In the mid 90’s the bottle water wars took off between coke and pepsi. Following the environmental effects of the huge uptick in plastic usage upon its acceptance, some niche markets took to creating more permanent containers – True2o considered something else.
Instead of their product offering ending when its delivered to the store, they reclaim their bottles and thus turn water into a service model. Ironically, its a small modification to the larger water cooler days that have almost disappeared across silicon valley. In addition to it being better for the environment, it benefits both the manufacturer and consumer. The manufacturer saves on raw materials, and the consumer doesn’t really experience much change. Especially if they are getting True2o from their employer, which is a big part of their roll out strategy.
It raises the question what happens to a brands equity as it moves from being a product to a service? As a product becomes a commodity, a brand needs to differentiate itself from the competition. If within a incremental price point, sustainability or a brand’s mission can be valuable enough to a consumer to give it a try. Today’s consumer loves a brand with a conscious.