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Leithal Thinking Brand & Marketing Consultancy

What can you say about water?

  • Strathmore

What can you say about water?

Developing a new position for Strathmore

In 2006, AG Barr acquired the Strathmore water brand and had an ambitious objective – to double Barr’s water business over the next 3 years. The great thing about Strathmore is that it was, and remains, a massive On Premise brand. The opportunity was to grow it in the impulse sector.

The main problem was that, despite its size, Strathmore was a low key brand without a clear identity. It lacked a brand positioning and campaign activity. Leithal were invited to define the Strathmore brand in a distinctive and creatively liberating way.

We started with a series of depth interviews with senior AG Barr staff and Strathmore stakeholders to gauge their expectations of the new positioning. We fed these learnings into a client and agency workshop, designed to develop a range of possible positionings for subsequent research. We ended up with 12, then whittled down to 9 preferred. These positionings were brought to life in a series of focus groups.

The key insights which emerged from the process were:

- Although consumers’ initial reaction tends to be “water’s just water”, it is clear that
  strong water brands are: Attribute + Source + Benefit + Tone

- An actively desired brand is one where these elements are clear. For example, Evian came across
  as Pure/Soft tasting +Alpine +Health and Beauty +Fashionable Spa Chic

- Strathmore was all about clarity – the bottle design, the source, the benefit of drinking water

- It was also about invigoration, the sense of breathing in the freshness of the Vale of Strathmore

- To separate from the traditionalism of Highland Spring, the idea of being about Modern
  Scotland was credible and well received

We pulled these elements together to create the positioning:

Strathmore. Mind and body invigoration.


This was brought to life in a modern Scottish way through a creative device which used the water as ribbons. It had an immediate impact on sales and launched Strathmore’s positioning in a memorable fashion.


What can you say about water?

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