Here is the ultimate example of the value of good marketing and packaging: bling H2O, which is basically glorified water in a really pretty bottle, that costs as much as some people in the world make in a year.
People pay more for water already when it’s in the form of mineral water. But in that case, there are qualitative arguments that are made about the taste and quality of water. Whether these arguments are right or wrong is anybody’s guess, but at least people are paying for quality.
With Bling H2O, it’s all about the bottle and the brand. Yes, bling H2O touts their nine-step purification process and their gold medal for best tasting water, but it really comes down to the Swarovski crystals:
Bling H2O is the inspiration of Kevin G. Boyd, Hollywood writer-producer….he noticed that you could tell a lot about a person by the bottled water they carried. In Hollywood, it seemed as if people flaunted their bottled water like it was part of their presentation….[Bling H2O is] couture water that makes an announcement like a Rolls Royce Phantom…the “Cristal” of bottled water….Bling H2O is pop-culture in a bottle. But it’s not for everyone, just those that Bling. So the question is: Do You Bling?
Fancy H2O is as crazy as fancy MP3
If you think that people who are willing to sacrifice their children’s college funds for a water bottle are crazy, then I invite you to examine one of the world’s hottest gadgets: the iPod. The iPod is pretty much just a glorified MP3 player. But people refuse to believe it.
Yesterday while on the elliptical machine at my gym (don’t get excited, I’ve been there all of three times), the women on either side of me began discussing iPods. The woman without the iPod asked the woman with the iPod if she liked it, and if she should get one herself. Woman-with-iPod said that it’s amazing, she loves it, and she should definitely get one. They decided that woman-without-iPod should get an iPod shuffle, since it’s less expensive but also great.
The iPod shuffle to me is a like a blind iPod. You can’t see anything in it or on it, and you’re at its mercy. So I butted in (as I tend to do), and suggested to woman-without-iPod that she buy a regular MP3 player. “What?” said woman-with-iPod. “Yeah,” I said. “I bought one at Office Depot for 150 NIS, and it’s great. “Does it work?” she asked incredulously. “Of course,” said I, “it’s a Sandisk so it’s pretty sturdy, and it does what I need it to do.”
People LOVE their Apple gadgets. They take it personally if you talk against them. They’ll claim that the reason that they love them is because they are so superior to any other gadgets out there. But the real reason that they love them is because they love the brand, the design, and the packaging. They love being part of the Apple experience. They love feeling like they have bling.
If you Bling it, they will come
I guess people want to feel Blingy all the time, and in the US those with excess amounts of disposable income (i.e. rolling in the dough) are running out of ways. So Kevin has come along and given them a way to feel Blingy even while drinking water, which is something they probably do pretty often. And so, people will shell out cash for the privilege of holding a Limited Edition, corked, 750 ml, reusable frosted glass bottle of Bling, handcrafted with Swarovski Crystals. For thirty seconds until they finish drinking. But it’s 30 seconds of Bling heaven, which is apparently worth a fortune.
To sum up: Bling sells. Make people feel like they have Bling, and they’ll pay you a lot of money. And then you can finally buy that iPhone you’ve been coveting.