Monday, 22 December 2014

Brand Concept, Naming & Initial Logo Ideas

Within my essay I looked into the ways in which brands connote stereotypes through their names and language used in addition to their logos and imagery applied. I will consider all that I learnt about brand strategies and how such strategies can connote stereotypes whilst trying to come up with a gender neutral brand name and logo. 

I also learnt about the significance of the logo within a brand and the ways in which a logo is a key identifier, and thus needs to summarise and communicate the brand personality effectively and with impact. Thus stressing the importance of this logo being neutral in terms of gender stereotyping.

Name & Concept

I knew that I was going to brand and produce a gender neutral range of toiletry products, but needed to now think about the concept behind these, what will they smell like what will the brand be called etc. 

I wanted the brand to be honest and based on ingredients and fragrances, a stripped back simple brand but that is still very much engaging. 

I then started to think about naming the brand. I wanted the name of the brand to signify the function of the products - cleaning. But sound enticing. 
I started to think of all the names that came to mind when I thought about washing. 

  • Clean
  • Fresh
  • Neutral 
  • Equal
  • Level
  • Share
  • It’s mine
  • Wash
  • Cleanse
  • Wet
  • Rinse
  • Shower
  • Scrub
  • Soak

As you can see I actually started to consider names linking to the idea that these products are for both men and women, I thought that I could build a concept around the idea that couples could share the products rather than having separate. Hence, neutral, share, etc. I quite liked the name 'It's Mine' as I thought it was quite a fun name, playing on the idea that it is too good to share, but wasn't sure about the connotations within that. 

So I decided to stick with one of the names that represented washing. I really liked the name 'Cleanse' as the definition for cleanse is :

There is an obvious definition of cleaning, but I liked the idea of freeing from guilt or sin, it connotes a sense of innocence. 

Although I really liked this, when asking some male friends they said this sounded like a 'girls product', and when thinking about this I did think that 'Cleanse' sounds more like a beauty process, although the definitions say other wise it is the associations made by the masses that is the most important and I want this to appeal to both men and women.

The other name that I liked was 'Rinse'.

As you can see the definition of this is to wash away soap, detergent, etc. which is what the audience will be doing with these products. Rinse definitely sounds more memorable than cleanse as a toiletry brand as I feel it would stand out more. 

The definitions do also state medical definitions, but again I feel the masses will think about the act of washing away soap, etc. with the word rinse. 

I asked some friends about the name and they liked it and said it definitely is neutral, it doesn't have any stereotypical female connotation. 

I decided to stick with this name as it is about the function of the products and is short and easy to remember. As I learnt in my essay a brand name should conjure up thoughts about the brand and make it memorable. 

From this I decided to build on the concept some more as simply being a toiletry brand that is based on washing, whilst honest doesn't really offer any point of difference.

Thinking back to my Jo Malone visit I remembered the lady saying that the Mint & White Jasmine fragrance sold really well, and all the fragrances sold are unisex. I thought about mint and Original Source Mint shower gel, as although I feel this is a more masculine focussed brand it does not apply stereotypes they allow the scents to speak for themselves. 

I decided from this that mint would be the key fragrance through my products, but this would be combined with other fragrances, such as 'mint and jasmine' - to ensure there was a variety because using one fragrance for all products could get very boring. 

I did consider changing the name to fit with the new fragrance idea, but I felt that the scent didn't necessarily need to be communicated within the name as this would be stated on all products anyway. 


Whilst I knew that the audience was going to be both men and women, I needed to think about where these products would be sold. Is this brand going to be high end? Have it's own shop? 

I felt that because I have looked so much in supermarkets at the toiletries, and identified how these are so often stereotypical, I should design a range of toiletries that would be sold in supermarkets.

This will not be a supermarkets own brand product. The products also will not be really cheap, they will of course be affordable being in a supermarket but will be a higher end range of toiletries. 

I feel that making the brand higher end will allow me to be more creative with packaging, and in turn this will make the products and brands more engaging which is one of the key points I want to make - brands do not need to use gender stereotypes to be engaging. 

Logo Ideas

After I had settled on this as my name and defined my audience, I started to draw logo ideas. In many of these ideas I started to consider representing a mint leaf, drawing more on the idea that the brand will include mint as a key scent throughout. 

Although I based the name on the function of washing, I struggled to communicate this in a way that was visually exciting. I thought about diagonal lines to represent showers and water, but this lead me to more think about a potential box for a shower gel. You can see a drawing in the bottom left corner. I also thought about gradients representing the moving water, but I was getting too carried away here. 

I did experiment with italics as I thought this could also signify showers, water and movement like the diagonal lines. 

I also considered an icon of a water droplet and as you can see above I attempted to split this in two to try and signify the element of the brand being for both genders, but thought that it was irrelevant to communicate this within the brand. 

But the most visually interesting were the ones that incorporated the mint leaf shape. 

Whilst the name doesn't signify the aspect of mint within the brand, I thought it would be interesting to include it within the logo as it is then communicating the brand as being about washing with mint, combining the name about washing with the visual aspect of mint. 

I initially thought that I needed to logo to have an icon, some kind of simple image or shape within the logo as I have discussed connotations of such elements within my essay. However, I don't feel it is necessary within the logo and as I am trying to communicate a very simple and honest brand I feel it would be too much. 

My favourite of the logos was the idea of shaping the text within the mint leaf shape. 

I felt that the use of the leaf shape could also represent a water droplet, and so the shape is still very much in keeping with the simple idea of washing. 

Hopefully when I start to digitalise these it will become clear which to use. 

I felt that at this stage I needed to decide exactly what products I am going to aim to produce within this brand. 
The obvious is shower gel and attempt razors, but I wanted to create a few more products. 

I wanted to still keep it simple so thinking about popular products used by men and women I thought about a bar of soap, and moisturiser. 
Moisturiser I felt would be really interesting as although this is something that both men and women do, it is perceived as more of a female activity! 
It will be interesting to see how I can apply the brand to this product whilst staying neutral. 

So I am going to produce
  • Shower Gel
  • Bar of Soap
  • Moisturiser
  • Razor (must look into possibilities)

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