KOR Water and RKS Design unveiled their latest sustainable hydration solution, Aura, which combines the design attributes that have made the brand beloved by consumers with the company's most economical offering to date. The new KOR Aura Hydration Vessel is a simple, sleek and striking reusable bottle that puts the spotlight on water. Aura features a tapered, "obelisk" profile and delivers incredible ergonomics with KOR's patent-pending "Perfect Spout" and hallmark spoiler handle. Made from BPA-free Eastman Tritan, Aura marks the fourth salvo in KOR's design-centric hydration line with the partnership of RKS.
The name Aura is a reference to water in classical mythology - the goddess that Zeus transformed into a spring. Today Aura refers to 'a distinctive and subtly pervasive quality or character seen as emanating from a person, place or thing' - an appropriate name for a sustainable hydration alternative that delivers a unique luster, fashionable aesthetic and substantial user benefits. As the leader in the nascent category of "sustainable hydration," Aura continues KOR's innovation by melding great form, function and fable in a reusable solution that challenges conventional bottled water and promotes a reusable lifestyle that does not require personal sacrifice. KOR calls this product concept 'Better Me, Better World.'
"We knew from our customer and market research that it would be a simple decision if we could offer a KOR product for under $15 that retained all the careful design considerations they'd learned to love about the brand," explained KOR Water CEO, J. Eric Barnes. "We wanted to combine economic benefits to the ecological, ergonomic and aesthetic to provide the value proposition necessary to fuel our 'Better Me, Better World' growth strategy." KOR once again partnered with RKS to bring the KOR Aura to market. "Our close relationship with RKS has allowed both teams to uncover latent opportunities in personal hydration as the world wakes up to a post-bottled-water world," said KOR Co-Founder and President Paul Shustak. "Bottled water sales have peaked, and we see the start of an entire new sustainable hydration category.... and it's big!"
"We love a challenge," added KOR Water CEO and Co-Founder, J. Eric Barnes. "While our KOR ONE and KOR Delta sought to deliver sophisticated features in a high-end vessel, we wanted to bring understated elegance to a mid-priced reusable bottle that didn't look so utilitarian. The Aura needed an illuminating personality with simple elegance."
Designers also needed to:
- deliver a more affordable offering while preserving the premium brand association that had been established with consumers
- retain the critical design touch-points the KOR fan base had come to love
- appeal to growing male customer base ignited by Vida's introductions of more masculine metallic and anthracite (black) versions without alienating the core
Beyond these challenges the design team felt they had the same responsibility to showcase the beauty of water as with the original highly-regarded KOR One. "Aura would undoubtedly introduce the KOR brand to new audiences and needed to deliver the premium touch-points we'd created from the previous three product lines," explained Ravi Sawhney, RKS Founder/CEO. "Like KOR Water, RKS recognizes that well-made, beautifully designed products are inherently more sustainable than commodity products that quickly end up in landfills, and hold the potential to inspire and motivate people to make positive changes that improve their health and our planet's."
Aura shares Vida's tapered and iconic look introduced earlier this year for even less money (under $11/15), and shares the embraced color scheme and materials of the original KOR One and Delta vessels. Best of all it is the lightest, most affordable and ecological of KOR's premium products to date, made possible by reducing material usage and incorporating Vida's award-winning design language. The resulting Aura stands to appeal to every age and gender. Its' two-toned cap of the Aura provides a comfortable carrying handle while serving to completely protect the bottle's spout from outside germs and dirt - a feature found on every KOR vessel. KOR also incorporated its' Perfect Spout, a thread-less spout with thickened, rounded edges that provide an unparalleled drinking experience. The Aura is available in two sizes, 750mL ($14.95) and 500mL ($10.95) and four colors (Ice Blue, Birch Grey, Sawgrass Green and Orchid Pink), and both sizes weigh less than 6 ounces.
As with Vida, Aura better fits the complete user experience. Enhanced aesthetics and ergonomics help transform the ritual of hydration into a daily moment of affordable luxury for both men and women. Its curved bottom aids easy dishwasher cleaning while removing a residue collection area, and the thread-less spout delivers a superior tactile sensation when sipping. It was also designed to be appropriate for all users in all environments whether at the office, gym, home, leisure, car, or on-the-go in professional life. At under 6oz it is KOR's lightest offering to date, made possible by new material manufacturing techniques.
Designers sought to integrate all they'd learned form the previous three designs and tightly control costs so the premium brand could be enjoyed by a larger global audience. They worked to consider form and function and deliver beauty and elegance because sustainable change is about much more than trial or use in a product context, it's ultimately about adoption and advocacy. Aura's considered design further propels the KOR brand to new customers and retailers while better inspiring customer use as an alternative to disposable bottles. In the end Aura delivers an attractive price-point for economic benefit, considers form and function for ergonomic benefit, usage provides ecological benefits, and aesthetic and other design considerations typically deliver esteem benefits.