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As our iconic blue cartons establish their presence ever wider, we’ve had quite a few e-mails here at head office asking which Tesco and Waitrose stores AQUAPAX are now available in here in the UK.

Independents typically don’t tell us when they stock a product, and depending on the professionalism of the wholesalers, they can frequently experience out of stock periods, so here’s the list of the multiple stores we know this far, listed alphabetically… NB. If the store isn’t specifically listed as any other, then it’s a Tesco store listing.  If there’s no store near you yet, please be patient…

In addition to countless independent stores near you which already stock AQUAPAX, it is a listed product in both Tesco and Waitrose warehouses; if your local store doesn’t stock them in their range, you can ask for them to be stocked for you. (say please 🙂 )

As of writing, there’s still no news on our listing within Ocado, but hang on in there – we are too… meanwhile, we’re in selected Tesco.com stores, wherever there’s a superstore in the ‘picking’ area…

1-23 CITY RD LONDON – Tesco Express

124 TOTTENHAM COURT RD., LONDON – Tesco Express

125 THE STRAND, LONDON – Tesco Express

248 FULHAM ROAD, LONDON – Tesco Express

279 KINGS ROAD, LONDON – Tesco Express

50 CURZON STREET, LONDON – Tesco Express

700 FULHAM ROAD, LONDON – Tesco Express

82 HOLLAND PARK ROAD, LONDON – Tesco Express

87 GLOUCESTER RD, LONDON – Tesco Express

ACTON, LONDON – Tesco Express

ALDERLEY EDGE – Tesco Express

ALDERSGATE – Tesco Express

ALRESFORD SOTON – Tesco Express

AMERSHAM HILL AVE – Tesco Express

AMERSHAM,LONDON ROAD WEST, AMERSHAM, BUCKS, HP7 0HA

ANERLEY RD CRYSTAL PALACE – Tesco Express

ASCOT HIGH ST – Tesco Express

AYLESBURY EXTRA,BROADFIELDS RETAIL PARK,AYLESBURY,BUCKS, HP19 8BU

BAKER STREET, LONDON – Tesco Express

BALHAM, LONDON – Tesco Express

BALHAM, LONDON – Waitrose

BAMFORD – Tesco Express

BARBICAN – Waitrose

BARKING,HIGHBRIDGE ROAD,BARKING,GREATER LONDON,IG11 7BS

BARNES – Tesco Express

BARNET GREEN BIRMINGHAM – Tesco Express

BASILDON MAYFLOWER RETAIL PARK, BASILDON, ESSEX, SS14 3HZ

BASILDON PITSEA EXTRA,OFF STATION LANE,BASILDON, ESSEX, SS13 3JU

BATHWICK HILL BATH – Tesco Express

BATTERSEA RISE, LONDON – Tesco Express

BAYSWATER – Tesco Express

BEDFORD RIVERFIELD ROAD,RIVERFIELD DRIVE,BEDFORD, MK41 0SE

BELSIZE PARK, LONDON – Tesco Express

BELSIZE ROAD, LONDON – Tesco Express

BISHOPSGATE METRO,158-164 BISHOPSGATE, LONDON, EC2M 4LN

BLUEWATER – John Lewis Food Hall

BOREHAMWOOD TESCO EXTRA, SHENLEY ROAD, BOREHAMWOOD, HERTS, WD6 1JG

BRAMHALL CHESHIRE – Tesco Express

BRENT CROSS HENDON WAY TESCO, TILLING ROAD, LONDON, NW2 1LZ

BRENTWOOD – Tesco Express

BRIGHTON QUEENS RD – Tesco Express

