Every year evian releases a limited edition glass bottle designed by a fashion house. This year is no different, with evian and the French fashion house Kenzo joining together to release their 2015 limited edition designer glass bottle. This year’s bottle design features a wavy zig zag pattern in purple and yellow print. Via popsop.com, Kenzo’s creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, describe the wavy pattern as the French Alps (purple lines) and the mountain spring water (yellow lines).
Including Kenzo, this marks the eighth year that evian has partnered with fashion designers to launch premium collectible water bottles. Starting with Christian Lacroix in 2008, evian has also partnered with Jean Paul Gaultier (2009), Paul Smith (2010), Issey Miyake (2011), Andre Correges (2012), Diana von Furstenberg (2013), and most recently Elie Saab (2014).
It seems that evian has really carved out a niche for themselves with these collectible bottle designs. Consumers interested in fashion or otherwise (myself) anticipate the launch of these bottles and pick up a few of them. After missing on first few bottle designs, I’ll be adding the Kenzo glass bottle to my collection this year.
Here’s some more photos of the Kenzo evian glass bottle design.
It seems that evian’s focus is to build its brand through partnerships, one way or another. Earlier this year BevWire detailed that evian and Coke were separating, and the premium water company will instead be leveraging the distribution network of The Danone Group and Red Bull (article here). Aside from distribution partnerships, evian has recently collaborated with The Amazing Spiderman movie series to release another installment of its Live Young videos. It’s certainly valuable to leverage on the film’s equity, as long as it’s tied-in with the beverage brand’s objectives. So does this collaborative commercial help evian deliver against those objectives?
AdWeek may not think so. AdWeek’s article appears to be deadpanning the premium water brand’s link with Spiderman. The online publication communicates that there is no explanation of how evian and Spiderman are linked, and the water brand itself is not visible except for the Live Young tagline. The baby Spiderman’s face is also not visible like previous iterations where the baby’s face is shown (article link here).
BevWire sees this commercial differently, and thinks that evian’s key objectives have been achieved. If the goals are identical with evian’s 2011 objectives outlined by Barak Orenstein, evian’s Senior Brand Manager at the time, then this advertisement should be a continued translation on the brand’s success. From the Marketing Magazine, Orenstein describes the 2011 campaign objective’s is “to drive top-of-mind awareness and consumption of Evian” (article link here).
The video is consistent across key evian assets from prior videos, which helps to reinforce the top-of-mind awareness. Throughout the commercial, the evian themes of dancing, music, and mirror reflections of the main characters are apparent. Unlike previous videos where the baby’s face is shown to forge a stronger connection with the real-life character, a baby-faced Spiderman is not necessary given Spiderman’s already high public recognition. The miniature Spiderman suit is already enough to deliver this connection and help with raising the water brand’s profile. Leveraging on the film’s impending release and their other commercials to build the movie’s internet, evian certainly increases its top-of-mind awareness with these coinciding Spiderman Live Young commercials.
While awareness is a key brand-building level, the core objective that any business cares about are sales and consumption. Depending on the partnership structure, evian may be executing consumer promotions to drive their premium water sales within the grocery shopping channels. Beyond the consumption objective, evian may also have an opportunity to increase their total product availability. This commercial will likely play in movie theaters to remind movie goers to purchase evian water at the concession stands. If evian is not readily available within the theater concession stands, this partnership will give them leverage to gain space for at least the movie’s duration on the silver screen.
Certainly a great partnership between a consumer product and an entertainment franchise. Should this collaborative venture prove successful, will evian be partnering with other movie releases?
Most people by now may have heard of Coca-Cola purchasing an investment stake with the makers of the Keurig machines – Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR). For those that haven’t, there’s some quick information from the New York Times here. As a result of this deal, Coca-Cola appears to be making its first foray into small home appliances and endear itself more closely with consumers. Experts have called this a great deal for both companies, providing each with mutual benefits. But is this really the case where both companies benefit? And what about other companies, should companies like Pepsi, SodaStream, or Starbucks be concerned? Let’s take a quick look, first at the participating companies and then toward the others that are potentially affected.
