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Marketing Matters: Defining Brand Traits

By: Liz Grubow
Posted: August 7, 2007, from the August 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Pantene’s global redesign was a timely opportunity for the 60-year-old brand to re-establish itself as a serious cosmeceutical. Further, the redesign helped create an emotional connection that demonstrated that Pantene is in touch with women seeking to liberate the true potential of their inner beauty.

The recently introduced holistic brand expression reflects the dramatic changes the brand has gone through since 1985, when P&G acquired it from Richardson-Vicks. Originally, a gold-capped prestige product sold exclusively in department stores, Pantene migrated to mass channels and grew to become the global leader in the hair care category.

Healthy hair remains the cornerstone of Pantene’s brand character. From its founding as a “Swiss beauty secret,” Pantene evolved into hair care’s premier “conditioner,” helping to transform washing hair from basic hygiene to a true beauty regimen. That dedication to beautiful hair remains an integral part of the new brand expression, which provided an opportunity to reinforce Pantene as a serious cosmeceutical, catering to hair-involved consumers seeking a routine that would allow them to care for hair damaged by styling and coloring.

The result is an evocative design with an upscale color palette of pearl white, shimmering bronze and cobalt black with hints of blue. Rather than flooding the packaging with color, as other brands have done, negative space was utilized to create a premium look and feel that emphasizes a sophisticated, understated quality.

While the previous packaging used a consistent color for all SKUs, the redesign introduced color cues to make it easier to navigate the shelf set, categorizing the different SKUs into collections. Each bottle is adorned with a foil band in one of four colors that correspond to each collection. These metallic bands of vibrant jewel tones draw upon the aesthetics of cosmetics, and are used sparingly to embellish, accent and help consumers navigate the shelf set.