Riding the Tide
There’s an art to navigating the current and KOR Water is adept at the helm. In a product category such as plastic water bottles that could easily be pegged as static or dull, KOR keeps a steady flow, introducing its fourth line of distinctive and design-centric hydration vessels in less than three years.
Developed in partnership with RKS Design, the new Aura represents the latest of KOR’s premier products intended to inspire the use of reusable bottles.
Aura, which takes its name from a mythological goddess who was transformed by Zeus into a steamy spring, is meant to connect with today’s definition of the word: “a distinctive or pervasive quality emanating from a person, place or thing.”
Having established the brand in niche markets with sophisticated features and functional benefits, KOR has identified broader markets by adapting materials and design. The Aura mimics the tapered obelisk profile and ergonomics of the company’s stainless steel Vida, but it is made of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester, like KOR One and Delta.
“We leveraged the success of Vida with the same iconic look but went back to Tritan™ for the clarity and tactile feel,” says John Kiehle, marketing manager of RKS. “We see this as a sweet spot for the mass market. It is essentially a blow molded version of Vida design, yet Aura has its own personality.
“We’ve kept the KOR identity – the intentional, integrated form in a cohesive look. It’s a holistic design with the white band halo, or spoiler trim that is our DNA.”
“The transparent colors (in previous designs) have worked well and we added the gray, like stainless, which appeals to male users,” adds designer Lance Hussey, vice president of creative services for RKS. “The co-molded cap is made of polypropylene in colors that complement the base.”
Aura’s subtly tapered shape and utilitarian handle make it easy to grasp, and the weight distribution makes it less likely to tip over in a cup holder when you hit a curve. Available in 750 ml. and 500 ml. sizes, Aura is the lightest, most affordable and ecological of KOR products to date, due to less material used.
“Aura is still rugged and has our quality elements that the consumer expects and loves, like the thread-less spout and perfect diameter, whether you’re chugging or pursing the lips,” says Eric Barnes, KOR co-founder and CEO.
“We have ‘good, better, best,’ with the more complex design in KOR One and Delta to the beautiful but simple style of Aura. We’ve kept Cost of Goods low to target new distribution channels at a price point that competes with mainstream reusable bottles.”
The KOR Water pipeline is open as a sustainable hydration company.
“The market for us is unfolding on the back of bottled water,” says Barnes. “We want to be about containing water, preserving water, cleaning and enhancing water, and functional beverage categories.”