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Description of the Company
The history of Evian begins in 1789. At that time, the Marquis of Lessert went through Cachat and tried water from the Saint Catherine spring (“An extraordinary saga of health and lifestyles,” n.d.). After trying the water, the Marquis stated that it cured his illnesses (he had had problems with his liver and kidneys). Sixty-one years later, a public company appeared and took the name of Cachat, becoming the first French company to sell bottled water. However, the company’s first bottles of water were released only in 1878, when the French Ministry of Health re-authorized the company’s bottling license due to the approval of the Medicine Academy (“An extraordinary saga of health and lifestyles,” n.d.). At the beginning of the 20th century, Evian switched to glass bottles that were manufactured by one of the Owens-Illinois branches (“An extraordinary saga of health and lifestyles,” n.d.).
The first bottles made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) appeared in 1969. In 1970, Danone (previously known as the BSN Group) acquired the company and became a full-fledged shareholder of Evian (“An extraordinary saga of health and lifestyles,” n.d.). Due to the popularity of its water, the company managed to expand, and in 1978, it made its way to the market of the United States of America. At the end of the 20th century, Evian started to produce water in bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) (“An extraordinary saga of health and lifestyles,” n.d.). Currently, the company is still owned by Danone. The Evian brand also relates to a luxury resort in France and a number of organic skincare products that are promoted by the Danone Group (“An extraordinary saga of health and lifestyles,” n.d.).
The first competitive advantage of the company that is worth mentioning is trustworthiness. Evian is loyal to their principles and customers. Compared to other companies, Evian is much more respected for their straightforwardness and willingness to deliver only high-quality products, despite any complications (Gleick, 2014). The second competitive advantage of the company relates to its marketing strategy. Evian was able to turn their vision into a profitable business without misleading their customers (Gleick & Cooley, 2012). They position themselves as pure water suppliers, and they support their claims with action, along with an excellent taste and high quality of the product. Evian maintains a strong presence on social media and loves to engage its customers in different activities.
When it comes to the strengths of the company, Evian highly values the origin of their water. Evian emphasizes the filtration process that their water goes through. It is safe to say that this type of attention to detail positively affects consumer outlook by explicitly pointing to the purity of the end product (Jones, Hillier, & Comfort, 2014). Moreover, Evian was one of the pioneers of the bottled water industry. They were able to build up a sort of heritage, create a flawless business image, and transform a small company into one of the most renowned water companies in the world. Another strength of Evian includes its popularity among consumers who prefer high-quality products (Russell, 2014). Moreover, a major part of Evian’s customer base considers the concept of healthy water to be the core asset of the company. They love the “natural” background of this brand, and Evian does not hesitate to promote their product in order to reach all possible market segments.
One of the most evident weaknesses of the company is the cost of water distribution. The problem consists in the fact that the French Alps are the only source of water utilized by Evian. Apparently, the existing trends impose the necessity to provide local products instead of shipping them from one location only (Kapferer, 2012). Another weakness is a logical extension of the first one due to the fact that Evian must compete with a number of authoritative rivals such as Highland Springs. Overall, the competition in this market segment is rather strong, and Evian has to come up with innovative strategies if they want to continue to be a market leader (Kapferer, 2012).
One of the key opportunities available to Evian is a review of the recyclability of their bottles. More specifically, the company should consider switching from PET to rPET bottles. It is imperative to mention that they have already started selling water in rPET bottles, so it will be interesting to trace their success in the market (Jones et al., 2014). Another opportunity relates to new promotional options such as billboards and bus stop advertisements. Such advertising will help Evian encourage purchasing habits in traveling people and extend the company’s customer base.
When talking about threats, Evian may be exposed to huge criticism regarding the company’s massive emissions of CO2. These emissions are due to the fact that the company’s water comes from only one source, meaning that container ships have to travel all around the world in order to ship it (Gleick & Cooley, 2012). Another threat relates to other water companies. Evian may be tremendously impacted by industry competitors such as Mountain Valley, Nestle, and many more.
An extraordinary saga of health and lifestyles. (n.d.). Web.
Gleick, P. H. (2014). Bottled and sold: The story behind our obsession with bottled water. Washington, DC: Island Press.
Gleick, P. H., & Cooley, H. (2012). Bottled water and energy. The World’s Water, 2(12), 157-164. Web.
Jones, P., Hillier, D., & Comfort, D. (2014). Water stewardship and corporate sustainability: A case study of reputation management in the food and drinks industry. Journal of Public Affairs, 15(1), 116-126. Web.
Kapferer, J. (2012). The new strategic brand management: Advanced insights and strategic thinking (5h ed.). London, UK: Kogan Page.
Russell, T. (2014). Bottled water: The next empire and its effect on the planet. Appalachian Natural Resources, 8(1), 214-230.