Brand positioning – the All Important USP’s
"Do we really need another skincare brand? I was asked that and the answer is YES. We need challengers, we need innovation, we need performance and we need British Skincare to be a bigger part of British (and then global) beauty sales for the benefit of our economy. That said, it is important to distinguish your brands point of difference via brand positioning and unique selling points (USP’s)."
This presentation looked at some of the different ways this can be done and importantly, communicating those messages:
Maleka Dattu once worked for Clinique, and now has her own skincare brand: Merumaya. This launched in the UK officially in 2013 in John Lewis. She also consults with businesses to help with their business challenges.
Every brand owner comes to their business with some sort of credibility. You may be a great graphic designer? Whatever it is, make sure people know what that is.
BRAND POSITIONING AND USP’S
- Creating differentiation is a MUST - What defines you? Better service/price/presentation/design/efficiency/packaging? Brand design, emotions, sustainability? Make a point of difference and emotional connection that appeals to your intended audience.
- Now communicate that – BE consistant at every opportunity - on social media, in advertising, in meetings with retailers and distributers. Maintain your brands personality!
- We need brands that drive change and innovation, to keep everyone on their toes and drive the industry forward.
- Intergrated process.
What’s our USP’s, rationale and how we got there?
- Health, food and skincare are closely related. Look back across the history. Alternative therapies, organic foods etc.
- We are now moving into integrative health. Preventative cure as well as perfecting. Superfood’s in the food industry to prevent disease. So integrative cosmetics prevent and protect at the same time.
- INTEGRATIVE: to mix, match - Intergrative (story/usp) effective (promise) skincare
- Prevent and perfect anti-aging. Crafted and formulated to get best results.
IMPORTANT ASPECTS & NOTES:
- Brand name
- Tagline – communicates your USP (positioning) and your promise to the customers.
- Be unique - USP! Fill a sweet spot in the category you want to play in!
- Free from? – New point of differentiation’s?
- Cleansing balms – very popular
- Point of difference. Take a product category and apply thought to how your customers would want to use this.
- Every focus groups says they want white, neutral designs for skincare!
- Sustainable/ethical and causes. Lush – campaigners love causes.
- Create your brand to suit a multitude of different channels. Online, qvc, in store, on social media. Best advantage to suit your point of difference!
HOW TO POSITION YOUR BRAND:
- Have a point of view
- Research thoroughly
- Retain expert support where u need it
- Plan price, distribution, and expenses around your brand positioning
- Target your customer and where they shop
- Entice you retailers demonstrating you fill a gap.
- Ask ‘so what’ often
- Communicate your USP’s at every opportunity
- Be true. Have integrity
- Service is one of the best differentiators you have
Retailers are from Mars. Brands are from Venus
In this session, Helen, from Helen Miller Consulting, focused on three key areas: Understanding the retail agenda, common mistakes made by brands and advice on how to overcome these and the choices you have. She also touched upon the issues around how to make a more profitable relationship with your retail partner.
Retail – Retailers buy and re-sell a brand’s products for a better profit.
Brand – Can either be represented by mark or a graphic. Or a brand with emotional attachment for the consumer which goes beyond product experience. The stronger the brand, the more customers will buy.
- Retailers manage categories not brands. They are generally more bothered about other retailers and what they are doing, not the brands they sell.
- Brands are usually in the business with their brand for the longer term.
Brands & Retailers
They need each other. Retailers are looking for unique products and so sometimes when brands are starting out and testing the market, they offer exclusivity to certain retailers. This is a good way of seeing how well your new product does in the marketplace and shows the potential of the product. In this case, both parties are helping each other.
Important Factors for Brands
- You need to understand your business model like no-one else.
- Be passionate about what your brand stands for. – make emotional connections. If you can’t be passionate your customer wont be.
- The general thought from retailers is that most skincare packaging is - White, embossed, foiled elements, silvers– typical skincare packaging. Retailers are ‘snow-blind’ no chance of finding individual products they want to buy. You need to stand out and have your own unique USP.
- Try ‘walking in your retailers shoes’ - understanding they need a point of difference.
- Design - Don’t sign off pack design until you have seen how it looks on the shelves in the retailer going to be sold in. They may disappear in a retail environment. Never ever sign it off on your desk.
- Most important message: understand what the parato principle means (80/20 rule) (80% of your profit accounts for 20% of your inventory)
- Brand values – discounts are damaging, clearance is damaging,
- Just say no - Saying no to a retailer that wont benefit your brand is crucial to success and crucial for brands to understand.
