Look at Me! I’m Drinking Water!

I came across an article in BusinessWeek exploring the pending launch of a new bottled water from the Amazon rainforest called Equa. It’s hard to read the story and not roll your eyes. Trucking water halfway across the planet is not exactly good for the environment. When did water become a luxury or aspirational beverage?

It is true that people are always looking for some way to distinguish themselves. Throughout time, beverages have always been one way for people to do so. Drinking Red Bull used to be cool and hip, but now there are a million different energy drinks on the market and the variety is still growing. It is very interesting to me that water has become the next aspirational beverage.

What a coup for the manufacturers given that most other beverages start with water and then add other costly ingredients. Water is the new “look at me” drink. Given all of the externalities in this industry, for me the only real positive is that widespread trading of soda for water might have a slight impact on the obesity and diabetes epidemics.

Equa may be entering the market too late though. It seems to me that we are starting to reach the crescendo in the bottled water market like we did in the energy drink market a few months back, and I would expect that we may be on to the next marketing innovation (possibly Crayons) by fall 2008. So it begs the question, what will the next “look at me” drink be?

What do you think?

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Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Design Thinking, Innovation and Transformation Consultant, a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, and helps companies plan organizational changes that are more human and less overwhelming. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.

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