Aquafina, the bottled water brand owned by soft drink giant PepsiCo, had the second largest share of the bottled water market in the United States as of 2009. Aquafina attracts and retains new and existing customers by implementing a full service marketing strategy that includes traditional advertising initiatives, social media marketing, promotions and new product launches.
Aquafina utilizes a variety of traditional advertising tactics such as print, radio and TV as well as online marketing and digital strategies that include the social media portals Facebook and MySpace, and consumer-generated viral videos hosted on YouTube.
Aquafina essentially sells a brand. In the crowded bottled water market, companies must differentiate their commodities from competitors. "If there weren’t any branding in the water category, the business would eventually go 100 percent to price and to private label," says Robert Lynn, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Global Beverage Systems. In Aquafina's case, the brand differentiates itself among smaller brands through its affiliation with PepsiCo as well as its purification process in which "virtually all of the natural minerals are removed from the water, giving it a light, mellow taste," reports the web site My Spring Water.
Aquafina also regularly offers consumer promotions in the form of contests, coupons and giveaways as part of its overall marketing mix. Additionally, Aquafina is the official sponsor of Major League Baseball.
Introducing new products and accompanying promotions sets many legacy brands apart from fresher competitors. In recent years, Aquafina has introduced flavored water, sparkling water and an entire line of skin care and body products under the Aquafina banner. In 2009, Aquafina announced its Eco-Fina bottle, which uses 50 percent less plastic than the previous 2002 bottle.