Created a Category
of One in Bottled Water
Sources: BevNET, Foodnavigator.com
Essentia Water 360° Brand Development
The State of the Brand
When we began collaborating with the Essentia leadership team, this brand of ionized alkaline water had been in business for 20 years and was the #1 specialty premium water in Whole Foods. And yet the company had never been profitable.
Leadership was frustrated and scrambling to turn the tide. They’d hired several top agencies to do killer branding and packaging, but consumers still misunderstood the brand and the product’s unique properties. A rep from the client’s previous agency threw up his hands and said, “c’mon, water is water.”
How We Helped
Essentia engaged our 360° Brand Strategy Development to audit the previous strategy work. Our investigation turned up research that proved that Essentia is twice as rehydrating as regular bottled water—a clear competitive advantage that other outside partners had pooh-poohed as not believable.
Too, their customer research was outdated and narrow. The team envisioned their audience as a white L.A. female who’s into yoga on the beach, but when we went out into the marketplace, we found that actual buyers were younger and more diverse, people who needed effective hydration to power through a day of outdoor work or vigorous activity.
Backed by the science and the insight, we translated the position into credible, relatable language anchored by a new tagline: Overachieving H20. We developed a manifesto: We’re here to put a flag in the ground and tell the world that a better you starts with a better water. We transformed the brand logo into a flag-like icon.
In one year, the brand saw 184% growth and shot from $80M to $284M in the first 18 months — not because they were getting new retailers, but because the product was flying off the shelf. Essentia became the fastest-growing performance water brand in the U.S. And in 2021, Essentia was acquired by Nestlé USA for an estimated $1 billion.
- Unleashed our 360° Brand Strategy Development, Audience Insights, Research & Insights, Brand Positioning, Visual Strategy.
- Transformed a One of Many specialty water brand into a Beloved & Dominant leader by reimagining the target audience and repositioning the brand.
- Generated 184% growth in Year 1.
- Created the fastest-growing performance water brand in the U.S.
“Our team couldn’t be more positive or excited about the new strategy, packaging, and integrated marketing system. We are exceeding monthly numbers far beyond what we could even imagine.”
– Karyn Abrahamson, CMO, Essentia Water
We helped Essentia change the bottled water category. What’s your brand’s growth challenge?