Services Marketing - Australian Bottled Water Industry

2341 words 10 pages

The Australian bottled water industry has been growing rapidly over the past decade. Many Australians drink bottled water on a regular basis, and on average consumed 21.2 litres per person (Australian Bureau of Statistics) in 2001. The boom in consumption of bottled water has moved the product beyond the niche market and into the mainstream as it has become a staple to many Australians. Many people drink bottled water today simply because they prefer the taste to that of tap water or perceive it to have more purity. Other reasons behind the explosion in bottled water consumption are: consumers' passion for fitness which guides them to fewer caloric beverages; increased accessibility of bottled water via convenience stores,
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Product symbolism is what the product means to consumers and the broad spectrum of feelings they experience in purchasing and using it, such as arousal, excitement or pleasure (Cass & Frost, 2002, pp.67-88). It also refers to the image that a particular item evokes in the minds of consumers. Leiss et al. (1986) describe products as symbols, with connected meanings which define what is valued by the consumer. For certain consumer groups the purchase of bottled water is not just to satisfy thirst but is also a reflection of their social standing and environment. Evian was one of the first companies to recognise this need of consumers and aimed their product at the female market. MiZone commercials show athletic people competing against each other with the victory always going to the consumer of the particular brand.

Brands create value for the consumer through potential benefits of recognition of significant others, create positive feelings, aid self-expression, coupled with an overall feeling of having personal "good taste" in brand choice (Langer, 1997, pp.206-19). Status brands in particular have higher perceived quality, luxury or prestige ascribed to them and their consumption. Status enhancing brands may be used as a means to an end, such as making a desired impression on others via their symbolism. Perrier and Glacier are synonymous with distinctive bottles which coupled with


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