Water is water, right? Everybody selling water is in the business of selling H2O. If anything was a hopeless case for commoditization and price collapse, it should be bottled water. Most cities in America can now deliver very clean, safe water right to the tap – at 0.0025 per gallon.
But bottled water companies like Waikea, Fiji, Aquafina and Desani have been tremendously successful in branding their products, affiliating themselves with target markets, associating themselves with positive lifestyles, creating a positive customer experience, and getting a premium price. Customers pay between 400 and 4,400 times more for bottled water than they do for tap water, and the premium water market continues to grow.
Financial advisors face a similar dynamic.