Water is the fountain of all life and is a prime need of the body. Over 60 percent of our body weight is made up of water. In Australia, most people are drinking tapped water directly at home, but while traveling or eating out in restaurants, buying bottled water has become one of the most popular choices This need has been well explored by some beverage producers, both local and overseas. So today there are various brands of drinking water in Australian market. Among them, Mount Franklin’ (start from 1994) has become Australia’s favourite water brand and the most recognized. This paper focuses on studying Mount Franklin’s marketing positioning strategy by using perceptual mapping method, in order to analyse a successful brand in drinking water industry and provide recommendations for a new brand that would like to enter into this market.
2. Marketing concepts
a. Market positioning
Positioning can be defined as ‘… the act of designing the company’s offering so that it occupies a meaningful and distinct position in the target customer’s mind.’(Jobber & Fahy, 2009) It is the final and fatal stage of the process of target marketing strategy which involves designing product features and image which are distinguishing from competitors in the existing market for the purpose of appealing to the specific target market segment. It is combined marketing strategies that result in how the organisation wants a product or brand to be perceived by the market. Positioning is directly related to brand values, market demographics and the image of the product in the marketplace. b. Perceptual mapping
Perceptual mapping is a diagrammatic technique used by asset marketers that attempts to visually display the perceptions of customers or potential customers.
3. Brands introducing
a. Mount Franklin
Owned by Coca-Cola Amatil, Mount Franklin took the leading position in Australian bottle water market in past decade, and accounted for 20% off-trade volume sales in 2012. According to Coca-Cola’s market research, Mount Franklin water has a 99 percent brand awareness and 43 percent of females aged 25-39 say that Mount Franklin is their favourite brand. b. Mount Franklin’s market positioning strategy
Mount Franklin represents and promotes an overall sense of wellbeing. Young female model Jennifer Hawkins as brand celebrity which promotes the healthy and fresh image of its product. Make the brand closely associated to the community; to this end Mount Franklin has established the Drink Positive, Think Positive, campaign. Moreover, the brand has enhanced this connection through its community partnerships with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Make consumers feel the purchase of Mount Franklin as helping themselves and the environment by changing the package to “the easy-crush bottle” which is good for the environment as well as being similar to that of the original product. The new 600ml Mount Franklin Easy-Crush Bottle is made with 35% less plastic and has a carbon footprint which is 27% lighter than the previous bottle. Be of support to Australian economy by consuming Mount Franklin water as the local brand. c. Other brands in Australian market
Along with the number one bands, there are hundreds of other drinking water brands in Australian market. Although hardly close to Mount Franklin’s leading position, some of them are making rational market share, including Pump (another drinking water brands owned by Coca-Cola), Evian, NU Pure, Mount Lofty, Coles bottled water, Woolworth bottled water, etc.
4. A perceptual map of drinking water market in Australia
A perceptual map could be in two dimensions or multiple dimensions, depending on the attributes taken into consideration when analysing a target market.
As a necessity of life, quality of water is most critical attribute when people choose a bottled water. ‘Mount Franklin’ spring water is collected locally and bottled daily. It is filtered three times via micro filters, to eliminate any tiny particles naturally found in spring water. This ensures that every bottle of ‘Mount Franklin’ is of exceptional purity and quality.
Drinking water, as a commercial product, its price ranks secondly important. Usually, consumers will compare the price accessible in marketplace when purchasing a product. Mount Franklin’s prices vary from store to store. In CCA vending machines the price for a 600mL bottle is $3.00, which comparably higher.
It is about how easily consumers could purchase a target product and make an important role in fast moving consumer goods industry including drinking water. Mount Franklin is found widely in supermarkets, convenience stores, vending machines and other vendor services e.g. petrol stations and newsagents.
d. Brand awareness
Consumers are more likely to choose a well-known brand when the face more than one options. As mentioned before, Mount Franklin water has a 99 percent brand awareness in Australia.
e. Design and packaging
Stylish design in package may attract more attention, by printing Jennifer Hawkins’ image on light sparking water bottle wrap, it is thought to be fashionable by some young people to hold a bottle of that water.
f. Perceptual Mapping
Technically, it is hard to draw a perceptual map by taking all these attributes into consideration. Three of them will be demonstrated in the following diagram:
g. Analyse on perceptual mapping
Usually, brands with high awareness in public price higher on their products, meanwhile, high quality is required to maintain the positive image in consumers. As drinking product, consumers are more likely to make decisions rely on the brand awareness. Price is also an important attribute, so the products with reasonable price also make good sales. Big brands such as Coles and Woolworth can easily develop related ancillary products by using their brands influence.
As a critical strategy, positioning plays a significant role in making market decisions. As an efficient tool, perceptual mapping provides marketer a visual indication of consumers’ perception of how a brand or a product compares with its competitors. An important point should be mentioned here, the position of a brand is moveable rather than fixed. (which related another marketing process i.e. repositioning) By examining the positions regularly of their own and competitors, marketers may decide where and when necessary make a change to their position. 6. Recommendations
As a new brand planning to enter into a specific market, it is an effective way of getting a related perceptual mapping to analyse the target market. It is also critical to position the brand in a reasonable way. Usually it is a wise choice for a new brand to start from the market with less competitors. Sometimes companies that are located in similar position in conceptual map might not competitors. Mount Franklin set a good example of positioning brands with social connection.
David J. and John F. 2009, Foundations of marketing, 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill higher Education,5: 120-122 Dong J. K., Woo G. K. and Jin S. H., A perceptual mapping mapping of online travel agencies and preference attributes. Tourist Management 28 (2007) 591-603 Liz H. and Terry O.2004, Foundation marketing, 3rd ed., Prentice Hall,6:167-169 Australia’s First Bottled Water Brand 2012, Mount Franklin, viewed 3 April 2014, http://mountfranklinwater.com.au/our-story/ Australian-bottled-water-market-led-by-Coca-Cola-s-Mount-Franklin, viewed 3 April,2014, http://www.companiesandmarkets.com/News/Food-and-Drink/Australian-bottled-water-market-led-by-Coca-Cola-s-Mount-Franklin/NI8553 Mount Franklin, Drink Positive, Think Positive, viewed 3 April 2014, http://prezi.com/yjdi190hvzko/copy-of-copy-of-copy-of-mount-franklin/