14 November 2016
BOTTLES OF AUSTRALIA TAKING ON THE WORLD
“A guarantee of quality is essential,” Anton explained. “Because, we are the brand behind the brand. Other companies, like Puma and Asics, put their names on our product and they want to know they can be proud of what they are selling to their own customers.”
In its nearly 30 years of operation, Bottles of Australia (BoA) has seen water bottles grow in popularity from an essential hydration tool for high-level sportspeople, to a staple on everyone’s work desk, through to today’s must-have fashion accessory.
Over that time, water bottle design, materials, colour and even shape has changed and there are more players than ever in the water bottle manufacturing space.
What has set BoA apart, and seen it become the provider of choice for eight out of the ten sports brands available in Australia, is its commitment to pairing aesthetics and functionality.
Since it started manufacturing and printing bottles right here in the ACT in 1992, BoA has been a leader in water bottle innovation and has found many inspiring ways to utilise its home-base of Canberra to stay ahead of its competitors.
“When we started out, we partnered with the University of Canberra to run a design competition for industrial design students. We thought this was important as these students reflected our target market – young and active,” Bottles of Australia Director, Anton Pemmer said.
Two of the students who won this competition actually started working for BoA and are still engaged with development work today.
“The competition gave us new ideas and created an opportunity for students to have on their resume a commercially produced product based on their design, which was exceptionally valuable when they entered the workforce.”
However, what has kept customers coming back to BoA is the consistency and reliability of its products.
“We offer style, but never at the expense of substance,” Anton said. “Our customers know we make sure we get the fundamentals right and, at its most basic, a water bottle must hold liquid, not leak and be comfortable to hold.”
The plastics used by BoA meet the highest food and child safety standards.
So while called Bottles of Australia, the company’s reputation for excellence has made it popular around the world. It exports to 22 countries, including the United States, Canada, Russia, South Korea, France and Germany.
Demand also continues to grow at home. Each year in Australia, four per cent of the population will buy or be given a BoA hydration product.
“People sometimes question a global-brand being based in Canberra, but the region has most definitely contributed to our success,” Anton said. “The ACT is home to the Australian Institute of Sport, Sports Medicine Australia and leading tertiary education facilities. These partners and potential partners help us stay on the cutting edge as we can call on expertise outside of our own company.”
Canberra Business Chamber has also played a role in supporting BoA.
“Export development is an expensive and time-consuming business, particularly for a small to medium enterprises,” Anton explained. “Being able to team up with Canberra Business Chamber and take part in its Trade Missions has helped open doors for us.
“I personally believe that to get the most out of any membership, you have to take an active role and an interest in what the organisation you have joined is doing. This has been easy for us to do with Canberra Business Chamber as it has a great team who are always ready to help. We have taken advantage of available training courses and networking events. This has expanded our own networks and knowledge in many ways.
“Having a single voice for business in the ACT is good for business. We don’t have to agree with every position the Chamber takes on every issue, but we know they are always focused on doing what’s good for business and moving the sector forward.”
Anton’s final piece of advice is for anyone who believes in owning quality Australian made products: “Go home and turn your water bottles upside down. If they aren’t made by BoA throw them out and get one that is.”