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Branding and Culture Case Studies

Into the Wylde – finally, a lube for ladies

Standing in the ‘sexy’ section of the local pharmacist, dodging the judgemental eyes of shoppers, many women will relate to gingerly reaching for some lube and wondering if this really belongs on our bits. Kathie Bishop – a medical herbalist specialising in female intimate health, founded Into the Wylde with the mission to create a lubricant brand for women, made specifically with women’s physical needs in mind, and not just from a product point of view.  A vulva is not a penis, it has very different needs, and mimicking natural lubricant is about more than just making things slippy. A female lubricant product must work on a psychological, emotional level – connecting with women visually and verbally through the brand design and communication. And so, Into the Wylde set out to cross the slippery category of fem-care with a lubricant that gets women’s needs, inside and out.

The brand and packaging was conceptualised by designer Claire Hartley who set out to create a visual identity that’s a harmonious balance between elegance and play. The hand-drawn logo brings an organic yet sensual feel – a nod to the brand concept of connecting with our inner Wylde One. Paired with a rich colour palette of pinks and greens, the aesthetic is flirtatiously vibrant. The packaging features hand-illustrated nudes seductively wrapped in wylde botanicals – referencing the product’s natural ingredients. It was important the brand’s nude (which, we nicknamed Freda on account of her powerful poses and effervescent confidence) emerge from her botanical backdrop strong and unabashed. So often do we see feminine nudity as either oversexed or somehow hidden and secretive. The visual identity is about presenting a body the way it is, draped in nature, wylde, beautiful and unapologetic. The look and feel expresses femininity through its essence, with a sexy, adventurous tone that invites you to reawaken play.

The brand tone of voice and messaging, written by Siena Dexter, Creative Director at Idea Dolls London, was inspired by Kathie’s straight-talking tone and journey to creating the brand. Suffering for years with thrush, Kathie found the condition disconnected her from her intimate expression. The tone of voice had to approach sexuality in a gentler way, showing respect to the emotional and psychological complexities of female intimacy – all that with sophistication which fitted our visual identity, and a playfulness which articulated being ‘into the wylde’ – the freedom of connecting with a natural flow. The brand tagline ‘reawaken play’ and social hashtags ‘#VulvaLovinCare’ and ‘#FreeTheV’ all communicate the brand’s message of connection, natural vulva health, and between-the-sheets fun.

Creating the brand messaging highlighted some very real issues around fem-care messaging  – we wanted to be progressive, forward thinking, even bold, but can we really say ‘vulva’ on the pack? and will we sound like a GUM clinic doctor if we do?

Our messaging had to be direct, we didn’t want to shy away from talking about female anatomy, but if we were honest about how women communicate, the word ‘downstairs’ is far more likely to be used than ‘vulva’ in everyday conversation.  We navigated uncharted paths of how to say natural lubrication without saying ‘moist’ or ‘wet’ (too gross, too X rated), and whether yoni, vulva or just ‘down-under’ are best suited to describing where the product goes (we went with the latter).

After 6 years of development, and almost 2 years of brand creation, Into the Wylde’s ‘Wylde One’ water-based lubricant is finally set to launch on Monday 13th April, and we hope will resonate with sexually active women of all ages, reawakening play and lubricated lovin’.

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Case Studies

Loafly Case Study: Adapting Brand Identity For International Markets

Following the success of the premium breakfast delivery app Milkman in Israel, founders Omer and Jonny wanted to bring their ‘healthy brekkie at the touch of a button’ service to the UK.

We worked with the team in Israel to understand their offering “breakfast you want to jump out of bed for”, and their target market “families and professionals who want to provide the best for the breakfast table but don’t have the time to scan artisan markets to source ingredients”

Our challenge was to position the brand in the premium category while adding warmth and fun – speaking to busy foodies who crave variety, convenience and a top-notch breakfast every day.

Lost in translation…

The transition from a premium service in Israel to a premium artisan brand in Europe wasn’t straightforward. In Israel, playful design is the stuff of children’s brands, and brand values of loyalty, comfort and wholesomeness are articulated through the product rather than the ‘symbol’ or logo.

Designs which tested well with a European target audience were completely lost on an Israeli market test, who didn’t understand the playfulness, and wanted to see the product more.

How culture relates to branding is a fascinating subject and one covered at length in Torelli’s Globalization, Culture and Branding, but even understanding the fundamental difference between how brands leverage cultural values cross-culturally to build lasting and scalable brand equity, didn’t at all prepare us to answer the question: “why does everyone in Israel not get the new design, while everyone in the UK absolutely loves it?”

Why don’t Israelis get ‘playful branding’?

We posed the question to Ido Bercovier, an award-winning artist from Tel Aviv. Ido doesn’t paint in the lines (so to speak), his art is controversial, and his vibe typical of the Tel Aviv artist scene.

The problem, he explained, wasn’t that Israelis didn’t get quirky, it’s a difference in the history of Europe and Israel. Europe has a long history of romanticism. Israel has been around a short while, we don’t want stories, we want action – we want practicality. Branding in Israel is functional, and even though founders of Iconic brands (like WeWork)  have their roots in Israel, when communicating to an Israeli market, the brand story is secondary or completely nonexistent.

But also, it’s about connection, Israelis are more connected and get out more. There’s a sense of community.

Branding creates a relationship between a consumer, a product and an idea so it’s completely logical that in cultures where there is a strong sense of community, the need to build a relationship with the brands you buy isn’t as strong.

Europeans need the story, we have more time for building a relationship with the brands we consume and the difference is the value we place in romanticism over practicality, and ‘perceived brand value’ through the connection we feel with brands.

Anthropologically, understanding this fundamental difference was fascinating and presented a new challenge – launching the brand in the UK meant we couldn’t use any of it’s existing ‘brand values’, the existing product needed a brand story, a look and feel and name that would give us story-loving Europeans the brand connection we crave.

Step 1 Name

The first challenge was to name the brand – Milkman wasn’t premium enough for the UK market, where the milk-round isn’t anything exciting or new.

After rounds of names, playing with various articulations of words that said ‘morning’ and ‘happy’, Loafly was chosen as the favourite – an ownable brand name which combined the main product offering ‘loaf’ with ‘lovely’ – we love how satisfying it is to say, like the feeling of that first bite of the perfect breakfast sarnie.

Step 2 Design

Then we set about exploring colors, fonts and tones:

Before settling on a warm colour palette that injected a bit of fun and energy to the typography, with the ‘O’ bringing energy and warmth, while creating a market-relevant, ownable wordmark that can be used on its own as the brand icon.

The final font  was slimmed down from the earlier, chunkier versions for a sleeker, more premium look and feel.

3) Launch

Loafly’s visual ID was rolled across social @loaflyuk, the Loafly app and the new website Loafly.co.uk, where we explored more ways to apply the new identity through playful assets and illustrations. An illustrated ‘burst’ of breakfast ingredients in the hero panel creates a sense of energy and excitement, as if all those great goodies are just waiting to jump out the bag and onto your table. A rounded sans serif and thicker, bolder headline font complements the section panels adding colour and fun without looking too childish.

Loafly rolled out the design onto their new delivery bags…. Ready to land a breakfast of champions on lucky Loafly doorsteps.

Hurray! No more soggy cereal and stale old bread.