It’s common knowledge that 1 in 3 businesses will fail, and major startups are no exception. Baby Boomster revealed that that a bottled water company called Waiakea Water founded by a recent college graduate in 2012 is now worth $10 million is nothing short of incredible. The company has been able to penetrate the competitive bottled water industry by positioning itself at the luxury end of the spectrum and by appealing to the health-conscious and philanthropic values of today’s consumers.
Founder Ryan Emmons had the goal of founding a new bottled water company that would market the alkaline water from one of the purest sources on earth, Waiakea Springs, located in Hawaii. The key to his success has been astute branding with the company launched on a platform of sustainability, social responsibility, and health.
According to PR News Wire, Waiakea water has used profits to provide millions of liters of drinking water to water-insecure places Africa. In addition, the brand’s water production is certified as “Carbon Neutral” and uses recycled materials to produce packaging. This commitment to philanthropy has helped the startup achieve unbelievable levels of growth at an annual average rate of 170%. Waiakea Water is already available at luxury retailers such as Wawa and Whole Foods and is even being retailed at international locations.
The source of the water is the top of the Mauna Loa volcano, which is surrounded by millions in ocean-front real estate. The water comes from snow and rain that falls on the Mauna Loa’s snow-capped peak.
According to Emmons, it was not easy to break into the competitive industry. In a Forbes interview, the entrepreneur recounted that most executives in the sector are baby-boomers and generation-Xers, and that millennials have trouble fitting into that world. In general, it isn’t an industry that’s open to change or that welcomes newcomers, and this made Emmons’ success no small feat.
This is why Emmons and Waiakea water went for the higher-end of the sector. However, part of Emmons vision has been to change all that, and to bring the industry in line with the values of a new generation. Thanks to his perseverance, the bottled water industry will never be the same again.