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Redefine American Heritage as Competitive Advantage

Mountain Valley Spring is one of America’s oldest bottled water companies. The premium still and sparkling water has been packaged and sold for over 200 years. In the past two decades, though, the American bottled water market has become increasingly complex; an influx of imported waters have come to define a new luxury market, while national brands constitute a baseline commodity. Mountain Valley Spring had become lost in the mix.

With over two centuries of history, Mountain Valley has no shortage of stories to tell; through focus-group studies and market analysis, CO OP helped the American heritage brand identify the messaging themes which best resonated with today’s premium bottled water consumer. We designed an updated identity and packaging to better reflect the brand’s history and distinction as ‘premium American’, and unlock new media and retail channels to regain lost market share.

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The premium bottled water market is dominated by European brands, valued for their exotic origin and cultural connotation. Rather than play by the competition’s rules, Mountain Valley challenged consumer’s preferences by defining what it means to be premium American, placing brand value in the American spirit and the country’s raw, untamed wilderness.

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“Working in collaboration with Land Design, out of Colorado, and illustrator Two Arms Inc here in New York, we created a look and feel that pays homage to The Mountain Valley’s heritage and craft roots, but supports a national retail effort by appealing to different kinds of consumers, coast to coast” —Simon Mortimer, Creative Director

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When CO OP began working with Mountain Valley, we identified 17 different narratives working across their communications. Leveraging in-depth consumer research, CO OP refined the brand elements that best resonated with our audience, focusing on crafting a unique and distinctive brand story around Origin, Health, Ethics, and Wellness. We took this narrative so social media, engaging brand advocates and growing a younger consumer base.

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Partner Point of View

Our research took us on a distributor ride-along, delivering 5 gallon bottles of Mountain Valley in West Hollywood and talking to real customers in their kitchens. We loitered in Whole Foods to gather point-of-sale insights, and saw first-hand how the former bottle was ignored on the shelf. We're proud to have kept the love and loyalty for this brand, while delivering a stunningly reimagined package and brand identity.