Joan B. Renart studied International Communication and Marketing Management at the Universidad de ESMA Barcelona (Fundació Universitat de Girona), Management at Webber International University in the U.S.A, and has an MBA from the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya.
Joan Renart is currently CEO of Grupo Vichy Catalan, Re-Frescos Saludables, after having held various managerial positions in the Company since 2002.
What are the values associated with the Vichy Catalan brand?
Our DNA, in other words the values espoused by Vichy Catalan, are supported by four historic pillars: Health. Tradition, Status and Innovation, to which a further pillar has been added in recent years: Proximity.
How would you define the positioning of Vichy Catalan against its competitors?
We are quite a young business, going back 135 years, which has focused on innovation and the development of new products and formats, as we have demonstrated in recent years. Vichy Catalan has always been a benchmark in the health industry, as evidenced by the numerous studies carried out with the CSIC and the thousands of articles published, and we have informed our customers and clients accordingly. But, furthermore, this strategy of innovation and diversification has helped us rejuvenate our target audience and we can now speak in a different vein.
Which markets are currently the most important for Vichy Catalan and which ones are the markets of the future?
For some years we have been increasing our market share internationally and in the domestic market. If we talk about the international scene, our range of products and their formats are being very well received as we strive to cater for the needs of our consumers and customers. The United Kingdom, USA and Mexico are our main markets and, in the immediate future, we will be penetrating the market in Central America as well. Our philosophy is to take our products to the consumer for their enjoyment, which is what is happening with our Viña CHY blanco chyspeante, which is a refreshment based on wine with Vichy Catalan.
We are present in more than 35 countries with various corporate brands. However, our most important exports are Vichy Catalan, VCH Barcelona, Mondariz, Lambda, Font d’or and we have also added Vichy Catalan Orange by Vichy Catalan Corporation to our range of healthy refreshments.
What promotional strategy is the brand pursuing in international markets?
Constantly supporting our customers with the brand’s values. Since 1881 our brand has been a benchmark in our country, and such credentials make us more highly valued in other countries. For this reason, we promote our DNA and position ourselves as a Premium water that is really committed to health. As our Vichy Catalan 1881 demonstrates, this is achieved by remembering our true origins.
How do you manage your brand architecture?
Today the market is extremely demanding and dynamic. We always look to see what the market is asking for and what it needs. Then we mix in our own DNA with everything we do through the social networks, marathons, football, rugby, swimming, gastronomy, cocktails, enjoying the water culture.
What is Vichy Catalan’s strategy for social networks?
We are a new company on social networks but our strategy is to grow in our use of such media on a qualitative rather than a quantitative level initially, and to attract and interact with a younger target. Hence, social media have a very important role to play in this regard. We are really satisfied with the reception we have received and how it has been evolving.
What are the challenges facing the company over the next five years?
To go on growing as a brand and as a company, to increase the number of consumers and to continue with our strategy of brand rejuvenation by opting for products that are young and healthy at the same time, like the range of healthy flavours we have at the moment, without any added sugars and zero calories, such as Vichy Catalan Lemon, Menta, Lima-Limón, Orange and our Premium Tonic Water by Vichy Catalan, our Fuentpinos Lemonade, Mondariz Cola, Mondariz Tea, and Mondariz Sport Naranja.
What does the Hotel Balneario Vichy Catalan represent for the Vichy Catalan brand’s image?
We believe that the Hotel Balneario Vichy Catalan is the ideal complement for fans of Vichy Catalan mineral water.
The Vichy Catalan brand is linked to mineral water with health benefits, both on account of its benefits for digestion when drunk, and also because of the moisturising and soothing properties to be enjoyed when used externally in baths, showers, massage therapies and saunas.
In order to enjoy the topical benefits of Vichy Catalan water, the Company founder thought it right to offer Vichy Catalan consumers a spa with the facilities required to enjoy the large range of benefits provided by Vichy Catalan water in much the same way as was being done at other thermal baths in Europe at the end of the 19th century. Since then, the Baths have been a landmark as a leisure, health and wellness centre.
That is to say, in our leisure time, we can enjoy the gardens and the hotel; for our health, we can enjoy the properties of the natural mineral water from Vichy Catalan; and for wellness, we can enjoy stone massage, essence massage therapy, chocotherapy, and much, much more.