Very few products of nature can be processed and packaged into a form more appealing than the packaging provided by Mother Nature herself. The marketing strategy of Fiji Natural Artesian Water has proven the effectiveness of carrying forward the environment, beauty, and overall surroundings associated with their product—water. Fiji Water leverages every advantage of having a clean and pure product—including the source and environment where it originates—to maintain a branding strategy second to none.
The bottled water industry generates roughly 11 billion dollars in revenue each year (Alsever, 2009). Companies conventionally versed in the production of soft drinks continue to test the waters hoping to cash in on a health conscience society. Dasani by Coca-Cola and Aquafina by Pepsi own an impressive share of the market. However, Nestle Waters is the industry giant with their many domestic brands dominating grocer’s shelves across the country. Nearly half of the 8.7 billion gallons of bottled water consumed by Americans in 2008 was produced using a purification process (Fishman, 2007). Most of the Nestle Waters brands, such as Zephyrhills, are produced from spring water. Fiji Natural Artesian Water is the only bottled water from an artesian source.
Fiji Water created a pure marketing strategy atop one of the purest products in the industry. The foundation for their three product level approach is the core benefits associated with their bottle water. Fiji Water is simply a pure tangible good as there are no accompanying services. Every consumer of this artesian water not only gets a superior product, but an experience as well. The consumer is buying an experience with the added benefit of great tasting, pure and clean water.
Second only to oxygen, water is very important to good health and well-being. Simply put—we need water to sustain life. Not just any water, but clean healthy water. The Fiji Water consumer is really buying—in addition to pure clean water—a healthy lifestyle enveloped by the idea of tranquility and beauty associated with a pristine tropical rainforest. Nature provides credibility to Fiji Natural Artesian Water.
Following the three levels of product, Fiji Water transitioned the core benefits into an actual product by identifying brand name, features, packaging, and quality level (Kotler & Armstrong, 2008). Fiji Water created their brand by riding the coattails of brand equity already established by the Fiji name. Fiji Water benefits from the namesake associated with the pristine, pure, unindustrialized tropical rainforests of the Fiji Islands. With the name Fiji comes certain connotations responsible for the perception of their product. Fiji suggests a specific environment in much the same way a connotation suggests a rose signifies passion.
Fiji Water recognized the need to differentiate its product from others in the market, and created a distinct packaging strategy. If a consumer could first taste the water drawn from ancient artesian wells there would be little need be concerned with packaging. The majority of bottled water populating the store shelves is packaged in clear plastic containers. The content while diversely different looks exactly the same. The packaging influences the consumer. Moreover, the packaging narrates the contents by offering visual suggestions of the water’s origination.
Many bottled water brands, especially those produced from springs, include a label with images depicting a serene picturesque water source. None represent the contents better than Fiji Water. Starting with the basic shape of the packaging, Fiji distinguishes itself from others. The square bottle is easily recognized and positively associated with the product—Fiji Natural Artesian Water. The full experience associated with consuming water from an artesian aquifer at the very edge of a rainforest starts with a sophisticated label. Instead of a simple tag, Fiji Water draws the consumer into an environment of palm leaves and Hibiscus blooms. The multi-dimensional labeling technique entices the consumer to purchase and consume the contents.
Introducing line extensions, brand extensions, multibrands, and new brands are techniques associated with brand development (Kotler & Armstrong, 2007). Introducing an extension to the same line could dilute the current product offerings. For example, adding an antioxidant ingredient would create opportunities in similar markets, but at the risk of losing credibility with the current product. The consumers might begin to question the natural benefits of Fiji Water if other ingredients need to be added. Introducing a brand extension such as coconut milk would benefit from the brand name recognition and allow Fiji Water to expand into other markets. The Fiji brand has been developed to include a certain brand experience. It would not be a good branding strategy for Fiji Water to dip their toes into other areas outside their core competency. Any brand development strategy that uses the current brand name will be successful.
Fiji Water uses geography to their advantage. While the cost of distribution is far greater than competing products produced in the United States, distance is used in Fiji’s mainstream marketing. Directly from a rainforest hundreds of miles from the nearest continent—Fiji Water is the natural choice for a health conscience society. A cohesive brand development strategy compliments a pure marketing campaign promoting the purist of water—Fiji Natural Artisan Water.
Alsever, J. (2009). Bottled Water Sales Slow Amid Backlash. Retrieved December 20, 2009 from, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34451973/ns/business-going_green/
Fishman, C. (2007). Message in a Bottle – Bottled Water – Luxury Water – Mineral Water. Retrieved December 20, 2009 from, http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-message-in-a-bottle.html?page=0%2C0
Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. (2008). Principals of Marketing. Pearson Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.