Wow @Abey - thanks a lot ! I really learnt something important just now.
Wishing you great luck on your venture. Its one of the most profitable business to be in if you can position the brand correctly. The key is to start monopolizing certain areas completely with your brand of water starting with smaller places and them move over to bigger locations in the city.
I've seen how earlier people wanted AQUAFINA in India and then BISLERI became the most wanted water brand but now in Indian trains, they sell another brand called BIBA and people buy it without any issues.
Another segment is brands like QUA that sell for Rs.50 for 750 ml of water and are sold at 4 star and 5 star hotels.
You highest amount of work you need to do with your brand of mineral water is POSITIONING. Everything else wont matter if you cant get the positioning right ( just my 2 cents )
As per my prespective ,what so ever the diffrentation and many Brands in mineral water industry to get your product
sold in market u need PUSH and not PULL strategy most of the consumer are not going to ask for specific brand they just buy what retailer PUSH them, to make Good Sales of your product u need to give good Margins to retailer over other Brands.
as far as Diffrentaion, you can make some good packaging innovation ,flavoured water ,better promotions etc
if you can maintain healthy Margins after doing all above.
As far as i know Mineral water Business is PUSH model and NOT PULL .
Some thoughts on how you can differentiate in a pretty commoditised business:
1. SOURCE : Evian, Himalaya etc etc - they all are differentiated based on WHERE their water comes from. is that an Option for you? Check FIJI Water out....a stunning success ! Pls check this link : http://www.fijiwater.com/
2. BENEFIT: You can own a core Emotional benefit - Freshness, Coming Alive, Relieving Tiredness etc. But this means big spends on communication.
3. INGREDIENT/ADDITIVE: So whether its Vitaminised water or whatever, that is another route especially if the Additive chosen is Unique and somehow "ownable".
4. DISTRIBUTION / AVAILABILITY: You can also build Niche brands by restricting distribution initially. For example, sell ONLY at SPAs in hotels , trying to create the thought "Spas are healthy, rejuvenating. The Spas only use this brand of water. They must know something I dont. So this brand must be healthy, natural and rejuvenating. ( To create a new marketing jargon - Osmotic Brand building" !! :-)
5. UNIQUE SHAPE = UNIQUE BENEFIT: You could have a unique shape not just for shape but where the shape adds to the benefit of the brand. For example, a bottle designed such that it can be "clipped on" to belts - so great drink for hikers etc.
Hi Nadeera, I may have a point of view and which can become a differentiating factor for you. Install Fountains of Filtered Water at all the public places like Bus Stands, Markets, Malls and Multiplexes and sell purified and filtered water through the automated water dispensing systems into your customer's empty water bottle. You can give a refill of one liter bottle by accepting a coin of Rs.5 or sell coupons through retailers nearby to get water out of the machine. I have noticed that when we travel for a longer duration we love to carry our own water pitcher and loath for a facility where we can refill our water pitcher. If you create such kind of Water dispensing system which will guarantee 100 % pure and filtered water and when people will see it any many places of their convenience they will start carrying their water pitchers (In fact you can sell them your own branded good quality PU Pitcher at a price of course ) This business model will create lot many differentiators for for you
May be this sound a foolish idea but buying and selling bottled water also sounded a foolish idea in the beginning :) You should be be focussing on creating a Blue Ocean rather than finding means to swim the Red Ocean of competition.
Wish you all the best for your new venture
take a look at this...
You may like to have a look at my post "Water Water Everywhere" on http://www.himanshuagarwal.com
Instead of selling water bottles to them (Which costs 12 to 15 INR) why don't you sell single glass of water (obviously filtered) and also sell bottles if anyone wants. a glass must not cost more than 2 INR. you will get more customers, and that is also a good cause too.
install a automatic vending machine which is available in the market, if anyone puts up a coin the water will dispatch..
@Alok and other senior members might give a better insight on my idea.
Had an amazing experience when I visited Ahmedabad, 3 yrs back. Might be an option worth considering:
There's this hotel (and restaurant) near the railway station (name forgotten). It served packaged water free - best part was the brand was the same as the hotel. I believe it tasted quite decent.
My suggestion is that you may distribute your packaged water 'co-branded' with the restaurants, etc. It might be a very interesting proposition for the restaurants, which should pay a premium for this (they may or mat not choose to give it to consumers for free). You can create a long term lock-in with this kind of arrangement, also select the best channel partners - it will help them in branding too.
It carries the added advantage of having low customization cost as the basic product/packaging will be the same while the label on top would have to be customized. This would be a big 'differentiator' for sure!
All the best.