Monday, July 20, 2009

Why I paid $20 for a water bottle

I don't drink enough water. This morning I had four plastic, disposable water bottles in various places around my office. I save them from meetings with the goal of refilling them and being better about hydration (that's important you know). They're usually forgotten; my goal remains unaccomplished and my office looks even more cluttered.

On Saturday I bought a $20 water bottle.

I buy little 3x5 Moleskine notebooks and carry one with me everywhere I go. It costs $11.

Why does someone pay $20 for a hollow piece of metal with a lid or pay $11 for what essentially amounts to a stack of paper and a rubber band?

People pay a premium for brands for a number of reasons, but one of the main reasons is because they can drive people to act on their purchases. Allow me to explain.

I could jot down random thoughts and ideas on just about anything. Why pay $11 for a Moleskine notebook? It doesn't make me a better writer - but the brand and story behind the notebooks makes me want to write.

I had plenty of water bottles sitting in my office that would have served the purpose of providing me with water that I never filled. Now that I have a nice, stainless steel water bottle I drain the thing probably three or four times a day.

Which is worth more: A spiral notebook that costs a dollar that I never write in, or an expensive notebook that I love filling with thoughts, notes, goals and lists? As a consumer, I'm willing to pay more for products/brands that inspire or engage me in some way or another.

If someone gets a pair of running shoes they're excited about, they're more likely to go running.
If someone gets the nicer paintbrushes, they may spend more time working at their painting.
If someone is excited about their water bottle, maybe they'll drink more water.

The challenge for companies is to create brands and products that engage and inspire so people are willing to pay more.

What brands/products do you get excited about? Are there any that inspire you? Let me know in the comments.

Moleskine photo courtesy of Flickr.