​You Can't Serve Everyone
Entrepreneur|September 2017

By trying to create a luxe water bottle for the masses, Grayl built a product no audience wanted. So the brand hit reset.

Clint Carter

Travis Merrigan and Nancie Weston had a simple, elegant idea. They wanted to make a bottle that cleans water. Fill it from a dubious source—a stagnant creek or a rusty spigot in a foreign country— and then use it like a French press, pushing down on a plunger-like filter to screen out harmful compounds. In 2013, after two years of development and a successful $15,000 Indiegogo campaign, they made it. It was called the Water Filtration Cup, sold under the brand name Grayl.

Their sales strategy was ambitious; they wanted Grayl to be useful to everyone. They gave it a sleek, stainless steel design to broadcast its durability and high-end elegance. Then they offered three cleaning cartridges, which were called Tap, Trail, and Travel. Tap made water taste better, and the other two made it safe. Tap and Trail were filters that removed bacteria and protozoa, while Travel was a purifier that also cleared out viruses. The bottle cost $80 and included the Travel filter; the other two cartridges were sold separately. 

Confused? So was, well, everyone. 

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ENTREPRENEURView All

Staying Ahead of Change

Yousuf Ali had a successful career in marketing until he failed to embrace new technologies. Now, as a My Eyelab franchisee, embracing forward-thinking capabilities is the key to his success.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

READY FOR A BIG RETURN

The end of the pandemic is in sight, and many franchises are anticipating an explosion in business. Leaders at four franchises share how their brands are working overtime to prepare for the rush and win back coveted business.

10 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Creating Trust Where There Was None

Home renovations are full of headaches—but how do you fix an age-old industry woe? Here’s how Jean Brownhill, founder and CEO of Sweeten, built something better.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

His Worst Five Years Were His Life's Best Gift

What is it like to build a hit business and then lose all control? The founder of Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man has a lot to say about that.

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Managing Mental Illness Can Be a Team Effort

Like so many people—and so many entrepreneurs— my husband and business partner struggles with his mental health. I’m speaking up so others know: With the right understanding, life and business can still be good.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

THE CREATIVE PROCESS STARTS WITH PROCESS

My business barely survived its first few years, and I nearly crumbled under the stress.Then I learned the greatest lesson of my career, which transformed our company into the go-to apron brand for restaurants everywhere: Without process, we are nothing.

10 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Think Like a Disruptor

If you want to shake things up, you must have a mindset that’s different from everyone else’s. Here are three ways to reshape your thinking.

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Can Creativity Be Created?

Your team has big ideas. To unlock them, you must first build an environment of support and encouragement.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Bethenny Frankel Is a Time-management Machine

She builds multimillion-dollar brands, stars in TV shows, and vigorously defends every moment of her day. The secret? It starts with deciding what matters (and what doesn’t).

9 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021

Build Lasting Partnerships

Finding trustworthy vendors and partners is key to growing your business—but it’s a challenging relationship to perfect. We asked six entrepreneurs to share their best methods.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
April - May 2021
RELATED STORIES

Enduring Love

It’s easy to see why Barbados has long been favored as an escape to the sun

7 mins read
Business Traveler
April/May 2021

Spring Break Staycation

Travel plans on hold this year? No worries—home is where it’s happening. Here’s how to map out the ideal anti-getaway right in your own backyard...

3 mins read
Girls' Life magazine
April/May 2021

6 SECRETS FOR PLANNING A RETREAT FOR A GROUP OF FRIENDS

You’ve envisioned it for ages—escaping for a retreat with a group of dear friends. You’re laughing together in terry-cloth robes and mud masks. Or maybe your gang is at a wilderness retreat, journaling around a fire pit. Perhaps your group is together deepening a faith practice, experiencing a festival, or traveling in an exotic locale. But getting your squad off on a retreat can easily become a logistical challenge (ever heard the term herding cats?). Here are six secrets for turning a “maybe someday” dream into a concrete, and pleasurable, reality.

2 mins read
Spirituality & Health
Mar/Apr 2021

COST OF A SINGLE BITCOIN EXCEEDS $50,000 FOR FIRST TIME

The seemingly unstoppable rise of Bitcoin continued with the cost of a single unit of the digital currency rising above $50,000 for the first time.

4 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #486

LEADING A PEASANT REVOLT IN BATTLE BROTHERS PART I

Can low borns forge their own path in a grim fantasy world?

8 mins read
PC Gamer US Edition
March 2021

REMEMBERING SOAP VET JOHN REILLY

LATE BREAKING NEWS

5 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
February 01, 2021

Masterful Oils

Oil Painters of America's Eastern Regional Juried Exhibition is hosted this year at Reinert Fine Art in Charleston, South Carolina.

1 min read
American Art Collector
December 2020

Make Your Adventure – and Your Dog's – Easier, Interesting and Fun

The devil is in the details” is an axiom for a reason: It’s easy to say. It’s infinitely harder to actually do.

7 mins read
The Upland Almanac
Spring 2021

Amen to Amenities

For hotel guests, the little things that have gone missing can feel like a big deal

3 mins read
Business Traveler
December 2020/January 2021

Faith in Food

The acclaimed food writer gives tips to make this difficult holiday season joyous

6 mins read
Guideposts
December /January 2021