We offer our flagship brand called HYDROCATION®. Our HYDROCATION® brand forefronts academic concepts on its product labels and is geared toward students who are aiming for a degree, whether it is high school or collegiate. We aim to be the beverage brand that is the face of education, and we invite the undertaking to change the world through positively educating our consumers with our HYDROCATION® brand.
We also offer our WaterVerse™ brand that is on a mission to bring music to the forefront of consumer consciousness. WaterVerse™ partners with musicians, artists, performers, and entertainers to provide a product that speaks directly to their fan base in an interactive and fun manner. WaterVerse™ aims to be the beverage brand that allows consumers to take their passion for music and drink it. Our interactivity with the music industry opens up new doors for fans and musicians, and we want to be the conduit between their shared passions.
My Co-Founders and I came up with the idea for HYDROCATION® in 2010, while we were full time students attending the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. We were all passionate about business, and knew that we wanted to start a company together. One day, we were all sitting in the library studying, when one of us wrapped one of our legal flashcards around a bottled water bottle, and realized we could educate and hydrate the world through an awesome beverage brand/ product. Water recharges the brain during learning and studying, and we loved the marriage of hydration with education, hence HYDROCATION®: The rest was history.
With regard to WaterVerse™, the Rumoro family has a huge background in music; my dad plays jazz guitar, my uncle teaches jazz music theory downtown, and my grandfather was a Chicago icon in the jazz music genre. I wanted to have a beverage brand that spoke to that musical connection, one that did fit well into the musician’s tool bag as well. So we envisioned WaterVerse™ as a great way to blend music and water; colloquially speaking both have a certain flow. We have since found that WaterVerse™ is a great complement to HYDROCATION® as a brand partner. WaterVerse™ is invited to places (bars, restaurants, music festivals) that sometimes HYDROCATION® is not.
Personally I had to choose to become a full time entrepreneur, as opposed to a lawyer. Job security favors the latter, and my degrees all would suggest an attorney’s profession. I wanted, however, to follow my passion for education and business, and AAGWATT™ allows me to do that. I also have found that my legal training and knowledge has helped me gain an edge in business because I work with the mindset of a lawyer. Most business people think business first, law second, where as I have the opposite approach. This allows me to avoid critical and pivotal mistakes more than usual, ones that can stop your company before it starts.
We found that in the USA, where everyone talks about the economy “not being what it used to be,” nothing comes easy without having cash. Of course, cash is king, so they say. But when we started to reach out to suppliers and potential partners around the industry we found support with those who were like-minded and were looking for an opportunity for growth. My hint to new beverage entrepreneurs is never stop learning, subscribe to a beverage industry trade magazine, keep your eyes and ears open, and don’t be discouraged when you hear the inevitable “No,” just keep driving your mission and looking for the “Yes.”
With regard to HYDROCATION® the product design was inspired by education. We chose the ancient Greco-Roman look to the label because it has an almost ubiquitous significance in the West of knowledge and education. If you go to a public library for instance, it usually has columns and letters in the classical style, as do most all civic buildings in Chicago. We present the educational information on a scroll, where much of knowledge was kept in antiquity, and we chose to have our motto be “Educare, Satiatus, Innovatio” which is Latin and roughly translates into our mission to educate, hydrate, and innovate. If you look closely you can see “ESI” engraved on the stone columns that appear on the HYDROCATION® label.
Talking about the WaterVerse™ we were inspired by music, especially the guitar and the beautiful music that comes from such a diverse instrument. I think the guitar is a sexy symbol as an instrument, more so than maybe the piano. So we chose the guitar as an indicator of music, and then we decided to have the logo look like the guitar was dropped into a pool of water, or as if it were immerging from a pool of water, like the flow of music emerges from a song. WaterVerse™ as a brand is all about connecting the dots between the flows of water and music, and by uniting the two concepts on the label we think we resound our mission through the logo.
Trends that I see start with impact branding. Impact brands are brands that communicate a particular mission, one that resonates with a target group. Just the way I think Gatorade has targeted athletes, and sports health conscious people. If you want to start an awesome beverage brand, start with a captivating mission, one that everyone you tell will be inspired by, and one that you never get tired of telling. If everyone you tell about your brand gives you positive feedback, and is awestruck at the power of your brand’s mission, then you will have the building blocks for success. Another tip is to be persistent. The beverage industry may be the most competitive industry, and when you start you have so much to do to become recognized in the industry. But the most important thing is to stay focused, and keep moving forward. Look for cross-branding opportunities that underscore your mission.