Vitamin Water has no respect for targeting, and that’s awesome

In Marketing 101, I recall the professor inculcating us with one marketing principal that we should never forget: STP (segmentation, targeting, positioning).

Vitamin Water, with its recent marketing, cleared the first step (as illustrated with the above ads). Here are three segments for the energy market: athletes, health-nuts, and, some form of self-expressive urban identity.

The next step is targeting. Instead of selling to everyone, the profs suggest that a company pick the most profitable, desirable segment.

Vitamin Water ignores this. I can imagine the marketing manager proclaiming, “Let’s sell to every type of consumer that will pay for $10/gallon for flavored water.”

The drink is three things at once. If I showed this to a marketing prof, they would scoff at such ineptitude, proclaiming that three distinct marketing messages leads to mass-confusion. As the great sage Seth Godin teaches us, “If you need to water down your story to appeal to everyone, it will appeal to no one.”

But I’m not so sure. Vitamin Water has hit $500M in sales, regardless of whether the marketing pitches the product three different ways. If it works, who cares?

What do you think, marketers of the world? Is Vitamin Water violating the sacred laws? Or are there new laws?