Has anyone noticed the amount of press that AQUAhydrate has gotten recently? After their rebranding effort in 2012, they have reached some significant milestones. Most recently, they gained more national availability in the grocery channel with new distribution agreements at Safeway and Kroger’s. They secured even more publicity after Mark Wahlberg and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs announced they were partnering with AQUAhydrate to help develop and execute the beverage brand’s business strategy. What does all this mean for the brand and for Canadian consumers? Will their continued success lead to stronger availability in Canada? And how will celebrity partnerships help the beverage refreshment perform better?
Let’s answer the latter question first: will celebrity partnerships with Mark Wahlberg and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs help deliver stronger business performance? It all starts with making the right choices; there must be mutual benefits beyond previous arrangements like the celebrity endorsement compensated financially. When you are endorsing a beverage or any other product, you are mainly communicating the product or service benefits to the public. There is no guarantee that you believe in its success or benefits – you are simply saying what you’ve been paid to say in order to make money. However, what more and more companies realize that without any vested interest from the celebrity, it’s mainly a one-way transaction. There is no passion for the refreshment beyond the financials.
Through this realization, more companies are finding celebrities that truly believe in the product’s success. Diet Coke found Jean-Paul Gaultier, Taylor Swift, and Marc Jacobs. Pepsi found Beyonce. Evian has been doing this for years, and has found a plethora of fashion designers willing to put their mark on collectible glass bottles each year. All these celebrities are not just being paid to talk up their favorite beverage, rather they are involved with the business in some shape or form. Beyonce is involved with Pepsi’s creative process and how the soda brand is represented to music fans worldwide. In a similar sense, Wahlberg and Combs are expected to be involved with the business strategy component for AQUAhydrate. They are expected to actively participate in helping get AQUAhydate into more grocery stores and more consumer shopping carts. The fact that both celebrities chose to partner with AQUAhydrate, they must believe in the beverage’s business prospects and how they can add value. Therefore, this business partnership should stand a very high chance of success.
To answer the former question on what this means to Canadian retailers and consumers, the new distribution arrangements should help. Safeway is a grocery chain with an American presence as well as a Canadian presence, so the incremental distribution for AQUAhydrate could likely be the result of having the refreshment merchandised in Canadian Safeway grocery stores. Some research and a quick question to the AQUAhydrate team revealed that the water beverage is indeed found in Safeway stores, as well as most Canadian GNC and Quebec Couche-Tard outlets. Some readers have said that the beverage brand was also found in high-end grocery stores, so it can be expected that AQUAhydrate will continue to expand its Canadian presence.
Since its September rebranding effort, AQUAhydrate has rebounded and made some great strides forward. With its expanded distribution and strong celebrity partnerships, there’s no doubt that the beverage brand is primed for even more success in the future. With Walhberg and Combs on board to help with the business strategy, who knows what celebrity wants to sign on next with the brand to help propel it to new heights?