Bet you've seen people carrying these huge a*s bottles.
But water bottles are well... bottles. It's not something new.
How did OVER build an RM3.5 million (and growing) business from it?
The man who sold 50,000+ bottles.
I caught up with founder of OVER, Yi Xian, to ask how he did it.
One thing that stood out to me was how down-to-earth he was. Through our conversation, I could sense that he had an open mindset.
How it all started.
Yi Xian's first venture was selling foldable, reusable straws on Shopify. But it never really connected. And he didn't really relate to the product anyway.
Sometime in 2020, he wanted to get a large-capacity water bottle, mainly for use in sports.
However, he couldn't find any suitable ones. The market was filled with ugly, low-quality, and pricey bottles.
This was the aha moment.
Inspired by designs he came across when in Australia, he decided to manufacture his own water bottles and offer them in the Malaysian market.
That brought life into what OVER is today.
Breaking down OVER's strategy.
When OVER first started, they listed their products on marketplaces like Shopee.
Marketplaces provide access to an existing audience. So it was a quick win.
Of course, there are good and bad.
- Instant access to a ready-to-buy audience.
- Allows you to quickly validate your products.
- Selling on marketplaces means competing on prices. You get lower profit margins.
- Hard to differentiate your brand.
Create serious differentiation.
Bottles are nothing new.
Heck, the first bottles were made in 1500 BC in Mesopotamia!
But OVER created differentiation for its products.
Made with PP (Polypropylene Plastic), their bottles are safe, extremely durable, and recyclable. The OVER team also constantly makes reiterations and creates new designs that people love.
And here's the kicker.
OVER offers a 99-year leak-proof warranty.
A great quality product will naturally create a successful business. So always focus on improving your product. - Yi Xian
Run a truckload of Facebook Ads.
Yes, Facebook Ads still work – even with the iOS changes last year and the growth of TikTok.
OVER spends 80% of its resources on Facebook ads.
They run different ads to people at different stages of the funnel.
Here's their strategy, explained:
Cold Audience (Top of the funnel)
First, OVER would run ads that introduce the products and their benefits. This includes highlighting the quality, shipping time, pricing, and guarantees. People who click on ads at this stage are brought to a unique landing page that explains the OVER bottles in detail.
Their ad budgets are mostly spent at this stage, but it's an important part of their advertising strategy. It creates awareness.
Warm & Hot Audience (Mid-bottom of the funnel)
This is where OVER generates most of its sales.
Having driven the key benefits of their bottles to audience, they run remarketing ads that nudge people to take action – by offering some deals and
Ads for the bottom of the funnel take less effort, but it's still important to diversify the ad creative, so people don't get ad fatigue, seeing the same ads over and over again).
A lot of effort is put into creating eye-catchy creatives, which is one of the reasons why their ads work.
According to Yi Xuan, it takes between 1-2 weeks of consistent remarketing, to convert the audience into customers.
Find a cause for your business.
As a company fueled by sports, OVER contributes 20% of its net profit to support local athletes and U.K.I.M (Underprivileged Kids In Malaysia).
This is genius for two reasons.
First, it positions OVER as a company with a mission to make sports more accessible to all, rather than just a bottle company. Customers feel better when they know they too contributed towards a good cause.
Second, it provides OVER with extended publicity through local athletes and influencers.
OVER is not only driven by revenue but a larger cause.
Adopt an omnichannel marketing approach.
You're leaving money on the table if you only market on digital channels.
With people's habits shifting over to offline post-pandemic, E-commerce stores are adopting omnichannel marketing strategies to offer a retail experience for their customers.
As their business grew, OVER started marketing offline with pop-up stores.
They were strategic about where they chose to set up their pop-up stores, choosing locations where their ideal customers were. For example, OVER has a permanent booth at lifestyle gym, Babel Fit – giving them the ability to tap into the fitness crowd.
Anyone who walks past the display is a potential customer.
Make your customers feel heard.
OVER doesn't treat their customers like transactions.
From the start, Yi Xian and his team would personally handwrite a thank you note to every customer who purchased their product.
While this level of personalization isn't scalable, it's one of the factors that made OVER a respected brand.
Focus like its 1990.
I asked Yi Xian what's his biggest mistake in building OVER.
He said, getting distracted. And not focusing.
"Don't get too caught up with distractions. Focus on your own path." - Yi Xian
As an entrepreneur, you probably get new ideas every day. Observing what competitors and brands you admire do – and thinking of stealing those ideas, can distract you from your own goals.
As a growing business, it's important to always have focus.
And for OVER, the focus is always about improving their products and producing happy customers.