Retail Merchandising Strategy
According to Doug, "Our strategy was 3 parts, competitive pricing, developing direct filtration performance criteria against the competition and creating a unique blue pitcher to clearly stand out on the shelf against the competitors clear plastic pitchers".
Doug added a unique piece to the product, "We included an inexpensive Total Dissolved Solids Meter in the package. The consumer could quickly see that Zero Water really has zero impurities after filtration." The Total Dissolved Solids meter was an important part of the new product launch since it establishes brand credibility with consumer - they were not only making a promise of zero impurities in the water, they were empowering the consumer to validate that claim. The Check TDS Reading page on the Zero Water site lets the user see just how "bad" their local water is and adds to the benefit claims the brand makes.
Target loved Zero Water's merchandising strategy, "I spoke with a senior person at Target and they have a Good, Better, Best component to their retail merchandising strategy. Upon evaluating Zero Water for distribution the buyer told me they finally saw we were the Best!." This "Best" in class factor allowed Target to charge a premium price for superior performance allowing Zero Water to capture more revenue and profits.
On to the Consumers Plate (Glass)
Zero Water decided their product positioning was a bundle of Taste, Safety and Purity. This product positioning resonates with customers who are serious about their water and are environmentally aware in a practical way as opposed to zealots.
As with all early stage entrepreneurial ventures, there are no large advertising budgets. Social Media plays an important part in Zero Water's marketing efforts.
They created a Facebook Fan Page and used the viral nature of social media to promote the TDS meter. The meter that is included in the water pitcher box has s sticker on it with the Facebook URL encouraging customers to join the Facebook Fan page and share the meter results with other Zero Water fans.
The Zero Water web site created a page, test your tap .A visitor to the site can enter their zip code to see the water quality in their area. If the Zip code has not data, the customer will enter their zip code and readings from the TDS meter.
Approximate 20% of customers register their purchase on the Zero Water web site allowing the company to create a powerful consumer database. They aggressively seek out "mommy bloggers" sending product samples for the bloggers to review. Future plans include following blog discussions for greater insight into consumer product usage and ideas for new product development.