BROMLEY – Tesco Express

BROOKLANDS EXTRA, BARNES WALLACE DRIVE, WEYBRIDGE, SURREY, KT13 0XF

BURNHAM HIGH ST – Tesco Express

BUSHEY HEATH – Tesco Express

CAMDEN, LONDON – Tesco Express

CANARY WHARF – Waitrose

CAVERSHAM – Tesco Express

CHAFFORD HUNDRED – Tesco Express

CHALFONT – Tesco Express

CHELMSFORD PRINCES ROAD,PRINCES ROAD,CHELMSFORD,ESSEX,CM2 9XW

CHELSEA, LONDON – Tesco Express

CHESHUNT TESCO EXTRA,BROOKFIELD CENTRE,WALTHAM CROSS,HERTFORDSHIRE,EN8 0TA

CHISWICK HIGH RD, LONDON – Tesco Express

CLAPHAM HIGH ST, LONDON – Tesco Express

CLAPHAM JUNCTION – Waitrose

CLERKENWELL – Waitrose

CLIFTON, NR.BRISTOL – Waitrose

CLIFTON BRISTOL – Tesco Express

CLIFTON RD MAIDA VALE – Tesco Express

COLCHESTER TESCO EXTRA, HIGHWOODS SQUARE, COLCHESTER, ESSEX, CO4 9ED

COLNEY HATCH TESCO, COPPETTS CENTRE, NORTH CIRCULAR ROAD, N12 0SH

COVENT GARDEN TESCO METRO,22-25 BEDFORD STREET, LONDON, WC2E 9EQ

COVENTRY ARENA TESCO EXTRA, PHOENIX WAY, WEST MIDLANDS,CV6 6EN

CRADDOCKS ASHTEAD – Tesco Express

CROUCH END – Tesco Express

CROUCH-END – Waitrose

CROUCH ST COLCHESTER – Tesco Express

CROXTED RD DULWCH – Tesco Express

CUFFLEY – Tesco Express

DANBURY – Tesco Express

DATCHET – Tesco Express

DEAN ROW RD WILMS – Tesco Express

DEAN STREET METRO, DEAN STREET,LONDON, W1D 3RS

DERBY HILTON – Tesco Express

DIDSBURY – Tesco Express

DORRIDGE SOLIHULL – Tesco Express

DROVEWAY HOVE – Tesco Express

EALING TESCO METRO, UNIT 20 BROADWAY SHOPPING CENTRE, LONDON, W5 5JY

EALING WEST – Waitrose

EASTBOURNE MEADS – Tesco Express

EDGEWARE ROAD – Waitrose John Barnes EAST SHEEN – Tesco Express

EMMER GREEN – Tesco Express

EST RD SHOREDITCH, LONDON – Tesco Express

EUSTON ROAD, LONDON – Tesco Express

FARNHAM COMMON – Tesco Express

FINCHLEY,21-29 BALLARDS LANE,LONDON,GREATER LONDON,N3 1XP

FLEET – Tesco Express

FLEET STREET LONDON – Tesco Express

FOREST ROW – Tesco Express

FORTUNE GREEN RD – Tesco Express

FOUR MARKS ALTON – Tesco Express

FULHAM – Tesco Express

FULHAM PALACE RD – Tesco Express

GALLIONS REACH TESCO EXTRA, 1 ARMADA WAY,LONDON, E6 7FB

GEORGE ST LONDON – Tesco Express

GOODGE STREET METRO,10-16 GOODGE STREET,LONDON, W1T 2QB

GRAYSHOTT HASLEMERE – Tesco Express

GREENFORD HOOVER BUILDING,OLD HOOVER BUILDING,GREENFORD, UB6 8DW

GREENWOOD CROWTHORNE – Tesco Express

GUILDFORD BRIDGE – Tesco Express

GUILDFORD,ASHENDEN ROAD,GUILDFORD,SURREY,GU2 7UN

HALE – Tesco Express

HAMMERSMITH TESCO METRO,13-16 BROADWAY CENTRE,LONDON, W6 9YD

HAMMERSMITH,180 SHEPHERDS BUSH ROAD,LONDON, W6 7NL

HAMPTON HILL – Tesco Express

HARPENDEN – Tesco Express

HARROW STATION ROAD TESCO,STATION ROAD, HARROW, HA1 2TU

HATCH END – Tesco Express

Hatfield Extra, Great North Road, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9

