Unity of Design, Purpose and 21st Century Trends
STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME! is a brand whose design is unified on many levels, and demonstrates how the trends we've written about on this blog over the past year can come together to create a truly 21st Century brand experience.
First, in the interest of full transparency, this post is about a product that is being sold in the e-shop of B&H's new sister company, Live Love & Prosper.
However, we chose this product to sell, and to write about, because it fits so many of our design principles, and the trends that are defining the 21st Century.
These trends are:
1. Unified design
2. Higher Purpose
4. The Undigital
5. Story-Driven Design
6. Health Consciousness
Above: STW undigital art with message.
1. Unified design: The brand presentation is not only minimalistic, but more importantly, unified across its packaging, webpage, videos, and even the shipping materials. Looking at any of them instantly identifies the product and its message: "This product is simple, pure, clean, healthy, and serves a higher purpose."
Note the directness and simplicity of the presentation. Also note how this is similar to the trend of putting the ingredients on the label, a trend that B&H was one of the first to propose.
Below is a page from the STW website. Every page of the website is instantly recognizable as STOP THE WATER, and carries its core message.
Even their shipping boxes, presentation cases, and travel bags carry the message of the instantly recognizable design and its message.
2. Higher Purpose: STW also has an integrated higher purpose: Raising Consciousness of an important issue and Giving Back.
Raising Consciousness of water waste, even in the most developed and environmentally minded countries like Germany, and the lack of water and desertification in many developing countries are rampant.
Giving Back: STW supports innovative water projects in regions that suffer from water shortages. They do this, just as Live Love & Prosper does with its customer chosen campaigns, by donating a portion of their sales to good causes.
Above: Sky Water. Fog collectors near a school in Tanzania, they catch and condense moisture in the air during the night and can produce hundreds of liters of fresh, clean drinking water. They are simple to build, use, and maintain.
3. Sustainability: STW aims for sustainability, which is optimizing the benefit for people/society, business/economy, and the environment.
STW's innovative water projects not only help people in water poor countries (the fresh water from fog collectors allows children, who would otherwise spend hours a day walking many kilometers to carry water, time for an education) but can help those in other countries because education has been shown to decrease population growth, and the migration of refugees from drought and desertification.
STW is a successful business and makes a profit, as they should, but are transparent about why their products are more expensive than others. They know that business is not the enemy of the environment but an important and necessary partner. AND it virtually markets itself. Huge savings on the marketing budget is another financial benefit of going sustainable.
STW’s environment angle is to raise awareness of water as a precious resources and the basis of all life, and promote habits of conservation. They also know that non-renewable resources are becoming more expensive. Their products contain no paraffin or other petroleum-based raw materials, and the plastic bottles are refillable and recyclable, and they sell refills. Their ingredients are sustainably sourced.
From STW 's World Water Week page.
4. Story-Driven Design: STW's videos are excellent examples of this video is an excellent example of of Story-Driven Design. These stories make the higher purpose element more real and connects better with customers.
Above: Another trend we've written about, this video is an excellent example of STORY DRIVEN DESIGN.
5. Undigital: STW has elements of the undigital trend. The line art is hand drawn, and their custom font, “Ana 2012”, appears to be hand-drawn. Even their Sky Water video (above) has the sounds of pencils scratching on paper.
6. Health consciousness: STW represents the ever-growing trend toward organic, bio, and eco-friendly products that appeal to the greater health consciousness of customers. Their products contain no synthetic colorings or aromas and use only natural, essential oils as fragrance. They do not contain silicon, paraffin or other petroleum-based materials.
7. Customer-Centricity: all of the above are customer-centric, as they respond to what research has shown: that people both want products that are truly and transparently environmentally friendly and social responsibility. Also they tailor their adds to their audience.
These national flag designs represent one element of customer centricity, making the product the property of the customers.
The Point: STOP THE WATER is another example of a company the truly gets where we are heading. They are not only aware of, but have implemented, the trends that are defining the essence of packaging, branding and marketing in the 21st Century. This is happening. Companies who get onboard now will have huge advantages in the coming decades, over those who ignore these trends out of fear, conservatism and cynicism.
And at the very least, you may get some great awards.
Above: This video also has an element of STORY DRIVEN DESIGN.
Above: More STW undigital art with message.