Highland Spring

Highland Spring was born in the Ochil Hills in Perthshire, Scotland in 1979 and are the UK’s leading supplier of bottled water, with their sparkling water being the most popular in the UK. The headquarters in Blackford, Perthshire, includes one of Europe’s most modern bottling plants - exporting Scotland's favourite water to over 50 countries worldwide. The purity of their water is very important to them and so they put most energy into looking after the area they draw water from.

Highland Spring was born in the Ochil Hills in Perthshire, Scotland in 1979 and are the UK's leading supplier of bottled water, with their sparkling water being the most popular in the UK.

The headquarters in Blackford, Perthshire, includes one of Europe's most modern bottling plants - exporting Scotland's favourite water to over 50 countries worldwide. The purity of their water is very important to them and so they put most energy into looking after the area they draw water from.

They are number one with the Soil Association and the first bottled water in the UK to have their land certified organic. Since 1979 they've been protecting the small piece of land above the natural springs - no pesticides, pollution, farming, agricultural spraying, building or habitation is allowed anywhere in the 2000 acre area.

Client Brief & Objectives

HS - "To provide a high-quality, easy to read, visually appealing website that delivers information on the Highland Spring brand, stimulating interest in our activities and the bottled water market."

As Highland Spring is fiercely proud of its water source and the surrounding area, they wanted to redesign the Highland Spring website to more clearly communicate and endorse the key brand attributes to all visitors and provide easily attainable information to the different audiences.

It is important to communicate that Highland Spring take extraordinary care to ensure that their water is the purest of the pure. We wanted to suggest that Highland Spring is a little 'kingdom' where harmful things aren't allowed to happen, where the right things are done faithfully by people who care.

In addition, the bottled water industry is increasingly in the media spotlight and under attack due to increasing eco awareness by all audiences including consumers, politicians and especially the media. This is expected to increase in intensity over the next few years therefore we needed to ensure the tone of the website positioned Highland Spring as an eco-friendly, naturally sustainable product. The ethical and organic credentials had to be prominent in the website.

Overall, the key objectives were:

  • Stimulate interest in the Highland Spring brand.
  • Build product and company awareness
  • Communicate the nature of the business and the brands core values: authenticity, its Scottish Provenance and natural purity
  • Provide visitors with a comprehensive resource in a user friendly environment
  • Provide a dedicated media centre for media professionals.
  • Create a site that delivers information efficiently through good structure, speedy download and simple navigation

Strategy

Working closely with the offline materials and packaging, we strived to create a site that reflected many of Highland Springs brand values, while answering the requirements of the brief.

In addition, it was important to demonstrate Highland Spring's strong sporting credentials and the links with other partners, therefore a specific sponsorship section was created. This helped show that Highland Spring plays a huge part in everything from supplying water for prestigious TV shows and awards to getting involved in Glasgow's bid for the 2014 Commonwealth games. Also included in the site was an application for anyone to apply for sponsorship, no matter the scale.

To ensure that Highland Spring could respond quickly to any media coverage regarding the environment and bottled water, we developed a bespoke content management system which was simple, intuitive and instant which allowed nominated Highland Spring staff to maintain the site after launch. Furthermore, a dedicated media and press area was created to allow users to make enquiries, download information and check the latest news.

It was vital that the Highland Spring website must be accessible, meeting the requirements of accessibility legislation. Therefore an alternative non flash version was also created in a virtually identical style to the animated site so that content was available to the widest possible audience, granting the site a 'AA' accessibility rating. This non flash site is immediately displayed should the user not have flash installed or use a screen reader for the visually impaired.

Overall, we created a site that was 'charming' and lovely to look at, but at the same time educating users. It was important to convey that Highland Spring is the Scottish natural mineral water, synonymous with quality and purity;

Results

Launched September 2007, the new site offers an elegant, sparkling but informative user experience. Visitors to the site can easily identify the core brand values of Highland Spring within the design and content, without it being overly corporate; educating users as to how much Highland Spring does to safeguard its purity with a lightness of touch.

The site appeals to a broad range of users, the primary market being consumers, particularly those based in London and the South, while maintaining the Scottish profile. The site also appeals to influential people such as health professionals, teachers and journalists who want to be able to ensure the safety, quality and naturalness of what they and their families drink. The site is quickly and easily updated, with news and any responses to press coverage or possible changes in their portfolio.

Since launch

  • The site has attracted over 28,000 visitors
  • Hundreds of visitors have downloaded the useful Parents and Teachers Supply packs
  • There has been an increase in online sports sponsorship applications
  • The site has a dedicated media centre with access to Press Kit and latest news