Project Name: Naturliacious Brand Identity Redesign
Project Goal: Redesign Product Packaging & Create New Brand Assets
Summary: Naturalicious is a hair care brand for women with naturally curly and wavy hair. The brand’s hair kit includes a bundle of several products, with 2 versions, depending on your hair type & pattern. In preparation for an upcoming appearance on a nationally syndicated talk show, as well as discussions to be sold in a large retail chain, Gwen Jimmere requested my brand identity design services.
Company/Client Name: Gwen Jimmere, Naturalicious
Project Date/Timeframe: July 2016 – October 2016
Major Tasks / Responsibilities: The task was to redesign the product packaging, and creating additional marketing assets.
Platforms: Physical Product
Design Tools Used: Adobe Photoshop
Team Members & Collaborators: N/A
To start, I needed to understand who the target customer was. Naturalicious’ ICA was lovingly referred to as “Shonda” (yes, like one of the best TV writers of our time). Shonda was a mother in her 30s who was professional and very busy. As much as she enjoyed wearing her natural hair and using products without chemicals, she needed products that fit her lifestyle. Shonda was looking for a hair care brand that made her feel luxurious (especially if she was paying a premium) and saved her time (and money in the long run).
Naturalicious had a built-in audience to research using their private Facebook group, as well as an existing customer base. I was able to directly read some of their concerns, and keep those in mind while working on the new brand identity.
“My hair is thin and soft but tangles really easy so it takes a lot of time to do my hair because of the detangling process.”Cheryl H.
“I work 12 hour shifts and commute 1-hour, 20 minutes. Toss in meal planning/cooking/eating, exercise, laundry, showering and sleeping, etc … I need all the time I can stand.”Melissa M
“Prior to joining the crew, I’d been going through so many different products to figure out how to keep my hair moisturized and soft without using a 10-step process or products that clash with one another”Niomi S.
Natural hair care is a very competitive industry and niche. Several brands have reached mainstream status including Shea Moisture and Carol’s Daughter. Observing their packaging, I was able to make note of several things we wanted to include in our brand identity redesign:
- Easy to identify different product lines (different color schemes)
- Bright colors
- Mention which hair type that particular product line is best for
- Explain how the products were multiuse
When it comes to branding design, the following stats helped me understand what direction we needed to go in:
- Just 12% of those surveyed by Statista said that they buy shampoo online. Naturalicious was sold in certain local retailers but primarily was sold online. (Source) We needed to make the packaging as alluring as possible to combat that number.
- MillwardBrown conducted a study that determined that there were 11 “levers” that influenced brand disposition in this space. (Source) The ones we wanted to focus on with the packaging were Functional Associations, Emotional Associations, and Environmental/Natural.
- According to Marketing Schools, “because shampoo is generally a quick, low-risk purchase and consumers won’t research it thoroughly before making a purchase, the way a bottle looks on the shelf has a very large impact on sales”. (Source) Challenge accepted!
Compared to new products entering the market, we had a slightly different plan coming from the angle of a rebrand and redesign. However, it still required understanding users, and coming up with User Personas in order to ensure the new look would encourage new buyers while not scaring off existing ones. The product undoubtedly speaks for itself. However, people do judge books by their covers. This required translating product needs into packaging perception.
User Stories & Flows
Natural Natasha is newly natural (no chemicals in her hair care products). She’s wanting to try a new brand that is dedicated to using only the best ingredients in its products. That means no sulfates, no parabens, and no mineral oil. She needs to know every ingredient in the product, and bonus points if includes things like shea butter and vitamin E.
Sees Naturalicious on her Instagram feed > Reads list of ingredients on website > Gives the product a try!
Hair Type Harriette
Hair Type Hariette is an existing Naturalicious customer. However, she wasn’t sure before what the difference was between one product line and the other. She and her daughter have different curl patterns. Hariette’s curls are tight while her daughter’s hair is more loose and wavy. She doesn’t mind buying different lines, but she needs to easily identify which line is for which hair type.
