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Mainstreaming Sustainability and Better-For-You Marketing
By: Ron Romanik
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Consumer goods giant Henkel recently bought and updated the upstart Pure & Natural Brand, which built its identity around sustainable sourcing. The Pure & Natural brand launched in 2008 with a line of hypo-allergenic, natural, and biodegradable personal care products and a high eco-consciousness.

The colorful “New Look” for Pure & Natural abandons some of the original brand equities. While the logo remains the same and the packaging is still recyclable, the brown brand color has been made less prominent and the bar soap has been replaced with at liquid body wash.

It’s important to remember that many LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) consumers come into the sustainability mindset and space through a concern for health. Not the health of the Earth, the environment, or the water supply. Instead, they’re really looking out for No. 1 — their own health. These consumers choose natural and organic products to improve their health, or the health of their children, by choosing better food, personal care products, and home cleaning products.

The Pure & Natural brand’s trademarked tagline leveraged the “better-for-you” consumer trend perfectly: “Nurture Yourself and the World Around You.” The browns and greens of the packaging were appropriate for the holistic brand message.

The most effective package designs can convey a multitude of brand propositions, intuitively, in the blink of an eye. Graphics, colors, and shapes often provide the quickest intuitive leap. As frustrating as might be for design, marketing, and branding professionals, greens and browns still provide the best “billboard” communication of natural and, by extension, sustainable. Only time will tell if the colorful palette of the new Pure & Natural bridges the gap between boutique sustainability and mainstream “better-for-you.”


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About the Author
Ron Romanik is principal of Romanik Communications, a brand consultancy outside Philadelphia founded with a mantra of “Authentic Stories. Resonant Tones. Sustainable Brands.”
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