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A Study in Brand Engineering

By: Remyi Fredson-Cole
Posted: April 27, 2012, from the May 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

Before engaging in the research for labs that would develop a beauty product line’s formulations or searching out graphic artists, computer-aided design (CAD) engineers and molders to develop packaging concepts, it is important for beauty brand owners and decision-makers to establish a handful of core principles that essentially builds the brand’s decision matrix. The brand principles should be simple enough to be translated into this decision matrix, which is a chart that helps address different project aspects, with columns for a particular section’s needs, requirements and possible solutions. By overlaying brand principles into the needs column, you can translate those needs into the requirements that the capabilities of different vendors can be valued against.

When my co-founder DJ Riggs and I set out to establish the core principles for the beauty line Edia Cosmetics for Hair, the driving premise was simplicity. From that viewpoint, we also understood the Edia brand mantra had to be organic and consumable throughout our corporate network. Moreover, our vendors, contractors, employees and managers had to be able to relate to the Edia core principles in terms of their own individual roles.

For Edia, we understood when each vendor category would be needed and at what stage, and any ancillary vendors would be given these principles and time lines in terms of their roles. For example, if it was a CAD engineer paired up with a graphic artist, they would need to understand the need to create the packaging blueprint along with the renderings needed to meet the Edia design principles of chic yet simple, and with a level of functionality that doesn’t hinder consumers’ mobility when using the product.

With Edia’s simplicity principles woven consistently throughout this foundational stage, we were able to put these into play within our decision matrix to see if the proof—be it lab sample, RAD design or even a paint finish sample—covered the requirements in the decision matrix successfully. Consequently, the downstream application of the core principles can then use decision-information tools like a decision matrix to help put your concept for your beauty brand into motion.