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Posts Tagged ‘mineral water’

There’s a degree of hypocrisy among many well meaning folk with fundamentally good intentions but closed minds. They hear or read a little about something and become disciples of the cause, without really understanding anything about the process or ‘thing’ they’re advocating.

Everything is fundamentally recyclable or capable of re-use for some purpose other than which it was originally created, and at the risk of being called a heretic, being recyclable is not ‘the holy grail’ when making a product choice. The order for thinking people who really want to minimise their planetary impact should be (a.) do I need to consume this? (b.) is this the most sustainable option? (c.) am I compromising my personal tastes or quality standards? (d.) do I have the means to afford my choice?

Embracing product sustainability as opposed to base level recyclability is the next step we need to teach the masses, which is quite a technically challenging communication to execute.

Most folk don’t want detail; they’re happy to know a little about something and to close their minds to any ignorance. That is human nature, so we shouldn’t knock it, but I do so appreciate consumers who take the time to ask why, and who more importantly, open their minds to listen to the answer.

To bring today’s piece around to bottled water (as you’re expecting me to); portable packaged water is a unique product within a media driven customer psyche. The ‘moral’ decision for ‘planet conscious’ consumers is whether to ever buy into this product category at all. Bear witness the small Australian town of Bundanoon’s recent headline grabbing bottled water ban, which I’ve previously blogged on.

Considering the alternatives are either fattening, contain sugars, additives or alcohol, most thinking people will accept the necessary evil of a pure beverage as a distress solution when there is no tap accessible. That doesn’t oblige consumption; it simply allows choice for when one doesn’t choose to hydrate with any of the aforementioned alternatives.

As customer focussed businesses, retailers and caterers are obliged to service customer needs, so they cannot be criticised too severely for stocking this product category, however, their commitment to CSR should be challenged…

A well thought out CSR policy must drive a sustainable procurement approach – one where satisfying customer needs in an ecologically sensitive way, without compromising product quality, is appropriately weighted on the ‘decision scorecard’ being used.

A parochial approach to bottled water so often leads to customer choice being restricted to whichever bottled water is packaged closest to where it’s being consumed, irrespective of its quality or true ecological impact. This geographic weighting ignores the genuine attributes of products which often come from further away, yet are proven to ‘cost less’ on any correctly weighted ecologically motivated score card.

Think inside the box – we’re only custodians of this maginificent planet, and it really does make sense! 🙂

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It’s the final week of Organic Fortnight and we’ve had a great response to our customer promotions. I’ve been doing a series of customer tastings to introduce new customers and say hi to some of our long standing friends, and the atmosphere has been really positive.

Whole Foods Market in particular have got their stores behind the integrity of Aquapax in putting together a great customer offer for the whole month of September. There’s never been a better time to buy Aquapax in town, while out of town, anyone who’s been to Brighton recently without visiting VBbites Café at Hove lagoon, needs to make another trip – yes their vegan food is worth it and of course they serve wonderfully chilled Aquapax.

Next week, is another major milestone in our brief history, as we celebrate The Westminster Collection’s networking event, ‘A Night To Remember With TWC‘, at the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday 22nd. The exquisitely positioned networking evening has been a complete sell-out, with over 850 pre-registrations. Aquapax is the mineral water sponsor for this prestigious evening, so it will be especially rewarding to see our iconic blue cartons wandering off down the Strand after the show.

At the same time as the TWC evening, Aquapax are also the prime sponsors at the oh so chic and totally inspirational Gallery FUMI launch party in Tabernacle St. and also at the more intimate Gallery FUMI and Studio Toogood Corn Craft dinner at their Hoxton Square venue. Both of these events kick-off their celebrations for the 2009 London Design Festival and we’re thrilled to be a part of the festivities.

The Aquapax ‘water wall’ (pictures to follow) is being designed by the immensely talented Pierric Verger who’s put a lot of himself into getting the wall right. The intention is to communicate the flowing energy of Aquapax to everyone visiting the gallery, as well as to keep the water chilled for those partaking of non-alcoholic refreshment.

