Water, water everywhere…

I hope that with this post I can leave the past behind and give SIGG a clean slate. We all know what happened.
If not, read here for a guide to their past transgression. As far as I am concerned they made amends, albeit it a bit late in the game. I am a marketing guy and I know what a hit they took. So kudos to them and yes, I am giving them a second chance (I live, more often than not, by the proverb: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”) Others, I am sure, are less forgiving.

So why exactly do I still swear by SIGG? The main reason is: they are extremely portable and easy for kids to drink from thanks to their lightweight aluminum structure and they are easy to wash without residual odors. This inevitably forces them to have a “food safe” liner which is now 100% BPA-free. I say inevitably because aluminum should not have prolonged direct contact with water. So why not stick with stainless steel, BPA-free plastic or glass? I have done my own (non-scientific) research and weighed the pros and cons of all these materials and decided that I find aluminum fits my needs and habits as a busy dad. Of course, this may not apply to everyone. That’s the beauty of having many different choices!

I do have stainless steel bottles, but they remain at home for “night stand duty” because they are just too heavy to lug around and my son keeps dropping them on his toes because he is still not strong enough to hold on to them. Of course, we have plenty of BPA-free plastic sippy cups at home, but although I do love them all, they all end up in the recycling bin after inevitably attracting all those odors that come from milk, orange juice and fruit shakes (the downside of BPA-free plastics) no matter how vigorously you scrub them. And do I really have to discuss the cons of placing glass anywhere within reach of kids? I am of course always open to information and data that may very well change my mind so I look forward to reading comments.

The bottles, I have found, are surprisingly durable for such lightweight material. They take quite a beating from my son (alright, I admit that I too drop them on occasion) and hold up well (the dents and dinks are inevitable so don’t expect them to bounce off the floor unscathed).

SIGG bottles are another one of those products that for me unite sleek industrial design, whimsical looks and practicality. They are more expensive than comparable stainless steel and BPA-free plastic water bottles that are out there, but I feel that the premium is worth it for all the reasons I listed above, as well as for the available accessories (especially for kids) that are well thought out and useful for when you are on the go.

Two areas in which I feel SIGG has lacked initiative, though, is their US customer service and their US website. The former is certainly of greater concern; the latter is just my marketing instinct kicking in. Premised that I dealt with them mainly at the end of 2009 when they were busy dealing with a major bottle exchange program, but I can only excuse them so much because it was something they should have logistically planned for well in advance. This entails making sure you have enough human resources to deal with the inevitable influx of questions and concerns. Unfortunately, they dropped the ball on this one. I sent several e-mails and responses were slow (a month slow) and often the response felt automated as if they had not read my message at all. In the end, though, they did send me a proper apology note with my credit for the bottles I sent in to exchange.

Their US website is also in serious need of an update. Surprising, given how well the other SIGG worldwide sites are built and branded. This may be due to how they are structured in the US, but I am surprised that in such an important consumer market they have neglected this aspect of their marketing push for so long. Then again, it may be in the works and I just don’t know about it (if SIGG wants to send me more insight I am happy to update the post). Luckily the ordering process is fairly straight forward and delivery fast. I do suspect for several reasons that they are in the process of “relaunching” (and again this is just my gut instinct because I have not spoken directly with SIGG) and frankly I think it would behoove them to do so as part of their brand reset in the US.
I know I have just spent the last couple of paragraphs lauding the advantages of SIGG’s aluminum structure, but I cannot help to mention their SteelWorks line that, unlike their Swiss Made aluminum line, is Made in China (I know what you are thinking, but I am in no way implying that this makes them an inferior product).

I have not gotten my hands on them yet (I am actually waiting to see if they will bring their very cool-looking .6L SteelWorks flasks to the US which are currently only available in Europe), but I will make sure to post a review as soon as I do (and to be as fair as possible I will compare it to other stainless steel water bottles because I am convinced that aluminum is a notch above stainless steel for this product – at least as far as parenting duties and usage are concerned).
I admit I have written more than usual, but you will agree that there was a lot to talk about with regard to SIGG. I hope I have given everyone enough information to draw their own conclusions. Marketing aside, I do believe SIGG water bottles are the best in their niche and they are – in my humble opinion – the benchmark.

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