A Seriously Good Product Name

If you are a regular follower of this “Persuasive Packaging. Bold Brands.” blog, you will know I am big on learning from grocery. I normally talk about what fresh produce and produce marketers can learn from cereal packaging and branding, but running a close second has got to be the water category. There is some very clever brand work and on-pack messaging being done in energy water.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the water, “function: Urban Detox”, their honed-in target marketing and their very effective on-pack messages. This week, I am writing about…wait for it…“Skinny Water”.

In terms of product names, I think “Skinny Water” has got to be one of the best I’ve come across. Simply the fact that people buy bottled water called “Skinny Water” tells us something about the current food consumer. The fact that water is always ‘skinny’ (as in no calories) is obviously not the point!

There has been huge growth in the value-added water category over the last few years. As nutritional additives have been added to water, so have calories, flavours and colours. “Skinny Water” signals a return to water with (as they say on the bottle), “0 calories, 0 sugar and 0 guilt”.

Here’s what works about this product.

My favourite part of “Skinny Water” is the name. It’s just so brazen that you can’t help but love it. I would have enjoyed being an observer at that brainstorm session and seen the slow, smug smile come over their faces when they cracked the name!

Unfortunately, aside from the name, there is not much in the on-pack message that caught my eye. The words and ‘brand story’ on the bottle feels forced and isn’t compelling. Here is an excerpt – see if you agree:

“Hi-Energy, Guarana+Ginseng, +L-Carnitine, +B Vitamins. SUPER CHARGED so you can be. Acai is the high energy berry grown in the Amazon. Get the skinny and get more done with an extra energy boost when you need it most. To keep your metabolism going, Skinny Water® also has a combo of EGCG, a green tea extract, Calcium and Potassium. Eat healthy and exercise regularly, it’s good for you.  Count on this energy to breeze you through your yada-yada day and get you back to your happy place.”


Compared to Urban Detox, which was so targeted and so congruent with its message, this wording just feels flat.

On the front of the bottle, one of the label bits I do like that I think fresh produce or produce marketers could learn from is the, “0 calories, 0 sugar, 0 guilt” statement. I particularly like the “0 guilt” – which the fresh produce industry could use quite easily – especially for some of the more sensory products like mango or avocado.

Your Turn:

What do you think about Skinny Water? Love the name? Like the on-pack message copy? I welcome your thoughts.