Opinion

Flow Alkaline Spring Water: Making a Splash in the Premium Category through Innovation, Sustainability and Influence

Written by Nicholas Reichenbach

Since inception in 2015, Flow Alkaline Spring Water has seen 400% year-over-year growth, advanced the sustainability of their packaging and created meaningful partnerships with internationally recognized celebrities. These factors have contributed to successfully placing them on the map in a premium category. Here, CEO and founder, Nicholas Reichenbach shares his insights. 

Photo credit: Flow/Instagram

An understanding of what makes your brand unique and identifying your key consumer is fundamental to stand out in a crowded category. 

Insights on key consumer and target demographics can be commissioned through independent reports to reveal what this group values, what they find important and what they’re willing to spend their hard-earned dollars on. 

Understanding what motivates this group ultimately results in knowledge of what drives them to purchase and, in turn, become loyal repeat consumers, and – if lucky – organic brand ambassadors. By exploring commonalities between a brand and its key consumer, brands are able to create a platform for themselves to stand out among competitors and deepen brand recognition en masse. At Flow, we’re mindful in all aspects of our lives, love our bodies and the environment and have aligned ourselves with a network of consumers, partners, advisors, investors, staff and more, that feel the same. 

In capitalizing on the fact that drinking pure, naturally alkaline spring water AND lessening our environmental impact are good for us, we were able to establish Flow’s mission to tackle both and resonate with a consumer who feels the same. We attribute the success of being able to create a differentiated space for Flow and own a piece of market share in the premium water category to dedicating time and attention to the following areas: innovation, sustainability and influence. 

INNOVATION

Innovation within an organization is essential to continued success. We’ve found innovation by continuing to push the limits with our product in a way that still resonates with our target consumer. Not all innovation has to be over-the-top; for Flow, we’ve introduced new flavours, advanced our package and increased availability in retailers across the globe. In this way, we’ve seen growth and exposure while still reaching our key consumer.  

SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability is at the ethos of Flow and becoming more important to consumers across the globe. For me, finding the give back was easy – I have been aware of environmental impact and nature from a young age and we’ve recognized the importance of this with our consumer. Our sustainability platform has seen advancements over the past few years and we’re on track to have an over 90% renewable package in 2020. Highlighting the source of our water and the package has become a key component of brand recognition with consumers worldwide. 

INFLUENCE

This year we’ve announced two amazing partnerships, each unique in their own way and reaching a different audience and consumer. Earlier this year, we launched the first 360-degree marketing campaign with wellness spokesperson Gwyneth Paltrow – reaching our primary consumer and expanding sales in the UK. Secondly, we signed a deal with artist Shawn Mendes and manager Andrew Gertler as investors and advisors to the brand. The partnership with Gwyneth Paltrow seeks to advance global sales whereas the partnership with Shawn Mendes and manager Andrew Gertler increases brand awareness with a new demographic while advancing Flow’s sustainability platform. These partnerships, though different, both contribute to brand evolution and growth. Identifying partners that truly align with a brand and its audience create authentic relationships that consumers can get excited about. 

Realizing what sets a particular brand apart and the characteristics that make it unique are integral to making a splash in a premium category. These characteristics solidify a brand’s mission and over-arching values, which lends itself to identifying and resonating with key consumers. Finding the factor that differentiates a brand is what will set you apart as a leader, grow your customer base and encourage organic brand ambassadorship across the globe.