The LITAO approach
to Brand Differentiation.

A premium European water brand with their own purification technology was looking to sell to China, but didn’t know where to start as the Chinese market is saturated with water suppliers and skeptical distributors, given the country’s history of water quality scandals. We helped the company find their unique pitch for potential B2B China partners while protecting their intellectual property and international brand equity.

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Client’s Challenge
  • - China market is already saturated with many water brands, both local and international.
  • - Product is unique but has high price point.
  • - No prior reputation in China’s market and distributors cautious due to water quality scandals.
Litao’s Solution
  • - Survey and analysis of brands of similar profile, particularly other boutique brands.
  • - Detailed consumer-driven market research.
  • - Restructuring pitch to work for both B2B and B2C for wider marketing base and direct appeal to consumers.
The Outcomes
  • - Redesigned brand positioning to reflect premium, sustainable water quality.
  • - Identified distribution partners.
  • - Strategic plan of action including first and foremost trademark and technology protection.
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*We cannot disclose company names here,
but please ask us if you wish for more details.

We knew there was an opportunity in China, as data trends from Zenith International and Euromonitor showed bottled water consumption would likely double in the next five years. Our client wanted to enter the market right away, yet we warned them from doing so while their technology and trademark were not yet protected. We focused instead on finding their brand positioning in China, first determining and analyzing best-selling Chinese and foreign water brands, especially independent or boutique brands similar to our client. We focused on five most relevant brands, two local and three foreign, to study in detail, and offered insights on how to differentiate from them and other competitors with value-added points (other than being from Europe!) and build a good brand and visual identity. By building a strong brand presence prior to coming to China, they would be much more protected from brand imitators.

Key Takeaways:


We prevented the client from coming to China too early—a time when their water purification methods weren’t patented and their trademark wasn’t protected in either China or abroad. While the branding and patent process is ongoing, the company has entered negotiations with LITAO to serve as their official China agent once the protection pulls through.