HAVEN GRN EALING – Tesco Express

HAYES UXBRIDGE RD – Tesco Express

HAYES YEADING TESCO EXTRA, GLENCOE ROAD, HAYES, UB4 9SQ

HEATH ST HAMPSTED – Tesco Express

HEATON MOOR STOCKPORT – Tesco Express

HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TESCO, JARMAN WAY, HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, HERTS, HP2 4JS

HENLEAZE – Tesco Express

HIGH WYCOMBE LOUDWATER, LONDON ROAD, HIGH WYCOMBE, BUCKS, HP10 9RT

HIGHBURY TESCO METRO, 43 HOLLOWAY ROAD, LONDON, N7 8JP

HIGHGATE HIGH ST – Tesco Express

HISTON CAMBS – Tesco Express

HOLBORN VIADUCT – Tesco Express

HORNSEY HIGH ST – Tesco Express

HOVE – Tesco Express

HOVE DENMARK VLLS – Tesco Express

ICKENHAM HIGH RD – Tesco Express

ISLINGTON GREEN TESCO METRO, 25-29 ISLINGTON GREEN, LONDON, N1 8DU

JERSEY FARM ST ALBANS – Tesco Express

KENSINGTON METRO, 146-158 HIGH STREET, LONDON, W8 6SU

KENSINGTON TESCO, WEST CROMWELL ROAD,LONDON, W14 8PB

KENTISH TOWN – Tesco Express

KEW GARDEN – Tesco Express

KING ST HAMMRSMTH – Tesco Express

KINGSCROSS TESCO METRO, 21 CALEDONIAN ROAD, LONDON, N1 9DX

KINGS ROAD CHELSEA – Waitrose

LANGFORD BICESTER – Tesco Express

LEWISHAM TESCO, 209 LEWISHAM ROAD, LONDON, SE13 7PY

LEYES LANE KENILWORTH – Tesco Express

LILLIPUT POOLE – Tesco Express

LITTLE CHALFONT – Tesco Express

LOCKSHEATH SOUTHAMPTON – Tesco Express

LONDON BLACKFRIARS – Tesco Express

LYCHPIT BASINGSTOKE – Tesco Express

MAIDA VALE – Tesco Express

MAILBOX BIRMINGHAM – Tesco Express

MARKET WINCHESTER – Tesco Express

MARYLEBONE – Tesco Express

MELCOMBE ST LONDON – Tesco Express

MONCK ST VICTORIA – Tesco Express

NEW BARNET – Tesco Express

NEW MALDEN TESCO EXTRA,300 BEVERLEY WAY, NEW MALDEN, KT3 4PJ

NEWBURY TESCO EXTRA, PINCHINGTON LANE, NEWBURY, WEST BERKS, RG14 7HB

NEWTON MEARNS – Tesco Express

NORTH END RD WEST KENSINGTON – Tesco Express

NORTHAMPTON SOUTH TESCO EXTRA,CLANNELL ROAD, NORTHANTS, NN4 0JF

NOTTINGHAM TRINITY SQUARE – Waitrose

NORTHFIELDS EALING – Tesco Express

NORTHWICH REGENCY – Tesco Express

NOTTING HILL GATE TESCO METRO,114-120 NOTTING HILL GATE, LONDON, W11 3QE

NOTTINGHAM COMPTON – Tesco Express

OAKWOOD – Tesco Express

OLD BROAD ST – Tesco Express

OLD BROMPTON RD – Tesco Express

OLDSWINFORD – Tesco Express

OLNEY MARKET PLAC – Tesco Express

OLYMPIA HAMMERSMITH – Tesco Express

OSTERLEY TESCO EXTRA, OSTERLEY PARK, ISLEWORTH, GREATER LONDON, TW7 5NZ

OXFORD ST. ALDATES – Tesco Express

OXFORD STREET – John Lewis Food Hall

OXFORD TESCO,UNIT 7 OXFORD RETAIL PARK,OXFORD, OXFORDSHIRE, OX4 6XJ

OXLEY PARK MILTON KEYNES – Tesco Express

OXTED – Waitrose

PIMLICO – Tesco Express

PORTOBELLO ROAD TESCO METRO,224-226 PORTOBELLO ROAD, LONDON, W11 1LJ