Sees different colors of Naturalicious products > Identifies the line for her vs. the line for her daughter > Purchases them both!
Kit Katherine has tried Naturalicious products in the past, and she recently learned there’s an entire hair care kit with several products. In the past, Katherine used the products randomly, not in any particular order. She’d love to know if she’s buying the whole system, which product is recommended to be used first, second, and third.
Notices the step numbers on each item > Tries the products in the right order > Hair prospers!
Red routes for packaging is going to be slightly different than it would with the actual functionality of the product. However, it was still clear from speaking with the customers what was needed and what would simply be “nice to have”. I decided what really needed to be clear on the packaging was the product name, the ingredients included in the product, and which hair type the product was specifically for.
All the Time
Hair Type (Color)
Hair Type (Name)
Packaging for this project didn’t quite require a sketch. The client already had the bottles. We were just sort of starting from scratch. I took a look at some packaging of other beauty brands and liked the look of this watercolor label.
In the Arsenal
I had quite a few watercolor illustrations stored already. So I used those to get started.
We went through a LOT of iterations. The colors were the hardest ones to nail down, but we finally defined the right color scheme.
Information architecture is slightly different with product packaging than it is with websites and apps. You’re allotted a certain amount of space and have to fit the important information within it. As noted in the Red Routes, I knew which info was super important to include and which could be there but not as important. The product name, ingredients (included), and hair type name stand out with more real estate allotted to them. The brand name, step, and multifunction take up center stage. While details such as the barcode address and website are important, they reside on the left-hand side of the label.
Copywriting is also in my wheelhouse, so I was able to consider what Shonda would want to read and how we should state it. Naming the product was a collaboration with the CEO. We loved including names that made Shonda feel special. “Divine Shine”, “Moisture Infusion”, “5-in-1”, “Heavenly Hydration”. Words with feeling! We also felt it was important to call out ingredients by their scientific name but also mentioning their more popular names, like vitis vinifera seed oil being grapeseed oil!
Accessibility is different for every product design project. However, it was important to remind people that these products were for external use only and to keep out of reach of children.
Here’s the fun part: the design!
The Grand Finale
Ultimately, several packages were designed:
- 2 product lines of 3 products each
- 1 product line of 2 universal products
- The client came back a few months later for a completely new product & product line
- The client came back twice more for multiple sizes (larger and travel sizes)
New Product Designed January 2017
“Loved it! Very profesh and pleasing to the eye!”
“Products look gorg!”
“Love it..very classy.”
“Like it…improved customer experience…solidifies the brand”
“I love your new packages!!!!”
“I love the new look, but will I still be able to afford to buy these fantastic items?” (Prices stayed the same!)
“Am I the only one who probably won’t toss the packaging until the next one comes?”
Outside of the ego boost I got from the rave reviews, it was hard to determine the KPIs for this particular project. If I had to venture to guess, I would say:
- How long people keep the packaging after use (specifically the box)
- Number of pictures people take of their products (which we did see a huge increase on social media)
This was, by far, the hardest project I’ve ever worked on. Primarily because I had never worked on packaging design before! All of my prior graphic design experience was web-based, so I was not used to the pixel to inch conversion or bleed measurements. But it was also the most rewarding project as well.
I learned the difference between RGB and CMYK (another web vs. print difference)
I was surprised to truly witness how brand perception could change with a packaging redesign. People truly thought the new packaging would increase the price!
My biggest challenge in this project was having very little direction. This project started as “want to try this out”. There was no brief and no prior experience. However, I did as much research as possible and filled in the gaps. I also did all of the design work in Photoshop, as that was the program I had and the program I knew. I’d definitely do packaging design again in Illustrator instead.
The biggest joy was seeing people getting the packages in the mail, including myself! Digital work is awesome, but there’s just something about holding your work in your hands. It’s a surreal feeling.