- Maintain positive outlook, build relationships, know and be consistent what you brand stands for, don’t ever compromise on your brand values.
How branding and packaging can make or break your product
Making Cosmetics - Notes
Fantastic talk by Steve Gibbons from DewGibbons + Partners on how to apply ‘Beautiful Thinking’ to brands and packaging. A well thought through branding and packaging strategy in the highly competitive cosmetics category is the key to its success. A highly effective formulation is not enough. It is vitally important to think beforehand who your target audience is, what single-minded message you are going to speak to them about, where your design and packaging fits amongst your competitors and how you are going to captivate your audience
DESIGNING FOR BEAUTY
- DewGibbons & Partners - Specialising in health and beauty branding. Their clients range from global and multinational to individual entrepreneurs.
- Design philosophy – ‘Beautiful Thinking’ design that thinks speaks and captivates. This is an expression of both the end product and the process, integrating strategy and design. Strategy is a creative endeavour as much as design.
- Defining beauty language - Exploring common visual cues in the beauty branding and the diverse elements diverse elements that characterise beauty packaging.
- Packaging - Is a physical manifestation of your brand. Container and delivery mechanism for our product. An extension of the product.
- To break rules u need to understand the cues in the first place.
THE 5 IMPORTANT RULES
- Importance of simplicity in beauty branding packaging.
- Credibility through packaging
- Physical structure
- Attention to detail - Especially in beauty. More premium, more important.
- Tell a story - A narrative for your brand!
- If you get it right its great if you get it wrong it looks ‘clunky’ smart and refined simplicity. The more premium you are the simpler you need to be.
- Less is more, confidence, elegance, clarity and consisitancy, attention to detail.
- Focus down the packaging information and get to the essence of your brand. Less really is more. Its an expression of confidence.
- In cosmetics there is a dominance of white, use of metallic inks, foils reflecting scientific expertise, reassurance, purity, simplicity.
- Metaillic inks and foil expresses science underpinning brands.
- More copy on them. Pseudo-science language.
POWER OF TOUCH (structure in design)
- This area is neglected and yes, is a massive opportunity
- Physical engagement, discovery & delight, attention to detail, differentiation, sensuality, natural materials.
- Pick a hero product or key sku and change it.
- Secondary packaging – creating a unique sillohette from a carton format?
- Find a way to differentate brands – structure does this really well. Important vehicle for differentatiotn.
- It’s all about touch and feel and the use of different materials.
- Packaging that has a sensual feel reflects product.
- Elevates the everyday. Control, precision, compelling, tactile, quality in execution and choice of materials.
- Typeography in label, typeface, inter letter spacing, very important.
- Emboss or debossing type? Silk screen/foil a cartown? Gives tactility. Hi-gloss/natural?
HERITAGE & PROVENANCE
- Storytelling, authenticity, contemporary relevance, craft
- How a product came to be. Make a brand that resonated with consumer.
Simplicity – Credibility – Delight (Struture) - Attention to Detail – Tell a Story
"The Importance of Product Design and Development in Creating a Successful Brand that Stands out from the Rest"
Making Cosmetics - Notes
An interesting talk from Melanie Bond, founder and designer for Dond Design, specialising in graphic design and packaging, and Juliette Goggin from JGMD, who has previously worked for Molton brown and Cath Kidston as a consultant developing new concepts, names development strategy and marketing plans.
Using case studies, Julliette highlighted the importance of:
- Understanding and using trend information to pitch your brand at the right time and place.
- Working out the target market to correctly brief design and packaging.
- Creating your own unique image and profile.
- Being eye catching to gain sales with consumers and distributors.
- Engaging with consumers via social media, websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
Skills needed: Knowledge of production and technical requirements. Adapting fashion and design trends for cosmetics.
CASE STUDY: Juliette at Home
Juliette wanted to create something sustainable using home fragrance and soaps. She used vintage teacups and holders, filled with wax for candles. The holders were then reusable and they ended up developing pots that could then be used for jams and chutneys, including fragrances that reflected the home.
She then encouraged people to think of ideas for their pots and launched competitions on social media to increase following. The company gained eco friendly points and a personal attachment to the customer through unusual fragrances that enhanced emotions of giving and receiving.
STAGES TO CREATING A BRAND:
- Take a brief
- Create a style and mood board
- Create name and identity
- Determine product range
- Register name – website, social media etc
- Design packaging
- Brief or choose fragrance
- Products on stability trails
- Be familiar with legislation of your products and markets
- “Measure twice and cut once” – when signing off design and artwork – give to a pedantic person who is accurate to spot tiny errors.
