My husband and I enjoyed a backpacking trip over Labor Day weekend on the Lone Star Hiking Trail. Even in the middle of the woods, I couldn’t help thinking about marketing and the corporate world! So, I’ve got a quick 3-part series of posts with some of my thoughts from the backpacking trip.
When trekking through the woods for a few days, you either pack all your water, or find water sources along the trail. The water sources along the trail need to be purified, so we used chlorine drops to make the trail water safe. It struck me that most bottled water companies advertise their bottled water as some variation of the message “pure, straight from the source.” There’s usually a picture of a rushing stream, or a lake surrounded by mountains. They sell this water at a premium, and people swear that “pure stream water” tastes much better than “fresh mountain water”. But here I am, LITERALLY getting water directly from the source, and I can’t sell it at a premium… in fact, it’s basically free (I suppose we can count the pennies worth of drops used to purify the water in the cost, but that’s trivial). I think most people would agree that my drops-induced creek water tastes a little funny, and isn’t worth paying top dollar.
On the flip side, if you’re without water in a desert, you’ll pay top dollar for ANY water, not just the fresh, purified stream water. At the point of dehydration, you might not even care if the water is purified at all, figuring a stomach ache is worth the risk to avoid the possibly fatal effects of going for days without water. We weren’t in dire need of water, but we were glad to find this little creek on our route. This creek water was much more satisfying than the lake water (confession: I couldn’t drink the lake water… it was just too gross-looking!).
Thus, my water in the woods is ironically not a “premium” product, even though it lives up to the “straight from the source” marketing, but it would become a premium product if it were more scarce. This was a fun realization in nature, and I look forward to sharing my other insights from the weekend!