Yesterday, as part of my rehab programme, I wanted to challenge myself and change my shopping basket a little bit. I still went to Waitrose though, I thought if that changing my shopping habits was going to be hard enough, better go to a place where people smile at you instead of giving you a deathly glare, a la Tesco cashier at rush hour.

First step, I got “essential Waitrose still natural mineral water” instead of my beloved Evian. Those who know me would know that that was a big step; in fact I was proud of myself too. I did it! However, I had to admit that it was hard, even when I went to pay for it I had the impression that people was looking at me as if I was about to commit a crime. But the worse experience started when I finally got home and I opened the bottle. The branding was clean, fresh, with a gradient form blue to white, transmitting an idea of purity. The naming was perfect to sell the concept too; essential, natural, mineral, the three key words that would reinforce the idea of purity in your mind. However, the taste was sweet, strong and it felt really heavy on palate. Yes, you read it properly, on my palate.

People with a great palate will agree with me that water does have a taste. However, the reason why a transparent and apparently senseless liquid is a successful business is the brand experience. In a society where tap water is for free, there are millions of people who are willing to pay, in some cases more than 1 pound, for a litre of Evian water. Which makes lots of sense considering what you get for your money; drop by drop, you become healthier, fitter, more stylish and fashionable.

Evian is differentiated from other bottled water brands because it is not processed or filtered in anyway. It is higher in magnesium and calcium and lower in potassium…and it is the preferred water for movie stars, sports personalities and fashion brands love it for creative co-branding projects. According to Aqua Amore, an UK based water specialist company, during the Wimbledon Tennins Tournament last year, sales of Evian water increased by 20%. And you can currently purchase it on

Even around Évian-les-Bains in France, where the spring water can be drawn in various locations throughout the city, people still buy the bottled version. That is how far the power of branding goes.

While bottled water does make a first impact in the consumers minds, associating the plastic packaging with quality, Evian is French, has a picture of the Alps on its branding, a touch of pink that inspires femininity and a moving circle as a main key visual that surrounds all the elements, reinforcing the idea of power and energy for your body. In addition to that, in their communication, they use links to fashion, sports and celebrities in the big screen…so, how could I resist to it?

Impossible, because I am a single young woman working and loving fashion, who values health and like sports. Evian has been running into my veins for so long now that I am afraid that it is just too late for the rehab. Brand junky until the end!

By Laura Roig Vericat

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