From his humble roots as a seller of vinyl LPs to the spotty youths of Great Britain, Sir Richard Branson has extended the Virgin brand name from record shops to an array of businesses including airlines, mobile phones, space and deep sea travel, hotels, bridal boutiques, cheeky health clubs, beverages (including vodka, cola and wine), gaming, banking and beyond. Now Brits will soon be finding the Virgin brand on another product: water.
The home of the elastic brand today announced a partnership with Israel-based Strauss Water to rebrand its Strauss Water UK business as Virgin Pure, a system that filters water straight from the plumbing system to provide consumers with chilled or boiling water “at the touch of a button.”
"I love businesses that help to improve our way of life,” Branson stated. "Pure, chilled and boiling drinking water at the touch of a button means no more lugging bottles home, waiting for filter jugs to trickle through or kettles to boil for that great cup of tea."
It's a bit of a culture changer for all those tea drinkers out there. (No more putting the pot on for a cuppa tea? That's positively unBritish!) Undeterred, Virgin and Strauss see the UK market potential for their water systems at more than 10 million homes.
“Currently 20% of UK households choose bottled water as their primary source of drinking water and another 20% use filter jugs,” the Virgin Pure announcement notes. “This represents 10 million British households who already drink bottled or treated water over standard tap water. With this market potential of over 10 million British households, the new partnership offers the best solution for people who are looking for a convenient hot and cold water solution.”
The new Virgin Pure website has details on products and pricing "from 50p a day." The systems cost from £299 to £379 (including installation) and the filters will need to be replaced every six months and the UV system that purifies the water every year. A Water Club subscription is part of the pitch, offering seven years of repair and parts replacement.
One thing's for sure: the next time Branson, a self-promoter par excellence, splashes water on an obnoxious TV host, you can be sure it’ll be Virgin Pure.