4. You are the head of strategy at an agency that has been asked to pitch for the S'well bottle account. Describe three hypotheses you would have your team explore to ensure S'well gains a bigger share of the "hydration device" market.
S’well has cornered the market on fashionable, eco-friendly hydration devices. By creating a sleek collection of bottles that fit most people’s daily needs, S’well has created a fan base of loyal customers that often buy multiple bottles. Although S’well seems to have nailed down a significant portion of the “hydration device” market, there were four major complaints consumers had with the design of S’well products.
Bottle dents when dropped, decreasing aesthetic appeal.
Paint eventually wears or chips.
Bottle opening is too small to add cubed ice.
Doesn’t hold enough water.
These complaints led to the development of the following hypotheses to help S’well expand their share of the “hydration device” market.
Hypothesis #1 – The Adventurer Collection
We believe that the recently released Sport collection could be supplemented to reach a new base of customers. We propose the Adventurer collection. This bottle design would appeal to fans of extreme sports, such as surfing, skateboarding, rock climbing, kayaking and mountain biking. This product would be modified from the less popular Traveler line to appeal to customers seeking more functionality and sturdiness. The Adventurer would be an easily portable bottle that can take a bruising and still look good.
The Adventurer collection will hold larger quantities of liquid- 20, 40 and 60 ounces- as opposed to the 12, 16 and 20 ounce Traveler collection. The bottle would mimic the Traveler in form with the slightly wider mouth for ice cubes. A silicone bottom would be fitted under the S’well logo to prevent dents and scrapes, and a Sports Cap with a rubber latch option (used in the Roamer collection) will improve portability. The Adventurer collection would solve the common grievances with the classic S’well bottle shape without compromising the S’well aesthetic.
Hypothesis #2 – Partnerships and Brand Ambassadors
Our second strategy is to partner with other eco-friendly companies such as Patagonia that share a similar consumer demographic. We have based this hypothesis on the success of the S’well x Target partnership that created the bright and playful S’ip collection.
Partnering with Patagonia would include the creation of unique, limited edition custom bottles to be sold in Patagonia stores. This partnership would also help promote the Adventurer collection to outdoor enthusiasts. Both companies would receive good press and further align themselves with eco-friendly initiatives (1). Lastly, Patagonia and S’well would have greater access to each other’s customer bases that would promote sales.
We also encourage partnering with brand ambassadors. S’well ambassadors would test products for free in exchange for promoting them on social media. This would expand the S’well reach to a wider and potentially younger demographic. Incorporating brand ambassadors- yoga instructors, fashion designers, artists and musicians- into the S’well marketing strategy would keep the classic “bottle” shape in the public eye and boost sales with little cost. For the new Adventurer collection, brand ambassadors could include celebrity kayakers, rock climbers, snowboarders and other professional athletes to generate interest from outdoor adventurers needing a water bottle with more durability and capacity. This strategy will allow S’well to reach a portion of the "hydration device" market that has yet to be optimized.
Hypothesis #3 – Expand Sustainability Efforts
S’well CEO Sarah Kauss is committed to eliminating plastic water bottles and increasing access to clean water around the world (1). One tangible strategy for advancing the mission to eradicate plastic waste from disposable water bottles is to transform the plastic waste into a profitable resource and product.
New 3D printing technology makes it possible to create thread fully out of disposable plastic water bottles (2). This 100% recycled plastic thread can then be used to create a customizable S’well bottle carrying sleeve. The thread is comparable to the material used in the popular Nike Flyknit sneakers which have been very successful since their introduction to the market in 2013 (3). These knit carrying sleeves will fit snugly with all S’well bottle shapes, come in fashionable patterns and protect the bottle from becoming damaged. Directly reducing the amount of plastic garbage in landfills in a trendy way will enable S’well to elevate their sustainability efforts, generate sales and ultimately attain a larger share of the “hydration device” market.