This episode of Fractal Marketing with Gerard Doyle is called “Should You Build Distribution Channels or Sell Products Directly?” and today’s guest is Damien Stone, Founder of Water3. Today, Damien shares the journey of his company and how direct sales to a niche market created early success for Water3.
He then shares the expansion of the business in recent times and the role of technology in the business model in their bid to scale up and go global. It is noteworthy that one of upsides to Water3 is the nature of their product allows them to have a greater negotiation position with business partners. At present, the company has no real competitors and is in a prime spot for massive growth.
03:53 Branding: Water3’s unique product
06:54 Market timing
09:11 Referral marketing with a remarkable product
16:18 Expansion and technology over the past 18 months
20:39 Water3’s global trajectory
25:39 Reducing risk and convincing business partners
33:16 Damien’s advice
11:44 “You’ve got to be remarkable. And being remarkable doesn’t mean having a bright shiny glitter-covered shirt. It means having something that’s shareable that everyone wants to talk about. So it’s what’s remarking about. And they kind of love stories like that, show you this care in the likes of the brand. And this is such an interesting little aside that will actually stick inside someone’s mind.”
17:01 “We thought long and hard about talking to the beverage companies and then we encountered a path of what are we going to do? The hot points for these guys, a niche market, well, it’s going to make them go, yeah okay, we want more tech. And there’s a huge amount of… software that they built around just being operators ourselves that we’ve had to go through and make a lot of changes on.”
25:38 “And I guess what your story is telling me is, oh, get out there and prove that people will actually buy it, people will use it. Okay, maybe you haven’t done it to the scale that Walmart or someone could take you to but if you’ve proven it yourself, you remove the risk for them. And if you remove the risk for them, they’re more likely to do it and I’m guessing the other upside to it is it puts you on a stronger negotiation position, right? Because you’ve got some idea how profitable it could be.”
30:54 “Who on earth is using that machine at 2 am? Now it turned out, some of our best customers are security guards and the cleaners because they can’t get water anywhere. Nothing’s open at 2 am when they’re walking around. Isn’t that funny how just you often don’t know what your market’s going to be?”
34:22 “Everyone loves it, but no one wants to fund it. What the hell’s going on? So I probably would’ve gone down a couple of other projects if I’d known 8 years ago it was going to take 3 years for us to get started. Or if we do get stuck into another business ambush, made us enough money to get started in the end, but I would’ve probably done some of this stuff a bit sooner.”