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Case Study: Naturopathica Leverages Brand Heritage in New Label and Packaging Redesign

By: John Giesfeldt
Posted: July 12, 2011, from the July 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

Labeling and packaging for beauty products must offer visual and tactile cues of what the brand promises in order to create consumer awareness and demand for a company’s products. Naturopathica Holistic Health LLC is one such company that faced brand identity issues when it reached its 15th anniversary. After considerable evaluation, the company realized it was not meeting its brand promise to consumers through its existing label and packaging strategy.

The brand promise of Naturopathica is to deliver "A Better Beauty." The company is committed to living and breathing that promise through its Naturopathica product line. Recognized as the first American performance-based natural brand, the company has become an expert resource for championing natural solutions in skin care and beauty products for women and men by integrating centuries-old traditions from around the globe with the latest breakthroughs in science.

The Naturopathica product line is carried by select high-profile spas around the U.S. and sold directly online. And while the brand had built an extremely loyal customer base, it was nonetheless small. So, in an effort to expand, the company felt a re-branding was necessary.

Elixir Design, San Francisco, was given the re-branding assignment, and its first step was to obtain an accurate picture of where the brand stood. The agency’s research uncovered a gap between customers’ brand perception and Naturopathica’s desired brand positioning. The brand lacked customer awareness in a highly competitive market where there are numerous misconceptions about the performance of botanical skin care products.

“The brand was basically flying under the radar,” said Scott Hesselink, senior designer, Elixir Design. “Further compromising the situation was the original packaging and labeling, which were seen as unsophisticated. The labeling was butter-yellow across the entire line. This made it difficult for consumers to delineate products for their skin type. Without strong graphics cues to define the products, shoppers found it hard to navigate the line and figure out what to buy.”