We thrive on opportunities to build a brand from the ground up, or to do a complete brand refresh. We had just such an opportunity recently with the brand refresh of Aquation water.
Aquation is bottled water with an additive that helps strengthen tooth enamel. The water had previously been available through dentist office vending and in select outlets. When the project was brought to us the plan was to expand the availability of the water and to add new product lines. Eventually after several discovery sessions with the client it became apparent that the water needed more than just a new logo; a new complete brand that is more modern and more flexible to additional product lines had to be created.
Brand building is exhilarating, fascinating, and easily the most challenging part of being a part of a creative team. Clients set a list of goals they want to attain with their product including demographic appeal, design, personality, and more. So we have to apply all of the client’s goals along with our own experience and expertise to the project. Fortunately Aquation was open to rebuilding from the ground up so we had a lot of room to create something truly unique for them.
The first step for a project like this one is research. We spent a great deal of time looking at other similar products already on the market to ensure that our approach would be completely unique. We wanted to avoid mistakes that have already been made and avoid creating a “me too” design that traded on current successful designs already on the market. We pride ourselves in crafting brands and logos that aren’t trendy. Our work is resilient to changes in trends giving the work longevity and continued freshness. The work we do can feature trending elements but those elements can change with trends while the basic design remains recognizable, modern, and consistent. We love this stage of the work because it means group field trip! We went to some local markets to see how similar products looked on shelves. This project even had us drinking more water, which is a good thing!
The logo and general bottle design had to be fresh and different from everything else on the shelves but it also had to define the water as crisp, clear, and tasty. The eventual design inspiration came from water drops on a windshield during a rainstorm. The water made perfect round dots. Those dots and the circle in general are the core of the final design of the bottle. Dots spread across the bottle and disappear in a gradient that creates a larger circle. The tag would eventually be placed in a circle on the front of the bottle and the title even features a water drop. The final image is vibrant and it does impart clarity and freshness.
Aquation became the parent company name to the water. So we were tasked with coming up with a tag line and name that embodied the story and worked with a completely new design. The water is crisp, clear, and delicious but it also helps improve tooth health. The client also asked for a sort of science element hoping to trade on the impact that geek culture has had on the main stream. So the question we asked ourselves first is what do we do when something tastes really good? Well, we often smile. The idea of the smile brings in the healthy teeth element to the story. Now we just needed the geek element. We began thinking of formulas because of the percentage of the additive in the water. Eventually we came upon “The Smile Formula”. The water is the formula for a smile both because it tastes great and also because it helps build healthy teeth. The “formula” part of the tag was carried across all of the different skews Aquation eventually developed.
Sometimes great ideas come from happy accidents. The client eventually settled on calling the water WEN, short for water enhanced by nature since the additive for teeth is a naturally occurring element. While looking at one of the early bottle designs we noticed that looking through the back of the water bottle the title read “new”. Our idea was to subtly use that discovery in the brand message because this type of water is truly something new on the market. The client liked the word “new” so much that we brought it around to the front of the bottle and it became the brand name; new: nature enhanced water.
Now there are three skews of new water hitting the market, first in Whole Foods stores, that each has their own signature color and tag line relating to the additional benefits of the water aside from it just being delicious.
We had to create “flavor” copy for the back of the bottle and icons to represent water additives along with many other smaller details that make up the complete bottle design and tell the brand story. Working on a project with this wide of a scope is extremely complex and challenging. We had to jump many hurdles from telling the story, to designing the bottle, determining the demographic, and even emotional investment by our team and the client in the project and brand. Every member of Powell Creative invested time and creativity in this project by working on different aspects of the brand and design.