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Case Study: Rebranding a Cosmetics Line

By: Aniko Hill
Posted: July 31, 2009, from the August 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.
Makeup Designory (MUD)

Since branding is simply the public’s perception of a product or service, it is natural for a brand to change in time as the market or company evolves—or if the overall culture transforms. The decision-makers at MUD understood this concept before any work began.

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Consumer research found that although makeup buyers were women of all ages, the baby boomer market was the most natural fit for MUD’s primary target market due to shared values—most notably, the consumer’s willingness to be educated on makeup techniques. The findings became the foundation for creating a unique, ownable niche for MUD.

“We have come to the notion that we are now going after a particular segment of the market,” says Holland. “This continues to be something we have to remind ourselves of. When you define your market, you are now able to define new product development under those parameters.”

A Unique Identity Problem

In the brand-building process, brand identity usually begins with a logo or brand mark but also includes supporting elements, such as color palettes and taglines. When done well, brand identity should constantly remind the customer of the meaning of the brand. Although the company’s name is Makeup Designory, the brand had come to be known as MUD due to the public’s tendency to use acronyms when referring to educational institutions. However, since MUD was not the legal name of the company, this had to be a consideration in the identity exploration process.

To address this concern, alternate naming solutions were explored, along with supporting taglines. Holland says, “Although we ultimately decided not to change our name, the process helped us to look deep and to look at the work we had done so far—and to be confident of maintaining the use of our name.” However, by pairing the existing name with a new tagline—“An Educated Approach to Makeup”—the brand was able to communicate the new brand positioning in a short phrase.

The final solution for the MUD logo utilized the acronym in a modern, iconic word mark with a fusion of all the characters in the name. The continuity of the mark, scalloped edges and accent element were reminiscent of a brush stroke, designed to create a subtle reference to the artistry of makeup. The new mark was paired with the existing type treatment for Makeup Designory, clarifying the confusion between the two names and making for a more seamless brand evolution.