Highland Spring plots to topple Evian as UK’s No.1

Highland Spring is rolling out an aggressive strategy to steal the top spot as the UK’s biggest selling bottled water brand from Evian within the next two years, as it readies the launch of a new brand campaign next month.

Currently, Highland Spring holds a brand volume share of 8.6% in the bottled water market, compared to Danone Waters’ Evian, with 9.7%, according to Zenith International data.

But Mark Wickens, chairman of branding agency Brandhouse, says if Highland Spring did manage to topple Evian, it would be more as a consequence of Evian’s “dropping sales”.

Consultant and former Britvic marketing director Andrew Marsden says that Highland Spring is making a “challenging claim”, given that Evian is “unquestionably a much stronger global brand”.

“One of the issues here is the strength of a traditionally on-premise based product such as Highland Spring versus a big consumer brand, Evian,” Marsden says.

He adds it will also come down to the clarity of the brand positioning. “Highland Spring is predominantly a natural, Scottish- based representation and I’m not quite sure that consumers see it as being competitive to Evian.”

Highland Spring marketing director Sally Stanley says the campaign will aim to build the brand by focusing on pushing its “stature”.

While she would not reveal details of the creative, she says it will “move on and be a bit more disruptive than what the category has shown to date”. The campaign will encompass press ads and the relaunch of its website to become more interactive.

The ads have been created by advertising agency Merle, and the new website by GRP. The campaign will closely follow the launch earlier this month of new-look packaging for its bottles.

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