For GMCR, this is partnership born out of necessity that will secure their footing in the single-serve beverage marketplace. Following 2012, Green Mountain’ single-pod (K-Cup) cup patent expired and paved the way for other manufacturers (namely store brands) that could make these beverage pods cheaper. To ensure survival of this increasingly rich revenue stream (more than two-thirds of the company’s revenues come from these pods), GMCR took to forming licensing agreements. Coca-Cola was added to a licensing roster that already includes Starbucks, Lipton, Snapple, Timothy’s, Kahlua, and many more. With a Keurig machine that produces single-serve hot beverages and now one that can product single-serve cold beverages, Green Mountain has certainly done well to ensure its survival. With Coca- Cola’s reach across the consumer distribution channels, the Keurig machine will see dramatic business growth over the course of their 10-year pact. Think of what Coca-Cola has done for beverage brands like evian, Monster, and vitaminwater. An even better scenario would be signing Pepsi to a licensing agreement as well, which will further increase the Keurig’s machine placement among households and strengthen their dominance in making branded single-serve pods.
With Coca-Cola, this is a partnership that further segments the beverage landscape, and answers competitive pressure from new entrants to the ever-changing beverage market. Coca-Cola is undoubtedly answering SodaStream’s “Sorry Coke and Pepsi” campaign about how the global beverage manufacturer is creating waste through its plastic bottles. With single-serve pods and small home appliances, Coca-Cola is able to compete in a position similar to SodaStream – providing carbonated beverages at home without the need for plastic bottles. And Coca-Cola now has an opportunity to exist on the counter shelf within the household, in addition to the refrigerator, pantry and garage. Think about the ability to remind the consumer to consumer or purchase your product when your products are so pervasive within their household. The next step to success for Coca-Cola may be investigating opportunities to leverage Coca-Cola Freestyle (create your own beverage mix) with the Keurig Cold, building on consumer insights to provide custom combinations and offer exclusive flavors “voted” by consumers.
For SodaStream, this marks their inclusion into the Soda Wars that has primarily existed between Coca-Cola and Pepsi over the past few decades. If you keep on making eye-catching commercials targeted against the beverage conglomerates, they are certain to pay attention and respond. This may be detrimental to SodaStream given the extra competition toward securing household counter space, but it also calls for innovation and a return to focus on the product benefits. SodaStream’s foundation is still their ability to make soda at home, less expensive and without the use of plastic bottles. Similar to GMCR, SodaStream must innovate and work to secure more licensing agreements. Beyond Kraft and Ocean Spray, SodaStream may also work to sign on other brands such as Pepsi, Dr Pepper, and many more.
Now that Coca-Cola has invested into single-serve pods, it’s almost certain that Pepsi will respond in some way with their own pod offerings. They responded in the past to Coke Zero with Pepsi Max and Dasani Drops with Aquafina FlavorSplash, amidst a host of other gap-filling products. Pepsi surely won’t allow Coca-Cola to dominate the consumer’s counter space when their own offerings are just as robust, so it will only be a matter of time before Pepsi take the Soda War to the small home appliance. The question is when and with whom.
The dark horse in all this may actually be Starbucks. Starbucks had trademarked the name “Fizzio” with the intent to produce their own carbonated beverages. To expand on their own burgeoning beverage empire, Starbucks may need to move up the deadline for when the Fizzio will be launched, or partner more closely with GMCR to serve both hot and cold single-serve beverage pods.
This news of Coca-Cola and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters signing a 10-year agreement has certainly created ripples across the industry. The impact that has yet to be fully fleshed out with retailers as well, and that itself will be another article in the coming weeks.