Enquiries so far this week include Denmark and Puerto Rico, but then it is only Monday. Who ever said dreams don’t come true just didn’t work hard enough…

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yours truly with the maestro Paul Rankin & his Aquapax

yours truly with the maestro Paul Rankin & his Aquapax

As always, there’s been a lot going on in Aquapax world over the past few weeks. It’s the silly season of shows at weekends and store samplings mid week, so taking a holiday has been the furthest thing from my mind, despite jovial e-mails from folk who read my blog wondering when I’m back.

We had a really successful 3 day Hatfield House Country Show this year, where the good fortune of being positioned next to Miles (the curry sauce man) certainly raised our sampling customer numbers. There was a special atmosphere in the Food Hall, as a few of us took turns at broadcasting the Ashes criscket score to visitors (and one another), causing spontaneous nervous laughter and the occassional ripple of applause. A particularly uplifting moment of the show was when an off duty representative of a well known supermarket engaged with me on why I created Aquapax, leading to an exchange of cards towards the end of the conversation… (watch this space)

The bank holiday weekend just gone was less illustrious, as we took a last minute stand in the Food Hall at the Stoneleigh Park Festival. The event has so much potential, but alas the Food Hall wasn’t laid out terribly well… Life is what we make of it, and in this instance, the time we had as ‘traders’ allowed us to get to know one another socially. The ‘Dunkirk spirit’ kicked in and the ‘celebrity chefs’ coordinated by the professionals at ‘chefs on stage’  were generous in their support of all the trade at the show, encouraging the public to engage and sample our wares. There are a lot worse ways to spend a bank holiday weekend and I’m grateful for the spontaneous social time ‘Neil waterguy’ spent with ‘Curry Sauce John’ & ‘Chocolate Heaven Lucy’.

Speaking of chefs, I met a wonderful Chef called Claire Harbron and get on with her like a lost friend. We’ve got a great alliance going with her and her fellow professionals at the dalston kitchen. They create the iconic ‘dk’ lunch boxes seen at the best photo shoots and outdoor events across town, where it’s a fantastic accolade they’ve chosen Aquapax as their water in the box! Kind of sums up their quality proposition really, which shouldn’t be any surprises for anyone who’s tried Aquapax.

Got a lot more web work to do in the coming weeks with my webtech friend Ian. We’ve discovered a typo on our French site (read carefully) and we also need to create a page for our new Dutch distribution alliance. Also want to plan the site development as the revolution is growing now and I really want to communicate that growth to keep our new recruits smilling. In the meanwhile, here’s something else to keep you smiling – our latest internet advertisement ‘the guillotine’ It’s all go in water world… 🙂

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Life has never been boring and this last weekend was spent enjoying some wonderfully talented bands playing live music at the Chalgrove Live Music Festival in Oxfordshire, where Aquapax was one of their core sponsors.  sunset over chalgrove

The Festival is designed for people to enjoy live music in a family fun atmosphere while raising money for local worthy causes – this year’s charity was ‘crossroads – caring for carers’.

They had 20 bands booked in total and the face painters and fun-fair helped bring a real family feel to this intimate live music fest, which was real fun to be a part of. spiderman likes aquapax

My son and I took a stand outside the beer tent  to offer ice cool Aquapax original (and energy drinks) to the bands as well as for the warm and weary members of the public – drinking beer for 12 hours in serious sunshine isn’t for the faint hearted, although we met plenty of people willing to try! 

All things considered, the event was well run and there were some genuinely nice people there. We had a really enjoyable weekend in the sunshine and it was great that the weather folk got it so wrong on this occasion!

zebra guy at the CLMF 2009

zebra guy at the CLMF 2009

Bands worthy of a mention from this particular critic were:

The Motowners ; Strange Folk (amazing voice) ; Quo Incidence (if you like that kind of thing) ; All Right Now (must be my generation) ; Jiv’in Jules Jazz Ensemble (pity a lot of folk were still in bed) ; The Whoo (?) Ann Duggan (amazing voice) ; and of course The Kommitments (always end with a good boogie…

Coming home to a warm shower and a proper bed are always a bonus of a festival – or any weekend in a tent for that matter!

