August 23, 2005
While in blazing hot Scottsdale about six weeks ago, I reached for a big bottle of water at Whole Foods. Of course, there are plenty to choose from these days. Bottled water is big business – nearly $10 billion.
I ended up with a bottle of water I’d never heard of – Ethos Water. What made me buy it? The brand’s promise to donate a nickel for every bottle sold to help fund clean water efforts in underdeveloped nations.
Was the water any better? No, but I felt better for drinking it, and by that, I don’t just mean rehydrated. I felt like I was playing a small part in helping others. Just like I feel in the mornings when I click on www.thehungersite.com.
Here are the startling water facts: A billion people around the world are affected by a lack of clean drinking water, that’s about four times the population of the US, or about 20 percent of the world’s population.
Ethos Water (www.ethoswater.com) is a great story about cause marketing. It’s based on a simple premise: water for water. Started three years ago with the two founders’ savings accounts and credit cards, it’s now on the verge of becoming a national brand. Even while operating on a shoestring, Ethos donated more than $100,000 to projects across Africa and helped with tsunami relief efforts.
Earlier this month, Starbucks (www.starbucks.com) bought the company, and will bring Ethos into its ubiquitous coffee shops one day soon. Starbucks has promised to adopt the cause and has committed to a goal of $10 million over the next five years.
So will I buy Ethos Water when I see it? You bet. And I hope you will, too.