It appears that Coca-Cola and evian have both outgrown their distribution partnership. Come July 2014, Coca-Cola will stop distributing evian waters (read the full story here). Consequently around that same time, some U.S. cities may see evian being distributed off Red Bull delivery trucks (that story found here). While Coca-Cola & evian describe the agreement’s termination as an opportunity to refocus on their core businesses, it may simply be Coca-Cola wanting to re-focus on their own water brand as smartwater continues to build sales. With this adjusted partnership, who wins and who loses? Coca-Cola, evian, or Red Bull?
It would seem that Coca-Cola is constantly looking at ways to ensure delivery truck space is stocked with as much Coca-Cola-owned refreshments as possible. Coca-Cola appears to be re-evaluating all their distribution agreements in order to locate new growth opportunities. It was only two years ago in 2012 that Coca-Cola ended a distribution agreement with Nestea to focus their attention on Fuze – which so far has left consumers upset since Nestea is not as broadly available. Fuze also appears to have failed to expectations given consumers still prefer Nestea. Has Coca-Cola been supporting Fuze with the appropriate level of marketing? This indicates that while in-house products (Fuze, smartwater) may offer better profit margins, licensed products (Nestea, evian) may perform better given a stronger sales record (that was built with Coca-Cola’s distribution network). Will Coca-Cola look to remove Monster Energy from their distribution infrastructure as well? While smartwater may have stronger sales than Fuze, the question remains whether smartwater will be able to outperform evian. If smartwater outsells evian, then Coca-Cola would have benefited from the distribution change-up. The same logic would apply for all other products that Coca-Cola distributes.
For evian, this change comes at a time when the company is in the midst of introducing new product packaging. The fact that the premium water brand needs to revitalize their packaging to stay competitive is disheartening. This is a sign that evian must re-align some aspects of their product (this time it’s the packaging) in order to re-communicate the product benefits to the consumers. With distribution changes occurring simultaneously, the impact is amplified and more detrimental. Consumers looking to repurchase evian waters may find fewer selection in addition to not recognizing the 14-year-old evian plastic bottle. Retailers may be less confident in evian, observing so much change in such a short time. However, Red Bull is a strong partner and is building up their own distribution network. With the partnership agreement ending in July 2014, this still gives evian a little time to build more infrastructure to replace Coca-Cola’s footprint. evian appears to be disadvantaged in this new arrangement, given the fragmented nature of their distribution system. Even if evian could establish the same footprint as before, they still must compete against smartwater for shelf space given the opposite sales trends of these two premium water brands. Still, evian is part of The Danone Group and would be able to leverage the strength of their yogurt distribution network. Possibly weaker distribution, but evian should be none the worse off.
For Red Bull, this is an opportunity for them to improve their business through new opportunities. While their innovation track record outside of energy drinks has been poor, the sales of their energy drinks has been steady and growing. The fact that the energy drink manufacturer has returned to their roots among product innovation, they have also been creative to find new revenue-growing opportunities. This is where distribution becomes that great growth opportunity. As they deliver energy drinks to their retail customers, they can now satisfy more of the retailer’s beverage needs by bringing them evian as well. While evian is the first manufacturer to explore product delivery through Red Bull, there are other product manufacturers that may leverage Red Bull’s distribution infrastructure in the future. If Red Bull can expertly manage the evian distribution relationship and help the premium water brand regain sales momentum, then Red Bull stands to have many other growth opportunities in the future.
It would appear that Red Bull and Coca-Cola have more upside than evian in this new arrangement, but upside nonetheless. It would also be important for other beverage manufacturers to take notice of what is happening here. Would evian be better off approaching Pepsi to see if they can leverage a partnership with them? And if you’re Monster Energy, this offers short term gains with more truck space. Question is, will Coca-Cola one day end their distribution agreement to focus on Nos and other Coca-Cola owned energy drinks?
For the seventh consecutive year, evian has commissioned famous fashion designers to design a limited edition bottle for them. Following in the tradition of Issey Miyake, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Diane von Furstenberg, Elie Saab has agreed to design a limited edition glass bottle for evian. Saab’s unique patterns is described to depict a lace gown, which showcases the strong attention to detail and expert craftsmanship for both Saab and evian.
