Starkey Spring Water

Going deep for a new Whole Foods’ water brand

When Allegro Coffee Company, a subsidiary of Whole Foods Market, contacted us about creating a new brand, they needed an agency with a feel for the mountains, shared corporate social values, and the ability to go deep on a branding assignment—more than two miles deep.

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The Challenge

Whole Foods Market asked Allegro to find and develop a new source of spring water. After a two-year quest, they located a geothermal spring for sale in the mountains near Council, Idaho. When they tested the spring’s water, Allegro discovered an amazingly pure source, more than two miles deep and 11,000 years old, full of beneficial minerals and a silky-smooth taste. They just needed a way to get the word out. 

The Solution

We created a brand story called “The Source—Goodness,” which emphasized characteristics of the water’s source, from its geologic beginnings to the resort history of the property, offered up as a rustic spa since the 1800s for the water’s therapeutic benefits. Along with the brand story, we developed short- and longer-form brand messaging, including a tweetable message and a tagline, “Deep Down Good.” Working collaboratively with Allegro, our design team crafted a simple yet slightly rustic brand design with a definite Americana vibe.

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Deep Down Good

Starkey Springs rises from 2 miles deep through fractures and fissures in the Imnaha Basalt where its purity has been protected for 11,000 years. It gushes forth as a single-source geothermal springs in the Idaho mountains, naturally healthy with beneficial minerals, a gently alkaline pH, and a silky smooth taste.

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  • Going Deep for a New Brand of Water at Whole Foods

    When Allegro Coffee Company, a subsidiary of Whole Foods Market, contacted us about creating a new brand, they were looking for an agency with a feel for the mountains, shared corporate social values, and the ability to go deep on a branding assignment—more than two miles deep.

    The Quest

    Allegro had been asked to find and develop a new source of spring water for Whole Foods Market. After a two-year quest, it located a geothermal spring for sale in the mountains near Council, Idaho. When its water was tested, Allegro discovered an amazingly pure source, more than two miles deep and 11,000 years old, that’s full of beneficial minerals and a silky-smooth taste.

    We like to believe they selected Oliver Russell because we’re real deep thinkers—but maybe it’s because of our beauty, err, our ability to conjure up beautiful design. Of course, it could just be because we’re able to tell a good story, which is just how we started this assignment.

    A Story That’s Deep Down Good

    We began by creating five brand stories, each with its own strategic slant and distinct voice and personality. One focused on geology, another on wellness, a third on the spirit and soul of “wholly” water, and a fourth about a water king on a journey of discovery, a quest to quench his thirst to find the planet’s best water.

    Allegro chose a brand story called “The Source—Goodness.” This story emphasized the characteristics of the water’s source, from its geologic beginnings to the resort history of the property, offered up as a rustic spa since the 1800s for the therapeutic benefits of its water.

    In addition to a brand story, we also created short- and longer-form brand messaging, including a tweetable message and a tagline, “Deep Down Good.”

    Rustic with an Americana Vibe

    The design team went to work on creating a definitive visual expression of the brand, basing their work on the brand story and personality attributes of warm, friendly, independent, and genuine. A primary challenge was to deliver on the historical attribute of the brand, while still yielding a design that’s fresh, relevant, and current.

    Working collaboratively with Allegro, our design team crafted a brand design that is simple, slightly rustic, with a definite Americana vibe.

    The logo was created using custom, hand-lettered type, which was extended to the packaging.

    A clear, glass bottle was selected to transparently highlight the purity of the water—with the tagline and differentiating geographic icon “Made in Idaho” embossed below its neck, and reinforcing brand messaging was stamped inside the bottle cap.

    The water brand just launched in Whole Foods Markets nationally and in selected retail outlets across Idaho. As for the water, well, just take a sip and you’ll see.

    Shared Social Values Slake our Thirst

    In the spirit of our shared social values with Allegro Coffee Company and Whole Foods Market, we made a financial contribution to the Idaho Foodbank and to Friends of the Weiser River Trail, which helps support rustic 84-mile bicycle trail in the area. That’s how we slake our thirst here at Oliver Russell.

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