PURLEY TESCO EXTRA, 8 PURLEY ROAD, PURLEY, GREATER LONDON, CR8 2HA

PUTNEY HIGH ST – Tesco Express

QUAYSIDE NEWCASTLE – Tesco Express

QUEENS RD WYBRDGE

QUEENSWAY TESCO METRO, 138/142 QUEENSWAY, LONDON, W2 6LS

READING TESCO EXTRA, NAPIER ROAD, READING, READING, RG1 8DF

REGENT ST CLIFTON – Tesco Express

REGENT STREET TESCO METRO,17-25 REGENT STREET, LONDON, SW1Y 4LR

RICHMOND TESCO METRO,29 GEORGE STREET,RICHMOND, TW9 1HY

RIDGEWAY RD FARNHAM – Tesco Express

ROMFORD TESCO EXTRA, 300 HORNCHURCH ROAD, HORNCHURCH, RM11 1PY

ROYAL HOSPITAL RD – Tesco Express

RUSSELL SQUARE – Tesco Express

SANDHURST TESCO EXTRA, THE MEADOWS, SANDHURST, BERKS, GU47 0FD

SHEFFIELD FULWOOD – Tesco Express

SHENFIELD BRENTWD – Tesco Express

SHENLEY – Tesco Express

SIDCUP TESCO,EDGINGTON WAY,SIDCUP, GREATER LONDON, DA14 5BN

SLOUGH WELLINGTON TESCO EXTRA,BRUNEL WAY,SLOUGH, SL1 1XW

SOUTH WHARF PADTN – Tesco Express

SOUTHAMPTON ROW – Tesco Express

SOUTHEND TESCO EXTRA,PRINCE AVENUE,WESTCLIFF-ON-SEA, SS0 0JP

ST ALBAN BEECH RD – Tesco Express

ST GEORGES WHARF – Tesco Express

ST JOHN CLERKNWLL – Tesco Express

ST JOHNS WOOD – Tesco Express

ST MARGARETS TWIKENHAM – Tesco Express

ST PAULS LONDON – Tesco Express

STORRINGTON – Tesco Express

STOTFOLD – Tesco Express

ST. KATHERINE’S DOCK – Waitrose

STRATFORD UPON AVON TESCO, BIRMINGHAM ROAD, STRATFORD-U-AVON, CV37 0UA

STRATFRD BANBURY RD- Tesco Express

STUKELEY MEADOWS – Tesco Express

SUNBURY-ON-THAMES TESCO EXTRA, STAINES ROAD WEST, TW16 7BB

SUTTON CHEAM TESCO EXTRA, OLDFIELDS ROAD, SUTTON, SM1 2NB

SWAINS LANE HIGHGATE – Tesco Express

TABARD SQUARE LONDON – Tesco Express

THEYDON BOIS – Tesco Express

THORPE BAY – Tesco Express

TORQUAY LYMINGTON – Tesco Express

TOTLEY SHEFFIELD – Tesco Express

TRAFALGAR SQUARE – Tesco Express

TWICKENHAM EXTRA, MOGDEN LANE,ISLEWORTH, GREATER LONDON, TW7 7JY

TWICKENHAM LONDON – Tesco Express

UNTHANK RD NORWCH – Tesco Express

VALLEY PARK SOUTHAMPTON – Tesco Express

WANSTEAD – Tesco Express

WATFORD EXTRA,239-241 LOWER HIGH STREET, WATFORD, HERTS, WD17 2BD

WATLING RADLET – Tesco Express

WEST BYFLEET – Tesco Express

WESTFIELD SHOPPING CENTRE – Waitrose

WEST HAMPSTEAD – Tesco Express

WEST ST ROTTINGDN – Tesco Express

WESTMINSTER BRDGE – Tesco Express

WESTERN RD BRIGHTON – Tesco Express

WHITE CITY – Tesco Express

WIMBLEDON – Tesco Express

WIMBLEDON HILL – Tesco Express

WIMBLEDON METRO,OLD TOWN HALL, THE BROADWAY, GREATER LONDON, SW19 8YA

WINCHMORE HILL – Tesco Express

WINDSOR – Waitrose

Please let us know if you have any difficulties finding AQUAPAX in any of the above stores. Sometimes we’re in the fridge and other times on the shelf – co-ordinating a retail listing isn’t as straightforward as you think… 😉