A bit of good news this week is that Aqua Amore – ‘the UK’s largest water delivery specialist’ has responded to our customer demand in taking on home distribution for Aquapax across London and the home counties, plus wider distribution nationwide. Now the challenge is to dust off the enquiries database to see if we can bring this new alliance to their attention and help generate some home delivery orders in due course.

Tomorrow’s another day in the big smoke and then Friday is looking like a journey to Peterborough beckons. What is it they say about winners never quitting and quitters never winning…

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Even this far down the road, I still meet a number of people who don’t get the Aquapax proposition and who sadly won’t allow however many seconds it would take to look at our pack design and fathom it out.

official Aquapax logo

official Aquapax logo

The proposition could be perceived as too complicated I suppose, so I keep on trying to simplify my pitch description to capture the essence of what Aquapax is in however many milli seconds people give me.
Current soundbites embrace: “It’s one of the purest mineral water’s in the world – even suitable for infants!” or “It’s pure mineral water sealed airtight and protected from light which keeps it tasting fresh!” or “It’s premium quality natural mineral water in the lowest carbon impact package option on the planet!” or “It’s pure portable water in a leach free re-usable package!” or “I’m an environmentalist and hate plastic – this is my answer to the scourge of plastic bottled water!” or “We won best bottled water of 2008 and it’s not even in a bottle!” or “It’s natural mineral water in a carton, so it stays colder for longer and you can re-fill it when it’s empty!”… there’s more, but I’m sure you get the idea.
While all the soundbites are true, as a brutally honest lady told me earlier today, they’re clearly not breaking through at the level of the masses, where sensational news or celebrity association or selling through years of advertising propaganda are what’s actually piercing the public’s earplugged consciousness. (she didn’t say the bit about ear plugged consciousness – that was me trying to paint a picture of an ignoramous.)
I clearly need to spend some time pondering how to get our marketing message simplified further, to help the mainstream get it.  I don’t honestly believe our premium quality natural mineral water in a paper carton will ever appeal to the entire mainstream, but if anyone has any enlightenment to share, I’m open minded and I promise to give you as much time as you need to convince me – within reason… 🙂

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A chance encounter with a chap named Kevin led to a really enjoyable day’s cricket recently, where I naturally took along some Aquapax for the occasion. I was aware the England ladies are now the world champions at cricket, having beaten all comers in last year’s world cup, but I hadn’t appreciated how good they actually are until I saw them taking on Brighton College.

It’s sometimes hard to give honest compliments as a ‘bloke’ because they’re so easy to misinterpret as being patronising to women. The fact is these gals are seriously good, and even when my eyes worked properly, I wouldn’t want to ever have faced their fast bowler if she ever got angry.

Have a look at this picture of the ladies in action – you can see them on the pitch behind the big silver and gold thing – oh yes that is the world cup standing on the scorer’s table next to the rather attractive Aquapax, which I believe the ladies rather enjoyed… Shows they have wonderful taste as well as incredible talent.  😉

 England ladies (World champions) take on Brighton College

England ladies (World champions) take on Brighton College

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Yesterday was the day and a fine old affair it was too… Beautiful weather, a comprehensive array of talented business professionals as the speakers, and a box of guests who were good fun to be with. Well you don’t really want to spend a day in a box with people you’d rather not be with, let’s face it.

The video showreel, in case you missed it up on the BIG screen at the Royal Albert Hall is here and the link to the IoD convention website is here for a more comprehensive overview of the day.

The best part for me, was seeing more than 2000 people drinking Aquapax in one place at one time and smilling while listening to the iconic c-l-i-i-c-c-k noise resounding around the wonderful Royal Albert Hall as the ‘celebrity’ guest speakers opened their Aquapax to refresh themselves on stage. That and listening to Sir Stuart Rose, who made a lot of sense to me! So much so, I’ve even written to him today to try and take his inspiration a little further…

Oh yes and the morning presentation from The King of Shaves Company (Tim Wright) was pretty good too. It’s a good speaker who engages with his audence and doesn’t need to constantly refer to his own notes and Tim is a good speaker.

I hope to put some photos of the IOD convention in the photos section of this blog soon, so do come back to see if you can identify yourself captured on camera…

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