The problem is succinctly stated in the third paragraph of the case, “the reputation of Quench is currently under threat.” Specifically, its brand image is suffering because its customers “are increasingly concerned with environmental issues linked to packaging, sustainable resources and ecological logistics.” The Guardian recently reported that, “the latest beverage research from Mintel states that 2008 will be the beginning of a significant backlash against plain bottled water.” (Siegel, 2008) Quench is sold in small quantities in plastic bottles and consumers are becoming concerned about the energy costs of their production and, most importantly, the waste that these bottles constitute. In brief, Quench is developing an image problem related to the environmental impacts of the containers its products are sold in.
This problem has been exacerbated by its competitors behaviour. They have experienced the same problems with customer perceptions of their lack of environmental commitment and responded quickly to address these concerns. This has put pressure on Quench to also respond quickly or risk a continually declining reputation while their competitors restore their public image.
One solution would be to reduce the waste left from the containers. This could be achieved through three means. The water could be sold in larger containers producing less waste by volume of water sold. However, their market is sporty, active people and this would reduce the convenience factor associated with smaller bottles and impact negatively on sales.
Secondarily, the company could introduce containers with thinner sides, reducing the waste by producing less waste per container. If the company manufacturers its own bottles this would be an expensive an time consuming alternative as it would necessitate retooling their bottle production lines. If the company purchases its bottles this would present its suppliers with the same problem.
However, whether it