It appears that evian has forged a strong partnership between their premium bottled water brand and the fashion industry. With seven consecutive years of unique glass bottle designs and no indication of slowing down, this has become an annual tradition that all beverage shoppers look forward to (this one included). As all successful ventures spur imitators, it is very likely that other beverage brands will follow in evian’s footsteps by collaborating with artists and designers. Diet Coke has commissioned Marc Jacobs to design a collectible bottle for them, specifically available in the European markets. Prior to that, both Diet Coke and evian have both sought out a collaboration with Jean-Paul Gaultier for limited edition glass bottle designs. And most recently Perrier got into the designer bottles with Andy Warhol collector glass and plastic bottles. However, in trying to imitate evian, which beverage manufacturer has done it right and which hasn’t?
It seems that Diet Coke has done it right and Perrier has not. The partnership choices with Marc Jacobs, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Andy Warhol are all great choices. Despite being artists and designers in different industries (fashion and art), they all represent important facets toward artistic culture. However, while Marc Jacobs, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Elie Saab were commissioned to design the bottles in their current years, the Andy Warhol bottles are a design from twenty years ago. The difference is that what was current twenty years ago is not necessarily current today. And the designs with Jean-Paul Gaultier and Elie Saab were a direct collaborative effort with the designers themselves, Perrier’s collaboration is with the Andy Warhol Foundation.
Beyond the design, the other major flaw in Perrier’s strategy has been its packaging itself. A designer bottle must convey elegance and prestige, which will certainly exist for glass bottles. Even aluminum cans can have this elegant property when designed properly. Plastic bottles do not carry this trait. Plastic bottles carry with it a notion that it changes the taste of whatever beverage it holds with it. It also carries with it the perception that it was born out of a replacement for glass bottles. In addition to glass and plastic, see the image below for the various sizes that Perrier has made their Andy Warhol collection available for purchase. Despite the different product sizes and shapes that Diet Coke can be found in, the designer products were only limited to glass bottles and select aluminum cans. evian created a special 750ml size for their designer glass bottle. Neither made it available across their entire portfolio. Once this has been done, it takes away the prestige factor because it’s not as scarce.
Perrier’s final flaw: distribution. Not that Diet Coke showing up in grocery stores is any better, but the Perrier bottle has been found with the dollar channel. Does this need any more explaining? Collectible, and fashionable products rarely make its way to dollar channels or wholesale channels simply because of the channel’s image. With Andy Warhol Perrier being found there, what does that do for the brand and the product? I would imagine that it lowers its prestige and elegance.
In the end, it may only be a question of whether the Andy Warhol Perrier bottles actually helped Perrier sell more product. However, the broader question may be whether this collaborative effort has actually been detrimental toward both Perrier and Andy Warhol.
In a continuation of their Live Young global campaign debuting in 2009 with Roller Babies and extended in 2011 with Baby Inside, evian has released the 2013 extension of the campaign: Baby & Me. Maintaining their focus on babies and aligning that with natural purity, evian carries through their message of living young. As adults look into mirrors and see a reflection of themselves in baby form – “babyfied” according to evian – they break out in dance as they connect with their inner youth. See their commercial below:
Since 2009, there has been more digital involvment and evian has embraced that with this year’s campaign. Aside from the global launch of this video in 14 countries, evian’s facebook page is launching a “Baby & Me” app that uses facial recognition software to babyfy the user. The user can then share the babyfied version of themselves with their friends and social network.
With the incremental digital effort, there will likely be stronger engagement than the 2009 and 2011 campaigns. Can’t wait to see the app and try it out. BevWire readers can see a babyfied version of me here, and try it out for yourself.
