Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bottled Water Tip #5

Bottled Water Tip #5

Advertising and promoting your business.

Advertising can cost a lot of money, and when you're starting a business, money can be scarce. However, it's imperative that you quickly establish a direct line of communication with your customers and prospects, telling them what makes your product different from your competition. A chief reason why many start-up businesses fail is that they didn't allow enough upfront money for advertising and promotion.

Purpose of advertising and promotion.

The primary reason to advertise is to tell consumers you are in business. You want to open a direct line of communication with your customers and prospects, and the most efficient way to do this is to advertise. You must create a perceived need for your product and you must differentiate your product from that of your competition. Businesses can also communicate their message effectively by sponsoring community-based events such as athletic events. Since bottled water carries with it a "healthy" image, these events are naturals. You should also make yourself highly visible in your community, joining business and civic groups. In short, make your presence known.

Develop a positioning statement.

The first step toward implementing your marketing efforts is to develop a positioning statement - a brief sentence summarizing why your product is better than your competition. What makes your water better than the competition? Perhaps your source water comes from a spring and your competitor's comes from tap water. A good positioning statement in this case might be, "We're the only bottled water company in town that uses spring water." Whatever you can truthfully claim makes your water different or your service better should be the core of your advertising message.

How much money should I spend?

You can create a budget based on a percentage of your projected income for the coming year (the cost method). Three percent is typical among companies that use this method. The upside is that you can keep your advertising investment low. Or, you can determine what you need to do to establish your brand in the minds of your prospective customers (the task method) and then estimate how much it will cost.

To create a realistic budget, start by calling your local newspaper and radio and television stations to ask about their advertising rates. They'll be happy to send an account representative to describe the various advertising packages they offer. Often, they will offer free creative production for your ad materials if you buy space in their newspaper or time on their stations.

Many start-up companies fail to budget enough resources for advertising. Most are out of business within a couple of years. Remember, effective advertising pays.

Norland International designs and manufactures a complete line of turnkey bottling plants for the PET market, equipment for bottling 3- to 5-gallon bottles, as well as pretreatment systems, ozone systems and commercial distillers. Norland also offers a comprehensive "how-to" guide for a successful bottling operation, which contains extensive information of FDA regulations, testing parameters and other information pertaining to the FDA's general food Good Manufacturing Practices. For more information go to the Norland website at