I don’t know about you, but there’s definitely a part of me that is a bit of an idealist. Call that part of me a moral compass, if you’d like. This compass believes certain things ought to be a certain way, and other things just shouldn’t be the way they are.
It’s just who I am, right, wrong or otherwise and I accept that about myself.
Unfortunately, “should be” and reality quite often are two very different things. I learned this years ago and it is simply a part of life. This I also accept.
To our demise, many businesses understand and accept this concept as well. There have been entire industries born and built as a result of this “grey area” between reality and what should be. Heck, a large portion our country’s mega-marketing machine are centered around principles like this.
In this article I’d like to look at one of those industries and maybe shed some light on some of those misconceptions we the public share about it.
When this happens, the typical model usually goes something like this:
- Come up with a trendy product
- Create a compelling marketing campaign around it
- Maybe even mix in (or take advantage of) a little fear for good measure
Voila..a product or industry is born!
Just to be clear, I don’t think all businesses or products operate this way. Many I’ve seen over the years run themselves with plenty of honestly and integrity. Their products have a genuine need by the public. They serve their customers well and are worth every penny they earn.
The water industry, specifically bottled water, is one of those industries that, from my perspective, hasn’t been very shy about reaping the benefits coming from certain misconceptions.
In fairness, they may not have created those misconceptions, but from what I have seen they don’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to correct them either.
Let me give you a real life example of what some of those misconceptions look like.
A few years back my wife and I were spending the weekend at my Aunt & Uncle’s home just outside of Boston.
One evening we were all getting ready to have a nice family dinner when my cousin asked me what I wanted to have to drink with my meal. I replied “water would be great.”
My cousin nodded OK then headed toward the refrigerator. She proceeded to pull out a plastic bottle of water from a very well known company. When I noticed her doing so I said something to the effect of: “No need to open that, regular tap water is fine.”
She paused and stared at me with a look that said: “Did you hit your head or something?”
What she actually said to me was: “You don’t want that water – we don’t drink that.”
I was a little confused so I asked her why they didn’t drink it and wanted to know what was wrong with it. Her reply was: “It’s just bad, we don’t don’t drink it.”
I never could get any type of an educated or fact based reason for why they felt their tap water wasn’t drinkable or safe. They had just made up their mind that since it was city water, it must be bad. Even though it didn’t taste bad, it didn’t smell bad and despite having no evidence that it actually was unhealthy…it was just BAD.
A Lack of Understanding can be Costly
Unfortunately, I think this sort of phobia or misconception about the safety of tap water is pretty common. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked with clients who previously had been purchasing large amounts of bottled water for their family because of the misunderstandings they had about their water.
These fears don’t appear to be limited only to city water, either.
A lot of the well owners I speak with really have no idea if their home’s water is safe or not. Either they’ve never tested their water or they’ve tested it and don’t have a good understanding about what the reports told them about the results.
They simply don’t drink it out of concerns for the safety for their family – and I honestly can’t blame them for this.
Maybe it’s time for a a little basic Tap Water 101…
- People in the U.S. buy more than half a BILLION bottles of water every week.
- On average, bottled water costs 2000 times more than tap water.
- 1/3 of all bottled water sold in the United States is REPACKAGED TAP WATER!!!
Source: Klean Kanteen
Take a few seconds to let those facts soak in a bit, especially the last one. We could speak volumes about the implications of that fact alone, if we wanted to.
In Part 2, we’ll take a closer look at the REAL difference between what is coming out of your home’s kitchen faucet and what you get when you buy bottled water at the store.
I’ll also tell you why there’s a very good chance that drinking your home’s tap water is as safe, if not safer for you, than buying bottled water!