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Well it rhymes with trouble and strife, but no-one really wants to read of another’s woes, so I opted for the more palatable headline… We too have the day to day pressures of running a growing business, late paying customers and un-cooperative banks, but in the wider scheme of things, we’re winning down here at AQUAPAX head office, with both our customer base and distribution network moving in the right direction. More importantly, as an entrepreneur with a reasonably healthy ‘macro’ perspective, we remain healthy and happy as a family during those precious (few) hours we spend together.

Someone bought my attention to a hydration article recently which is worth sharing… Recent research has uncovered habitual dehydration among 96% of the UK’s office workers, which has prompted a campaign by one of the more worthy natural juice companies (Juice Doctor). It’s designed to educate the nation and encourage healthy hydration habits, urging people to check the colour of their urine as a matter of course and setting the nation a goal to ‘keep it light’.

Apparently two in every three Brits are dehydrated and while our bodies offer an accurate visual detector to understand our individual hydration level, there’s a distinct lack of understanding of what the campaign refers to as ‘simple biology’. Their findings show that 93 percent of office workers either don’t check and/or don’t know what the colour of their urine indicates. For those who didn’t study biology, the lighter your urine, the better you’re hydrated!

The ‘Keep It Light!’ survey polled over 1,000 UK office workers and apparently a shocking 75 percent of UK office workers cited their first response to a headache as taking headache pills rather than drinking more water. This coincides with my observations at the fabulous designer label Theatre de la Mode’s Olympian Exhibition in Brompton Rd last week; we allowed a significant quantity of water for consumption on a hot evening, only to find a majority seeking hydration in vodka punch. It was a nice punch, but moderation went out of the window! Still, the wise ones would have been grateful for their AQUAPAX experience next morning…

Back to the report, which claims the majority of folk surveyed, 60% believed they drank enough water, less than 4% were actually getting the recommended 7+ glasses of water per day. Shockingly (from my perspective) almost three-quarters of the respondents admitted to drinking either no water at all or only one to two glasses.  I find it’s a good discipline to keep my AQUAPAX on my desk at work. I can then re-fill it from the water dispenser (aka tap) and put the lid back on to keep my water cool inside the pack rather than sitting in an open glass warming while awaiting colleagues to cough in it… (bad image but that’s the reality!)

It’s proven that a mere 2% drop in hydration can lead to a massively disproportionate 20% drop in concentration. This leads to the ‘Keep It Light!’ campaign crux which warns a habitually dehydrated worker can be wasting up to one day per week in loss of concentration. Staggering statistics!

Enough of the public service broadcast for one blog, what’s happenening at AQUAPAX head office I hear you ask… Yes that was a typo if you looked closely, but if it’s good word for a 4 year old, it’s cool by me!

AQUAPAX has commenced the long awaited launch into the first 60 Tesco stores, primarily across the south east of England, but some as far afield as the midlands where we’re in Coventry and Stratford Upon Avon. It’s an ambient listing in the first instance, which means the AQUAPAX will probably be on the shelf rather than in the fridge, however, that’s the way it has to be before we can roll out to a more accessible store base within a more prominent front of store location.

We’re awaiting the wider scale roll out before making noise and generating attention to our presence, which we’re planning to coincide with our new website – running a little late but live before the Summer’s out.  On that note, it’s time to start the week – well it is almost 07:00 so the week has officially begun. Keep smilling 🙂

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It’s a challenge to read my optimistic embrace of 22nd April (below) and reconcile it with how the news of the gulf oil slick – which unfolded later that same day – made and continues to make me feel. The wonderful ecological initiatives being undertaken by so many good people are dwarfed by the continuing devastation in the gulf. 

