Simon Ingham, corporate affairs manager for the Kelda Group, says that the water companies have a poor image, ‘We are fat cats with excessive salaries.’ In a bid to change the perceptions and to deal with the fact that Yorkshire Water is no longer just in the water management business, the holding company decided to rebrand. However, the audience was not consumers – they still see a white van with Yorkshire Water on it, says Ingham – but the city and employees.
The company has interests in environmental services and land development. ‘We wanted to say who we are, what we do and where we are going. We have seven other businesses besides Yorkshire Water and we had just made an acquisition in the US so we didn’t want the holding company to be tied just to Yorkshire,’ he explains.
Kelda is an old Norse word meaning spring or source, which not only reflects the company’s origins in the water industry, but also reflects the fact that it is a source of ideas. ‘It was a complex project and we had a tight time frame – although we would have preferred six months, we had three months to do it. We had to do a hard sell internally but we are very pleased with it,’ Ingham says.