How Passionate People Grow Brands Others Passionately Want to Fail

Last Updated Oct 31, 2007 6:30 PM EDT

smart-water.jpgAs the public grows more aware of the environmental impacts of purchasing decisions, it's becoming controversial to buy bottled water -- not to mention unnecessary if you choose the purified type (as opposed to glacial or spring); anyone can make it with a filtration system. Coca-Cola's SmartWater is just that, but with added electrolytes. While celebrity spokespeople -- like Jennifer Aniston, and recently hired, all-American sports superstar Tom Brady -- sweeten the value-added image, Coke needs to continue with its environmental efforts to combat threats to the industry.

Coca-Cola tried to squash one such threat this summer, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome proposed a resolution to highlight the importance of municipal water and study the impact of bottled water on city waste. Unfortunately for Coke, those efforts proved futile. But bottled water sales aren't yet suffering. ACNielsen North America shows sales are up 11 percent in the year ending September 8. The growth is lower than in the previous 12-month period, when sales rose to 18 percent -- but according to Gary Hemphill, managing director at a New York research and consulting firm, moderation is a byproduct of the increased demand.

SmartWater strategy (according to a spokesperson): to "hire passionate people to grow this brand."

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(SmartWater image courtesy of MegElizabeth, cc 2.0)