All the recycling in the world is undone by whatever went wrong deep under the sea. We watch as it spews its foul smelling hydrocarbons wreaking havoc on the ecology of the southern United States. I’ve twittered about this and other aspects of life, but resurrecting a full blown blog seemed unattractive to me up to now.

I spoke at the Brighton & Hove Chamber breakfast last Friday and a friend of mine, Gordon Borer, quoted Simon Sinek to me and reinforced something deep within; Gordon stressed to keep telling ‘my why’. To communicate my vision of how AQUAPAX will bring the wider culture change in our consumer society which I so earnestly desire… So as it’s world environment day on Saturday (June 5th) here goes with another creative release… (http://www.youtube.com/brightonchamber ; http://uk.linkedin.com/in/gordonborer ; http://startwithwhy.com/)

My why is driven by the deep feelings I had while watching the tsunami footage back on December 26th 2004 and how helpless I subsequently felt when my plans to ‘lend a hand’ were vetoed within the structure of the corporation that was my then employer.

This led me to work on a disposable portable water container suitable for long term storage, with comprehensive integrity in terms of its function and carbon footprint. This near obsession and my ultimate mission of launching a premium consumer brand called AQUAPAX, evolved into my strategy to swim up-stream when the ‘institutions’ of the world wouldn’t work with our ‘new business’…

I’ve always loved trees and dropping geography for woodwork was one of the first independent decisions I made, which impacted my education in ways I was then too young to grasp. Working with sustainable forest sources as a renewable material was the only true way I could think of to ensure the future of the worlds great forests. Look closely at the front of an AQUAPAX – you will see this clearly.

I deliberately chose to carbon balance our business energy emmissions because I knew the well meaning green brigade would otherwise leap upon AQUAPAX source being a few hundred kilometres further away than was optimal. Choosing the particular source we did – one of the purest natural mineral waters on the planet – is because I know too much about inferior quality water and was not prepared to develop a product without integrity. (a pure thirst for the environment ®)

We’ve continued to thrive through a deep recession we didn’t budget for because people are getting our message and I feel so grateful that our growing distribution now embraces a tribe of human connections in 4 countries with some major well respected retail alliances already on board our revolution…

Since my last blog on earth day: –

  • We sponsored the Estethica Press Day – held at Clarence House.
  • We sponsored the first ever exhibition of Palestinian Art – held at Kenny Shatners Rove Gallery in Hoxton Square. (We embrace art & not politics!)
  • We sponsored the regeneration project at the Rag Factory off Brick Lane, masterminded by a brilliant young photography student Charlotte Streeter.
  • We’ve agreed an exciting sponsorship with Creative Director Chris Kelly and his iconic fashion label ‘Theatre De La Mode’ for their upcoming film premier fashion show in Knightsbridge.
  • We sponsored the (non-alcoholic) refreshment in the VIP arena at the Antibes Boat Show.
  • We’ve also agreed an ongoing high profile sponsorship with the world famous FIAC in Paris through to 2012.

‘There’s revolution in the air’ – as Bob Dylan sang all those years ago… watch this space as AQUAPAX (the eco-chic conscience of the bottled water industry) gathers increasing pace over this summer and the seasons which follow, or ping me directly with your postcode if you’d like to know where your nearest current stockist is…
I’ll write again soon – I promise.  😉

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Opportunities I mean – you wait forever for the one you want and then 2 come along at the same time… it’s certainly been like that lately, hence my absence from writing.

We partnered with Estethica for their press day at the London May Fair hotel on 11th November. Estethica is officially the British Fashion Council’s eco sustainable initiative and it’s now in its seventh season. During that time it’s evolved to become the epicentre (and the collective conscience) for London’s ethical fashion industry and it was an honour that they asked AQUAPAX (the conscience of the bottled water industry) to partner with them for this prestigious and premium quality event.

