VOSS – Growth Story

VOSS Growth Story:

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VOSS Case Analysis

VOSS Case Analysis

VOSS, though only in business for roughly ten years to date, has done an exceedingly well job on identifying their target consumers. The chosen cliental for VOSS Water as stated in the VOSS Artesian Water from Norway Harvard Business School case study is that of “high-end restaurants, hotels, and clubs.” VOSS originally received its “big break” from a manager at the high-end hotel of the Four Seasons in New York, who stated the possible desire of high-end retailers wanting to sell high-end bottled water in their establishments. With that, the VOSS concept and target market was chosen. Continue reading

VOSS Ultra Premium Positioning

According to Voss‘s Brand manual, Voss‘s ultra premium positioning has been attained and maintained by:

  1. Its sophisticated and untraditional design,
  2. Its unique quality profile,
  3. Its pricing strategy,
  4. Targeted markets,
  5. Targeted Distribution Channels.

As mentioned before, Neil Kraft‘s strategy was to create an eye catching iconic bottle
design that embodied the brand (component 1). Unique quality profile (component 2)
refers to Voss‘s extremely low mineral content. As part of it aura of exclusivity Voss
has given detailed consideration the impact price (component 3) has on the brand
image of a product. By pricing the product at the highest end of the range, Voss has
intentionally positioned itself as ultra premium. Voss has identified two distinct yet
complementary consumer segments as its target consumer base (component 4). The
first being connoisseurs, who generate the vast majority of sales volume, and covet
the brand for its high quality and pure taste, making it an excellent pairing with fine
wines and food. The second consumer group would be image consumers. Those
defined by Voss as being young, sophisticated luxury image conscious consumers
whose interest in Voss keeps the brand fresh and highly visible over time. For these
consumers, Voss‘s design evokes a sense of sophistication, – coolness‖, and
Voss‘s Target:

  • Active
  • 18-38
  • Single
  • Professional/college educated
  • Metropolitan
  • Sophisticated
  • Higher Disposable Income

The final component of Voss‘s Ultra – Premium positioning is targeted distribution
channels (component 5). In order to reinforce the association of exclusivity necessary
for Voss as a luxury brand to flourish, Voss uses a – scarce, yet fully available
distribution strategy. Up to red‘s retail launch, this meant that the chosen channels
were top hotels and restaurants around the world, where bottled water is one of the
highest margin items on the menu.

Launch of Voss Red into the retail market.

The Mattson and Voss Water Store survey predated the actual launch of Voss Red
into the retail market. The intent is to see if
those results hold true, and to further expand upon the possible brand disconnect between the Red retail initiative and preexisting Voss glass packaging and limited On Premise distribution strategy.
As a means of investigation, a new survey was undertaken during the summer of 2007
outside the Whole Foods location in the Union Square area of New York City, NY.
This store was chosen for the relatively high volume of Voss Red being sold there
(monthly average 30 cases). Moreover, this location saw the shift from carrying Voss
glass to Voss Red. Whole Foods is a gourmet grocery store with a focus on Organic and premium foods and is more expensive than traditional grocers. As a result the clientele shopping there tend to be more discerning and affluent, than those who shop at – every day grocery and convenience stores.The survey was undertaken on three Saturdays: August 18th, August 25th, and September 1st. 21 shoppers were surveyed on August 18th as they exited the store. With the following, two weekends returning 19, and 25 participants.

The survey was spilt into three portions based upon the framework suggested by
Young (2006) for evaluating consumer perceptions of packaging, in which one cells is
questioned first after seeing first the name itself, with secondary cells questioned after
seeing the packaging. On August 18th consumers were questioned in regards to the
Voss brand itself, with the following Saturday consumers being questioned in regards
to Voss seeing it in its glass packaging. The third and final Saturday (September 1st),
consumers were questioned about Voss seeing it in its Red Plastic Packaging. All of
the consumers were questioned individually.

VOSS Brand Values & Stategy

Voss‘s brand values rest upon three core principles:

  • Purity

  • Luxury

  • Design

Purity harkens back to Voss‘s pristine artesian source in Southern Norway producing
naturally pure water, free of sodium, low in minerals. Luxury is a result of Voss‘s
exclusivity stemming from the fact that Voss is served exclusively on the tables of the
finest restaurant and lounges in the rooms of the most luxurious hotels and beachside at the trendiest resorts around the world. It is important to point out that Voss‘s exclusivity is potentially compromised by the Red retail launch. The final value of Voss‘s three tier strategy is design. As mentioned earlier Voss‘s bottle was designed to be iconic embodying the brand. Continue reading



Spring water is derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally towards the surface of the earth. Purified water is water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, or other suitable processes. Mineral water is water naturally containing no less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids (TDS) and which keeps this level at a relative constant. Natural sparkling water is water that, after treatment, and possible exposure to carbon dioxide, contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had as it emerged from the source. Well water is water from a hold boarded, drilled, or otherwise constructed in the ground, which taps the water aquifer. Continue reading

VOSS Story


How was the VOSS brand born?

Voss Artesian Water from Norway got started by two Norwegian buddies who mutually shared an interest in a naturally fresh, pure h2o. They both grew up in Norway, and then split their educational/professional life at college age. Christopher Harlem studied at University of San-Francisco, while Ole Christian Sandberg stayed in Norway and pursued his entrepreneurial efforts. Whenever Ole came to visit Christopher in San Francisco or Christopher returned to Norway, the first thing Christopher requested was Norwegian water. It was then that they knew they wanted to share Norway fresh water with the rest of the world “VOSS”. Continue reading

Welcome to VOSS Water World

Welcome to Voss Water World

VOSS is a Norwegian bottled water company that produces one of the world’s purest drinking waters, sold at an ultra-premium price in a sleek cylindrical glass bottle of minimalist design. Ole and Christopher, VOSS’ founder and Head of U.S. Operations, had matched the purity of Norwegian water with a breakthrough, iconic bottle design, and VOSS was born. Norway is a small country, its pristine environment produces some of the best spring and artesian water sources on Earth, and most Norwegians see it as a national benefit to live off this pure tasting drinking water. Ole and Christopher knew instinctively that bottling pure Norwegian artesian water would be a big hit with discerning consumers around the world.