Nicky Cain, centre, at the 2017 DBA Awards

When Harrogate Water redesigned its bottle with a new diamond pattern it proved to be a game-changer for the brand and business.

Inspired by the rich history and heritage of Harrogate’s spa story, the bottle has become iconic in the industry and has helped Harrogate Water become Britain’s largest independent bottled water supplier.

The achievement has been recognised with the presentation of a coveted Gold Award at the Design Business Association’s annual Design Effectiveness Awards 2017, whose team of judges span super brands and businesses including Aston Martin, Warner Bros, Google and Reuters.

Harrogate managing director James Cain said: “The introduction of the diamond bottle in 2014 was a key part of a brand strategy that proved a game-changer for our business. We’ve seen business growth of more than 40 per cent and export growth of more than 50 per cent.”

The brand overhaul was carried out in collaboration with Thompson Brand Partners of Leeds. The aim from the start was to connect with Harrogate’s rich past as a spa town.

Ian Thompson of Thompson Brand Partners explains: “The design was greatly inspired by Harrogate’s spa heritage, particularly the designs and architecture of Harrogate’s Royal Baths and Royal Pump Room.

“The late Victorian love of Middle Eastern and Oriental decorative influences can be seen in these seminal buildings and served as the inspiration for the patterns on the labels and the diamond bottle itself.”

Marketing manager Nicky Cain said: “Harrogate’s first spa was discovered in 1571 and the water was first bottled in 1740, making it the original British bottled water. As a brand, we weren’t really connecting with this unique story effectively and we knew that the bottle design would be a key factor in projecting Harrogate’s brand identity.

“We wanted to create an iconic bottle shape – a bottle that feels as good as it looks. There were no overtly feminine shapes in bottled water at the time, so we gave the bottle an elegant waist. The diamond facets, inspired by The Royal Pump Room, resulted in what everybody now refers to as The Diamond Bottle. The lattice helped to make the bottle more robust while reducing the amount of plastic used.

“The refraction and sparkle from the diamonds also help to emphasise the fresh, mineral origin of the water, making it more appetising on-shelf.
“Throughout the process, the understanding and sympathetic interpretation of Thompson Brand Partners was key and the results are nothing short of outstanding.”

The bottle design was carried out with the assistance of German company Krones, which provides the production technology at Harrogate Water’s state-of-the-art bottling plant.

The president and managing director of Warner Bros in the UK, Josh Berger, one of the competition’s judges, said: “The Design Effectiveness Award winners demonstrate how design can add value in any category, any business or public service — from radically improving customer experience to transforming the performance of a company, from saving costs to saving lives — there is a place for design at the heart of any organisation.”

  • Written by:
  • Martin Crowson
  • Published on:
  • 18th March 2017

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