Understanding the Indian man and his newfound vanity
This packaging revamp started with research and ended up broadening our understanding of the new Indian man. We can say we now understand them a little more, if not entirely…
We found that an average man, according to a Mintel report, spends 16 minutes on grooming his body, 14 minutes on his hair and 12 minutes on his face. The average Indian man spends 42 minutes a day on grooming himself.
While the urge to look good and confident is higher among those based in the larger cities, the youth in small town India are equally conscious about their appearance.
Walk into a men’s salon in small town India, and you will find a full menu card in offering services such as a hair spa, hair colour, highlights, facials and more. Men's fairness cream sachets are one of the fastest moving products in retail / kirana stores in rural as well as urban India.
Research by ASSOCHAM states the Indian male grooming industry is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 45% and will touch Rs. 35,000 crore from the current Rs. 16,800 crore. (2018 - 2019)
The numbers indicate just how big the men’s grooming market in India is, and it’s rapid expansion.
With new brands cropping up rapidly, Beardhood approached us with a key branding problem - they wanted to build resonance with their audience, specifically in the tier two and three cities, and beyond.
In a sea of brands, each looking like the next and having the same tonality, Beardhood was finding it tough to create recall and stay relevant.
Not long ago, most men around us were content using one basic cream for the face and body, if at all. They used the soaps their mothers / wives would purchase, and their oils were good enough for the men too. Things are not the same anymore. The revolution witnessed in the women’s cosmetics category two or three decades ago, is now repeating itself in the men’s grooming category.
The Approach - Structure is vital to design
Before we began changing our audience’s perceptions towards Beardhood, we had to familiarise ourselves with the current brand takeaways and key offerings. What goes into making these products? How should they be used? What are the motivations behind buying them? Does the user want to add new variants to his grooming kit? How long do they last and what should the pack sizes be?
Beardhood was selling some very potent ingredients, and we had to study packaging materials to ensure they would work with the product’s shelf life. We chose darker tinted glass bottles for the serums to avoid oxidation, and easy to scoop jars for the waxes. This was a product the user would interact with daily - so the form of the container was as important as the label that would be used to lure the purchase. In this market - repeat purchase is key.
It was evident that we needed to create a brand strategy for Beardhood. However, we first had to analyse and understand the current brand mark, to see if any change was required.
The brand mark proved to be fairly effective, and also added to Beardhood’s brand equity. The next step was to build a brand strategy that would become the world Beardhood would live in. Based on the research and understanding of the brand, we first articulated the brand ethos and values as being approachable and innovative was at the core of the brand.
While Beardhood as a brand, is friendly, it is dignified and informative. We identified the brand archetypes and arrived at the brand persona. Beardhood is the homeboy – simple and friendly, yet strong in his beliefs and opinions. He is smart, easy and out-going; making him a friend everyone needs.
The next step was to build a brand identity system. Armed with consumer research, we found that our target market has an affinity to colour and fluid shapes. Keeping the brand essence approachable and more importantly, innovative, we developed a colour story where we consciously stayed away from the use of black. Black is almost a clicheé in the male grooming industry, and Beardhood is surely not a ‘Me too’ brand.
With brand colours and typefaces in place, the next and most important element was to set the tone of voice, in both – content and visuals. While the content tone of voice set as straightforward, informal but not casual, we complemented it with a visual tone of voice using colour blocking, geometry and minimal organic forms.
With our brand strategy and identity system in place, we worked on the final piece in putting together Beardhood 2.0: the packaging. Starting with identifying the right packaging structures, we arrived the available surface areas for branding. Implementing the brand’s communication objectives helped us create an effective information architecture. The final step was to flesh out the visual tone of voice, and finally create iconography that was true and unique to the brand.