Has anyone noticed the amount of press that AQUAhydrate has gotten recently? After their rebranding effort in 2012, they have reached some significant milestones. Most recently, they gained more national availability in the grocery channel with new distribution agreements at Safeway and Kroger’s. They secured even more publicity after Mark Wahlberg and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs announced they were partnering with AQUAhydrate to help develop and execute the beverage brand’s business strategy. What does all this mean for the brand and for Canadian consumers? Will their continued success lead to stronger availability in Canada? And how will celebrity partnerships help the beverage refreshment perform better?
Let’s answer the latter question first: will celebrity partnerships with Mark Wahlberg and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs help deliver stronger business performance? It all starts with making the right choices; there must be mutual benefits beyond previous arrangements like the celebrity endorsement compensated financially. When you are endorsing a beverage or any other product, you are mainly communicating the product or service benefits to the public. There is no guarantee that you believe in its success or benefits – you are simply saying what you’ve been paid to say in order to make money. However, what more and more companies realize that without any vested interest from the celebrity, it’s mainly a one-way transaction. There is no passion for the refreshment beyond the financials.
Through this realization, more companies are finding celebrities that truly believe in the product’s success. Diet Coke found Jean-Paul Gaultier, Taylor Swift, and Marc Jacobs. Pepsi found Beyonce. Evian has been doing this for years, and has found a plethora of fashion designers willing to put their mark on collectible glass bottles each year. All these celebrities are not just being paid to talk up their favorite beverage, rather they are involved with the business in some shape or form. Beyonce is involved with Pepsi’s creative process and how the soda brand is represented to music fans worldwide. In a similar sense, Wahlberg and Combs are expected to be involved with the business strategy component for AQUAhydrate. They are expected to actively participate in helping get AQUAhydate into more grocery stores and more consumer shopping carts. The fact that both celebrities chose to partner with AQUAhydrate, they must believe in the beverage’s business prospects and how they can add value. Therefore, this business partnership should stand a very high chance of success.
To answer the former question on what this means to Canadian retailers and consumers, the new distribution arrangements should help. Safeway is a grocery chain with an American presence as well as a Canadian presence, so the incremental distribution for AQUAhydrate could likely be the result of having the refreshment merchandised in Canadian Safeway grocery stores. Some research and a quick question to the AQUAhydrate team revealed that the water beverage is indeed found in Safeway stores, as well as most Canadian GNC and Quebec Couche-Tard outlets. Some readers have said that the beverage brand was also found in high-end grocery stores, so it can be expected that AQUAhydrate will continue to expand its Canadian presence.
Since its September rebranding effort, AQUAhydrate has rebounded and made some great strides forward. With its expanded distribution and strong celebrity partnerships, there’s no doubt that the beverage brand is primed for even more success in the future. With Walhberg and Combs on board to help with the business strategy, who knows what celebrity wants to sign on next with the brand to help propel it to new heights?
As with every year since 2008, premium bottled-water manufacturer evian has selected a fashion designer to come up with a limited edition design for their glass bottle. Click here to read about the 2012 design by Andre Courreges. This year’s designer is Diane von Furstenberg. This also marks the first year that evian has used an American designer. von Furstenberg is also the first female designer chosen by evian, but I don’t think that this should be a big deal since gifted designers are both male and female.
In von Furstenberg’s design of the bottle, here’s what the Martin Renaud, President of evian® Volvic® World said:
Diane von Furstenberg is a globally-recognized pioneer in the fashion industry through her eponymous DVF brand and has also established herself as an icon through her philanthropic ventures and mentorship as president of Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Her design for evian’s latest limited edition bottle symbolizes von Furstenberg’s youthful mindset and inspirational way of life, while perfectly embodying evian’s Live Young attitude and brand values.
The glass bottle’s design features words printed with the designer’s own handwriting, “Water is Life is Love is Life is Water is…” and is explained in the video above.
Something noticeably different in the packaging design this year: the bottle cap. The bottle is sealed with a screw cap rather than a twist cap, which appears to be easier to open than the previous designer bottles (I’ve only collected them, but have not opened any of them). In which case, this should make it a tougher decision for purchasers to collect them without opening them up.
