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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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For other brands in the hair care aisle, relaunches offer the opportunity to add softer elements to their packaging. Global manufacturer Unilever, for instance, restaged its Suave Naturals and Suave Professionals lines in slimmer bottles with curved feminine shapes. The Suave packaging was recognized for its innovation with a DuPont Award in 2006. Beiersdorf, as well, relaunched its NIVEA Hair Care with feminine shapes, and also added color-cued lids in contemporary hues to help distinguish each product series on shelf.

Focus on Color
The third redesign strategy, emphasizing color, has been a favorite approach for brands that appeal to younger audiences.

Color was a defining element, for example, when Unilever launched its Sunsilk brand in the U.S. in squeeze bottles that were color-coded for each of eight product variations. L’Oréal’s Vive also made a bold move in North America by relaunching with packaging in highly saturated colors (fuchsia, orange, red), abandoning what was considered to be its premium white brand presentation with the objective of reaching a younger target audience.

But perhaps the most emblematic of new thinking in color has been demonstrated by Garnier Fructis. Launched in 2003, the brand’s vibrant green packaging is credited with helping catapult Fructis into the category’s top five brands and increasing its popularity with the key 12–24 year-old female demographic, according to industry publications.

The LPK team was also involved in the redesign of Herbal Essences, which rolled out in 2006. Herbal Essences sought to reinvigorate itself and compete for its share among young women consumers, who are both hair-involved and exceptionally style- and trend-conscious. And while color was the obvious choice, the team felt strongly about utilizing color and shape in combination for a more holistic approach to the redesign.