Nalgene Brand Products, a division of Nalge Nunc International (NNI), is rolling out a new brand logo for 2003. The introduction of the new logo (see image to the right -- not viewable in SNEWS News Digest) follows the brand's entrance into the hydration pack market in late 2002. The new logo will appear on all Nalgene-branded products.
"Over the last 18 months, our brand has become a lot bigger than it was five years ago with more products and a strong consumer awareness of who we are, and we're very excited about that. With that growth, however, comes a responsibility to our consumers to be sure they know when they are buying a Nalgene product and when they are not," Margaret Gregory, sales and marketing manager for Nalgene, told SNEWS.
In the press announcement, Nalgene also made it very clear that this move was as much about making it harder for companies to copy the company's products as it was to establish a consistent branding message across the product line. One line, especially, said it all, "The Company plans to step up enforcement of its brand identity."
Gregory told us that while in the past the Nalgene branding has been stamped into the lid and onto the bottom of the company's bottles, the new logo will now appear more prominently on every bottle. Even private label companies will have to agree to have the Nalgene branding displayed along with their own.
SNEWS View: A very smart move for Nalgene and long overdue. SNEWS has been hearing from a number of Canadian retailers about Nalgene knock-offs coming in from overseas that look almost identical to the classic Nalgene loop-top, wide-mouth bottle, but selling at a deep discount. Quality control and brand identity absolutely become issues here. If the overseas market (primarily the Asian market) is going to take the classless tact of endorsing R&D, as in "Rip Off and Duplicate," then Nalgene has to be sure consumers know what they are buying, or risk ultimately having Nalgene's reputation tarnished from the sales of inferior non-Nalgene product. Nalgene products are made entirely in the United States to ISO 9001 standards, which ensure consistent product quality. Nalgene has worked hard to establish its reputation, which was recognized by retailers in the most recent SNEWS Annual Retailer Survey (published for the first time in GearTrends, The Book: Winter Outdoor magazine which is being distributed at SIA, Outdoor Retailer, EORA and ispo). Nalgene's colored bottles were named by retailers as the Top Selling Accessory Category this year, marking only the second time retailers have established a product as a category -- Marmot's PreCip was the first in our 2001 survey.