The day was a tremendous success showing there’s no need to compromise on design or style while remaining true to one’s personal and professional ethics. Despite some seriously ‘off-piste’ questioning at the start of the open press session, everyone agreed it was sensible for Estethica to maintain a separate stance to the core BFC press day, where they otherwise risk being marginalised by the big name classics.

I even managed to meet my son for a ‘pie and mash’ dinner near London Bridge later in the evening, which is something we haven’t done for a long time.

As if that wasn’t enough activity for one day, I’d started the day in Lewes (East Sussex), where the students at Sussex Down College were presenting the output of their Digital Media ‘motion graphics’ module. These incredibly talented individuals used AQUAPAX as their challenger brand to support with a series of viral ads, created to spread the word of our more sustainable mineral water against the corporate communications might of ‘the big boys’. At this point I’d very much like to publicly thank both the students and their tutors, particularly Sue Bamford and their professional animation tutor Sarah Bird – her work is awesome if you have the time…

The videos are now posted on you tube and if you search for AQUAPAX, you’ll see there’s quite a quirky collection gathering… (or click & follow this link) They range from seriously professional to… well, make up your own mind. Some students got a little close to simply condemning plastic bottles as opposed to actually promoting AQUAPAX, but as the group were kind enough to do this work for my brand, I wasn’t going to try and influence or control their output.
As a brand owner, this loss of control to a group of students could be perceived a brave (or foolish) decision, but I believe a brand exists in an open form, to be embraced (or not) and ultimately shaped by its consumers. How else would our brand have ended up within a ‘monty python’ style wacky but imminently watchable video?

Sure advertising can try to control consumer perception of a brand, but as a marketer, I’m conscious that brand interaction becomes more intimate once the ‘buy’ decision has been made; during the consumption phase or post purchase remorse as we were taught when I was a student.

Appreciating this isn’t a normal experience with a consumable like bottled water, it’s the iconic AQUAPAX design – thanks again SunHouse – which helps us build an emotional connectivity with our customers. As the retail price points for AQUAPAX and the plethora of plastic bottled stuff are broadly the same, our design led brand image has become our real brand attribute.

Anyone who’s read my blog (or tried our water) knows our product quality is superior but providing it can at least live up to and reinforce initial consumer perception of our brand promise (which it absolutely does) I believe that’s a more important brand attribute than me trying to tell consumers what their brand perception should be. Perception is reality as my friend Chris used to say.

Our French distributors have a slightly different perspective to my ‘let it be’ approach and you can see their incredibly professional animated video film in the same ‘you tube’ space if you type in our brand name, or follow my tweet link on the right. I respect the wonderfully collaborative creative work from Drinkyz and their partners at Scorpio Music and love both the funky imagery and the music itself; yet at the same time, there’s a shorter video from a Sussex Downs student called David Rosser which absolutely nails brand AQUAPAX in just 15 seconds!

Speaking of busses (I was in the beginning) I’m off to see Vegan Routes tomorrow in Brewer St. Soho, where AQUAPAX is the beverage of choice in their fine new vegan restaurant on board a renovated and quality converted 1967 Routemaster bus… Maybe we can meet there for lunch one day 🙂

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Between 22 and 25 October the art world turned out in force to celebrate the 36th FIAC in Paris. 210 galleries exhibited the work of 4,200 artists, with works prominently housed at the magnificent space within the ‘Grand Palais’ and at the ‘Cour Carrée du Louvre’ – the world famous museum known by all and visited by many.

I can assure you that seeing a series of paintings by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon in real life is pretty impressive, especially considering the way our AQUAPAX cartons seemed to blend so perfectly into their incredible surroundings, but my personal favourite was a piece of art created by Kader Attia. I saw this on my walk between the Grand Palais and the Louvre, where the outdoor projects in the Tuileries gardens were some of the most creative and large scale pieces on show.

