Review: Shine H2O
Covers Products: Lemon, Strawberry Lemon
Shine H2O is a self-described “wellness & performance” water that features a low calorie formulation that is fortified with vitamin D along with magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B12.
The liquid inside the bottle is a stevia-sweetened non-carbonated formula that comes in two varieties: Lemon and Strawberry Lemon. They’ve successfully chosen flavors that mask most of the stevia and taste more or less like a sports drink. Each bottle has 20 calories, which seems like a nice level to be at, and the products are drinkable, although they aren’t overly original or memorable in terms of what they deliver. But we don’t think that consumers, at least those who prefer reduced calorie beverages, will be disappointed with either of these flavors.
The product is packaged in a 16.9 oz. fully-wrapped bottle -- the same kind that you’ll find on countless other functional beverages. The branding and messaging is overly functional and technical in nature, aside from the slightly playful “Shine” that’s part of the Shine H2O logo.
The brand messaging is where things go a little off track, slamming you with callouts and copy, trying to establish credibility for the drink’s functionality. These include a large green vitamin D callout, a Vitamin D Council “approved” logo, a “developed by physicians” logo, two mentions of their charitable intentions (5 percent of profits -- a problem in that most startup beverage companies have zero or minimal profits for a while), and the copy on the back of the bottle, which speaks exclusively to the functionality.
What’s missing from all of this is something that appeals to the senses. This is, after all, an important factor for just about every beverage -- and it’s also the reason a consumer goes to the beverage cooler (it’s certainly not because they want vitamin D or to think about their physician). Sure, there might be consumers who are so in tune with vitamin D that the current messaging will resonate, but, based on the countless other beverages that have tried similar approaches in the past, we have to imagine that this is a pretty small niche.
We’re not suggesting that they abandon the product’s purpose, but rather that they try and figure out a way to strike a balance in how they execute it when it comes to the product’s design. If they can take “Shine” and their tagline, “Brilliant Hydration,” and make it seem more approachable and fun, it would not only make the drink more appealing, but it would also make the underlying functionality seem more credible, too.