According to the press release, the bottles can also be found throughout the of the year in hotels, bakeries, and select restaurants. In looking to purchase this collector bottles in Canada, I recommend going to your high-end specialty grocery supermarkets (Pusateri’s, McEwan, IGA, Urban Fare, etc).
HappyWater – a premium alkaline-based bottled water product – is launching in Vancouver this summer. From their Twitter account (@LiveHappyWater) and media kit, their bottled beverage can be described as a “100% blend of pure, natural spring and lithia waters from ancient Canadian mountain springs.” Their Twitter feed also tweets where they’ll be around Vancouver this summer to sample out product to passerbys, so feel free to seek them out for a free bottle if you work downtown.
First of all, what is the difference between “alkaline” or lithia water relative to other types of water and beverages? Scientifically speaking, there is a pH scale that determines the acidity and alkalinity of all beverage products. On a scale from 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline), 7 would be consider neutral. Searching on the web revealed the following results on beverage acidity: soft drinks (~3.2), juices (~5.0) and coffee (~5.0) are acidic. Waters have varying degrees of acidity or alkalinity depending on its manufacturing and purifying process. Aquafina (~5.4) and glaceau smartwater (~5.9) are slightly more acidic on the scale while evian (~7.4) and Fiji (~7.6) are slightly more basic on the scale. HappyWater’s (~7.4) alkalinity puts it in the same arena as evian (~7.3) and Fiji (~7.6). Since our stomach produces acid to break down our consumables, neutral (milk) and alkaline-based drinks would be some options to stabilize an upset stomach (or balance out the natural acids in our stomach).
Vancouver should be a good market to launch this premium product, given its local sourcing. HappyWater originates from the Canadian Rocky Mountains, relative to evian (French Alps) and Fiji (Fiji Islands). While I’m not sure if the location factors into the product pricing, they can be expected to be priced competitively with other premium waters. Their current availability is localized to Vancouver and parts of the Lower Mainland at the moment, but national and American expansion would be a great opportunity given the premium waters potential in the marketplace.
Until their expansion out East or me making a trip to Vancouver, I’ll just wait to try a HappyWater.
Evian is launching a home delivery service through an innovative fridge magnet. The water droplet shaped magnet is called “Smart Drop” and connects through your WiFi network for ordering the type of water you want, and your choice of delivery day and time. It is currently being tested in parts of France right now, specifically Paris. There has been no plans to launch the Smart Drop outside certain parts of Paris and close by suburbs, but we would have to wonder how successful this magnet can be if it comes to Canada. This may be a good idea based on European’s consumer and shopper behavior, would this item find success in Canada? The Smart Drop essentially cuts out the retailer to make buying water easier at home, so how does this affect Canadian retailers?
Retailers may react unfavorably toward the Smart Drop’s launch in Canada. evian would now be competing directly against the customers where they list their products. As a function of retailer consolidation in Canada, Canadian retailers typically hold more power than their European counterparts. Losing one retailer in Canada (ie. Loblaws/Superstores or Wal-Mart) could prove to be very significant. In addition to losing the evian bottled water sales, retailers are also afforded less opportunities to build a grocery trip sale with the “evian consumer”. This potentially takes out sales from fruit, bread, and a broad assortment of other grocery products.
On the other hand, it may not have as dramatic an affect as described above. evian could alleviate the problem by incorporating location services into the Smart Drop magnet, suggesting closely located retailers that may have evian on hand. This way, evian would be partnering with the retailer to reach the consumer rather than competing for the same consumer. Better yet, evian would branch out to become the delivery service for the retailer, helping deliver not only evian water but a variety of items to the consumer at home.
At the end of the day, this may simply be a novelty item for consumers to play with once or twice. It may not be sustainable since consumers still end up going to the grocery store for other products and bottled water exists as a grocery list item. The only consumers that may end up using this Smart Drop magnet long term would be die-hard evian consumers, but even then they would still need to go to buy other grocery products.
Retailers should have less to worry about than the worst-case scenario described above.