Monday, April 23, 2012

1 touchpoint at a time: building a Power Brand Experience like Glacéau vitaminwater

On the occasion of my 8th year of "BRAND INNOVATION," I'm looking back at the key concepts that influenced my perspective on power branding.

The Glacéau story is a tale of how a small beverage start-up literally invented an entire new category – “enhanced water” – and then mixed an interesting marketing cocktail that helped vitaminwater became a powerhouse brand… seemingly overnight.

Driving it all was Rohan Oza, Senior VP, and his Glacéau marketing team, the quarterbacks of a unique marketing mix connecting a growing brand portfolio with millions of consumers through a number of experiential channels, including the groundbreaking “try-it” campaign, all of which are helping to cement vitaminwater and now smartwater as the hottest brands around. 

I had a chance to meet Rohan at an experiential summit conference in Chicago.

His road to success had been truly unique, and here are the insights which can be learned from Glacéau.

To become the all-day brand – morning, noon, and night –  Glacéau created a “Fifth Degree Wheel” to illustrate the touchpoints on which it would focus brand experiences.

With this wheel, the team studied the industry and researched what iconic brands have made it through the years and why. They built a foundational belief that their brand could be as big as those other big, well-known brands. 

In general, they focused on what people want and created customer loyalty by having a brand personality with a purpose.

Specifically, Oza and his team developed a recipe for successful brand experiences with three key ingredients:
  • Product – Grassroots vehicles of promotion focused on product trial
  • Partners – Attract the right partners, even engaging the high-profile celebrity endorsers in revenue sharing contracts
  • People - Hire passionate people in every discipline and passionate agency teams who will reflect the brand

To see a sampling of the vitaminwater brand campaign, go to

Building brands one touchpoint at a time: Applications for other power brands

I have a philosophy in planning groups, events, and media that you should somehow, somewhere, dominate something. So you can begin at almost any touchpoint to make an impact with a more meaningful, more relevant brand experience than your competition.

I created this template to list some of the touchpoints you have in interacting with your most important customers – then capture what’s working well at that point and what could make the experience extraordinary.

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