In the early aughts, National Beverage had a limited advertising budget. And because the campaign predated social media, the company was relying solely on packaging and “shelf presence” to attract consumers. Alchemy aimed to make LaCroix stand out in the crowded fizzy-water market. At one end of the spectrum, generic brands bulk-packaged in one- and two-liter pop bottles were mostly used for cocktail mixers. At the other end was Perrier and Pellegrino, all fancy-huh in their green glass bottles. LaCroix’s new look needed to convey an air of “casual sophistication,” per Zimmerman, while still remaining approachable.
Zimmerman—who had led branding campaigns for Coca-Cola, P&G, MillerCoors, and General Mills—and his team began with a “discovery phase.” They studied the LaCroix competition, stocked the office coolers with LaCroix sparkling water for inspiration, and generated dozens of design options, which they then tested and refined. The logo, for example, started out black but they changed it to blue to connote water.
“In a sea of logos that were more sedate, precious in size, and often sans serif, the LaCroix logo denoted movement, energy, and fluidity.”