Cymbales, tiges de bambous

The artist in question had created a work consisting of cymbals, installed slightly above water level in a large octagonal basin. The cymbals were all displayed in different angles, so each produced its own resonance, when affected by rain, wind, or indeed the sound of coins being thrown by enthusiastic visitors. The weather in Paris was spectacular for my visit, so I didn’t get to see how the rain impacted the piece, but I certainly ‘got it’ and to directly quote the artist ”Nature always transcends culture” – at least for me it does! leaf me alone i'm reflecting

The core sponsors for the FIAC event (for the past 4 years) have been the Galeries Lafayette, which has a common ambition as the FIAC, to promote creative energy and to see the whole city come to life for art. AQUAPAX at Galeries Lafayette1
AQUAPAX has recently partnered with Galeries Lafayette, which is why AQUAPAX was the water sponsor for all of the exhibitors during this magnificent art festival. Roll on 2010, especially if the weather is as wonderful as 2009. AQUAPAX at Galeries Lafayette2

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I can’t help wonder why decision making is sometimes so difficult. Are we afraid of ‘no’ or do we genuinely not know? This has been a frustrating fortnight for ‘maybe’, ‘possibly’ and ‘might’ – the financial markets may be recovering quite well, but there’s a hard core of ‘no decision suits me better’ out there which has to change if the economy is to pick up properly.

Commitment is a wonderful thing because it gives the impetus to go forward. Foundations can be laid and plans developed while positive actions are taken towards the execution of whatever has been decided. Once decisions are made, there’s no need to wait for anything and that same decisive action is now needed to kick-start the business world back to life.

In our own small way, we’re going for it and we’ve agreed to sponsor this year’s Chalgrove Live Music Festival. The way I see it, there will be 20 bands playing to an audience of a few thousand over 3 days from Friday evening 7th to Sunday evening 9th August. It’s a far more intimate affair than Glasto and unlikely to be as muddy… It’s also a perfect opportunity for families to enjoy their own music festival and let’s face it, music is a wonderful thing if you can enjoy it with people you love.

Why did we choose this particular festival this year? Well we’re scaling back a little, paying homage to these prudent times, but it’s still getting us out there in the Oxfordshire community, which is one of those areas where Aquapax doesn’t yet have great representation. (come on Oxfordshire businesses – your residents need Aquapax.) So there’s the strategic rationale, whereas on a human level, the fact we agree with the CLM ethos as a fun for the family fund raising festival (lots of f’s) which donates its profits to noble local charities is right up our street.

The Chalgrove Live Music Festival website seems to be having some issues right now, but we hope to see you there in any case. Find me on the Saturday if you want to talk opportunities – after 2 nights in a tent I get a little sleepy… 😉

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I’m overflowing with pride (I know it’s a sin, but read on) to announce that Aquapax natural mineral water is officially partnering with 1.618 the first ever sustainable luxury fair being held at the Palais de Tokyo, Museum of Modern Art, in Paris from 15 -17 May 2009.

1.618 is a new multi-disciplinary show presenting the best products and services in Luxury and Sustainable Development industries in an original and contemporary environment, with support from the French Ministry of Culture and the World Wild Fund (WWF).

As the foremost brand of pure natural mineral water in a more planet conscious paper carton, Aquapax is proud to participate in this the first celebration of goods which fulfill the need for luxury without compromise on sustainability.

Open to the public, 1.618 will showcase the best produced luxury goods and services which combine Luxury and Sustainable Development in an innovative and contemporary setting.

As lifted from their website / press release, the 1.618 event considers contemporary luxury as ethical, essential, aesthetical and immaterial. Luxury has always defined itself through notions of timelessness, heritage and value. Yet luxury also concerns itself with: –
• The will to preserve and protect natural resources
• Research and innovations that aim to reduce social inequalities
• The respect of human rights
• The exploration of the sensory system
• Self-discovery through object appreciation
• An understanding of rarity
• The preservation of skills and techniques

Today, luxury inscribes itself in sustainable development and aims to create new desires within a responsible framework. Luxury is Sustainable Development / Luxury is our planet. The sustainability of luxury depends on its capacity to change, innovate and create new myths. aka AQUAPAX 🙂

For more details, visit the 1.618 website

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