize on the growth opportunities we see.
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