Inside Flow’s new pack design

The water brand has evolved its look to resonate with its health-focused target.
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Packaged water brand Flow has changed its look, evolving its Tetra Pak to focus more on its Canadian roots and highlight what it claims are its functional benefits.

“We have the ability to evolve our Tetra Pak design with every run we do, so we put it into Flow’s core design and branding philosophy to do consumer insights and get feedback on our positioning on an ongoing basis,” Nicholas Reichenbach, Flow’s founder and CEO told strategy via email. “Because of this, our design is definitely iterative. It’s evolving every six months, where we’re making slight tweaks as we get to know our consumer better.”

This design evolution, however, was more extensive. The main prompt for the change was being able to use six months of its launch data and delve into consumer insights around its target – health-conscious consumers who view wellness as their luxury.

To do that, the brand teamed up with Jackman Reinvents (the shop’s CEO Joe Jackman is a shareholder of Flow). Jackman led the research, which entailed mocking up and testing about 10 different designs with Flow’s ideal consumer profile.

Focusing on purchase intent, the research found that primary reasons to buy included Flow’s alkaline, mineral-rich water and its sustainable package.

Among the interesting insights was the support of Flow being Canadian-made, prompting the brand to include a topographical map of its spring water source in Bruce County, Ontario as a main visual facet on the packaging. The new packaging also highlights what the brand claims are functional benefits of its water, such as essential minerals and a naturally-high PH.

In the past year, the brand’s retail presence has grown from 1,500 locations to 4,500 across Canada, including Whole Foods, Loblaws, Rexall, Metro (in Ontario and Quebec), Overwaitea Food Group, Sobeys, Safeway West, Farm Boy and others. It’s also available through a milkman-style delivery service and on its e-commerce site.

The majority of Flow’s sales come from in-store, both in the grocery and natural foods channels. That’s followed closely by its direct business focused on strategic accounts, such as fitness studios.

The new packaging began rolling out in late 2016 and phased in entirely, with both the 500 ml and 1L SKUs.

To support the new design and positioning, Flow has created a new campaign called “Naturally perfect water. Naturally perfect box.” In the creative, it shot the new package in water to accentuate the product inside, again honing on that key consumer insight around its target wanting 100% natural spring water.

It’s also integrated badges on its in-store creative, reading “Proudly Canadian Product” and “PH 8.1,” again focusing on the health-conscious consumer.

Online, Flow has also updated all of its digital assets with the new creative and campaign, also engaging some of its top social media influencers, such as “No Tummy Mommy” and Lauren McPhillips, to amplify the new packaging through their channels. Of note, some of the first feedback on the new design following consumer research was with its base of influencers, Reichenbach says. Flow works with NKPR on its influencer strategy and PR.