Earlier this week, Lynda Resnick, the author of the upcoming book, Rubies in the Orchard, came in to BusinessWeek, to chat about her varied career running companies such as POM Wonderful, Teleflora and Fiji Water. The book’s a breezy, quick read with some good advice for entrepreneurs and marketers based on common sense insights honed over the years. But her comments about the water business caught my ear. In the book, Resnick talks of the health problems associated with tap water in order to talk up the properties of Fiji. In this conversation, in contrast, she claims that the luxury “drink” provided by Fiji isn’t at all intended to replace everyday tap water. I wonder if the shift in attitude is a way to preemptively minimize damage from any further bottled water backlash. As my colleagues Chris Palmeri and Nanette Byrnes noted in a piece last week, growth in water sales has slowed to 2%, with Euromonitor predicting a decline in the business this year. Repositioning Fiji as a luxury beverage brand rather than an attempt to replace a basic necessity might just prove Resnick’s savviest strategy yet.
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