- Pre-selling mock ups – very important.
- Lifestyle shots and photography
- Organise website – informative or selling?
- Product launch samplers mailing and campaigns.
- Social media - create interest before you launch.
Monitoring the Market - Cosmetics
Making Cosmetics - Notes
FROM CONCEPT TO COMSUMER
Consumer choice comes from the heart not from the head. Promotional activity, branding, advertising, packaging is what drives the audience to want to buy.
Data collection through monitoring the market
RETAILER BRANDS INSIGHT - The New Industry Standard
PR Professional Consultant talks about how important PR and advertising is in the cosmetic business. How to get our products in the press for free and how to build brand loyalty throughout the business.
- If you are doing well in both the media and across the counter you are onto a winner – its an important balance to achieve.
- PR builds brand loyalty and drives sales!
- Advertising is good for getting the brands message out and building brand equity.
- There was 227million spent on press advertising last year.
- Advertising does not necessarily work with PR as shown through the tables from last years money spent on both. The power brands still remain as – Loreal, Ester Lauder Companies, Chanel, Proctor and Gamble.
- Choice - There is a huge choice in social media platforms. The speakers company monitors websites and advised how to make social media work for you and your business. “Don’t let social media make you do more work.” (Make it work for you!!)
- Blogging - Nuts and bolts of PR industry is taking learns from print - working with bloggers and online publications to get good product placement and tracking results of this. There is a huge outreach this medium can give you.
- Tracking across social media conversations - A brand who doesn’t advertise a lot, e.g Soap and Glory, can out-power a major brand such-as Nivea, through share of voice on social media.
- Chanel Case Study - Launch of the tv commercial with Marilyn Monroe gained a huge outreach across twitter and #marilynmonroe reached 101,955 individuals initially. People have looked at this, and done something about it, overall Chanel reaching over 240,000 retweets.
- If we get our products talked about more, marketed more, we will sell more.
- 11,043 new products last year appearing in press – 40 a day in an extremely competitive market
- New products are not always necessary to keep consumer interested.
Do GWP’s drive sales or simply a reward? Imagine layering your sales data?
- All beauty PR down 17% (tracking) however toiletries are growing strength to strength
- Cosmetics is growing but the fragrance market is tough.
Branding & Packaging Research
Making Cosmetics - Concept to Consumer
Today I attended Making Cosmetics – Concept to Consumer - in Coventry. I was asked to go down by the company I am working with to gather information about new trends and processes in design, packaging and marketing in the cosmetics industry.
During this time, I am also working on a large live brief involving creating a new set of brand guidelines. The programme featured several relevant seminars on branding, brand positioning, USP’s and marketing a new brand - so these would be hugely beneficial in more ways than one. I have taken notes from each seminar I have attended today, with all the relevant points made from each category.
Brand Guidelines Research
Research into how other companies build their brand guidelines in preparation for my upcoming live brief to redesign and rewrite a cosmetics company’s brand guidelines.
Truth have made their guidelines very stylised and image based. This creates a more interesting read for the audience whilst reinforcing their brand elements throughout their most important document.
Packaging Design Research
A very similar brand to the live case study i will be working on. I have been comparing how they use their branding and packaging to push their products and create beautiful gift sets.
Brand Guidelines Research
More 4 Brand Guidelines
Research into how other companies build their brand guidelines in preparation for my upcoming live brief.
More 4 and Channel 4 have their brand guidelines down to a tee. Clear, concise and not overloaded with information and graphical attributes. They are rigid with the uses of graphical elements and logo usage. The colour palette has been adapted nicely to fit in with the brands visual style, with each colour being named to fit.
The Body Shop chose Jodie to consult within a small focused team to refresh the perception of this international brand and reinforce it as the Number One ethical and natural beauty retailer.
Jodie worked within the team to create a new visual language that communicates the brand philosophy, ‘Beauty With Heart’. The new style was developed to celebrate the brand’s natural ingredients, strong ethical values, and belief that beauty is more than skin-deep. From initial concepts to final designs, Jodie helped to develop every aspect of the brand identity, including the brand signature, guidelines, art direction style, core brand imagery and graphic elements, hand-written brand font (by Typographer Neil Summerour), store signage and creative templates for in-store point of sale. The team then went on to design the first global event roll-out and direct the poster concepts for the first two global events in the new brand style featuring model Lily Cole.