How Old Spice Rebranded and Saved Their Business


Old Spice is a fairly old brand, founded back in the days of the Golden Generation (1937, to be specific). Their earliest ads positioned their products as a minor luxury for America’s GIs —manly and tasteful, with just a dash of pragmatic exoticism. That initial approach was a success. It helped Old Spice sell significant quantities of the sorts of aftershave your badass grandpa wore when he took his girl to the drive-in for date night after coming back from the war. Of course, times change. By the time the 70’s were about to begin, the brand shifted to appeal to the new young man: not the confident mans man, but the stereotypically insecure boy in dire need of assistance and assurance.

From then until Old Spice’s acquisition by P&G in 1990, you might say their marketing aged with that final cohort. They became known for a middle-aged, middle-class sort of product — something neither sexy nor distasteful, purchased by the sort of men who no longer held an interest in adopting new shopping habits. To be successful, P&G knew they had to re-orient the line to appeal to a new, younger demographic — to people like me.

I remember my first encounter with the brand distinctly. It was 2003. I was fourteen, and a newborn convert to the disproportionate use of aftershave in my pursuit of the ladies. Mercifully, a female friend of mine took her time to explain three very important points to me before I wasted mine entirely:

  1. A little goes a long way.
  2. Aftershave is not cologne.
  3. “Old Spice is what you wear to a family reunion, when you want to smell pleasant but sexually unattractive.”

I’d suggest that her thinking on those fronts fairly represented the majority opinion of the time. But, behind the scenes, things at Old Spice were beginning to change — finally. The primary driver of that belated wake-up was the unexpected success of Unilever’s “Axe” body spray products which I’ve written about before. Foul as they were, they were popular. Boys who had only ever worn (if at all) the deodorant that their moms optimistically snuck into their backpacks suddenly developed a preference, fueled by ambitious dreams of ensuring their own “Axe effect” experience.

P&G had to respond. And they did, with typical efficiency. By 2004, they had reclaimed pole position in the US deodorant market at 20% of the billion-dollar pool, followed closely by Gillette’s “Right Guard” line (19%) and Axe (16%).

How they went about that comeback, however, had little to do with the famous advertising campaign we often associate with them.

Their strategy was simple:

  • Rather than targeting adult men, they went after teens and tweeners who had yet to declare a loyalty.
  • They handed out free samples of their “High Endurance” sub-brand to kids in 90% of the 5th-grade health classes in America.
  • They focused on the sports crowd, suggesting a correlation between their products and athletic prowess.
  • They went grassroots, sending reps with promo swag to high-school games and skate-park events.
  • They expanded their product lines to include a suite of washes and sprays.

They also brought in a new marketing firm in 2006: Wieden and Kennedy. Their mandate was to solidify Old Spice’s newfound hooks in the Millennial generation. One of the first big campaigns out of that partnership was called “Swagger” (2008). It was cheeky, but it was a hit. Combined with the outcome of their other efforts, Old Spice owned 25% of the market by early 2009. Also around this time, driven by W&K’s insistence, Old Spice began focusing on being better rather than just cooler. A big part of this was tackling “residue” issues, which they solved by porting the superior molecules of their dry solid varieties into traditional formulations that didn’t leave the dreaded “bar code” stains. Customers loved the result. But it wasn’t the sort of change that spawned water cooler conversations. Enter 2010, the year of the “Man You Wish Your Man Could Smell Like”. This was the campaign we all remember, that we all still point to, that we all agree changed the brand’s trajectory. 100 million YouTube views, an Emmy, a Cannes Lion award, and 1.2 billion earned media impressions later, there was a new favorite marketing campaign that everyone was eager to write about.

But here’s the rub: did that campaign actually translate to a meaningful lift in revenue?

Most of the “studies” will say yes, relying on the same oft-quoted stat: an alleged 107% sales increase.

But that metric (itself an estimate) is wildly misleading. It represents the sales spike from the month after the campaign began in earnest (the first ad was featured during the Super Bowl in early February, but a follow-up series of 186 unique response videos blitzed social media over a 3-day period in June).

Any campaign that size is likely to produce a significant month-long spike. But what about the long-term?

As of the most recent numbers I could find (November ’15), Old Spice now has a 28% share of a $1.4bn US deodorant market. That’s an increase of about 3% over a six-year period.

But here’s the thing: that share was expected to go up anyway. As those 11 year-olds they targeted in 2003 became young adults, organic growth was expected to follow. (Moms tend to buy what’s on sale, not what their teen actually prefers. As those teen age and gain their own economy agency, brand sales go up.) Even if we could contribute 2/3rds of that 3% jump to their 2010 ad campaign (almost certainly too high an estimate), that still pales to the earlier jump of almost 10%  they achieved from 1999 to 2008 — which is the real unsung hero of the story.

The resurgence did come from a re-branding, but not from the advertising we saw in 2010.

Was the advertising campaign iconic? Yes. Did it add value? Absolutely, but contrary to what many, including myself, may have thought, it had little to do with their overall success.

Good Logo Design: The Keys to The Kingdom


I’ve talked a lot in the past about design & branding, and more specifically logo design & rebranding, but I don’t think I’ve ever got in depth about what makes for a great logo when rebranding. I guess the first thing to go over before we take a deep dive into this article is to cover some of the reasons why stylistic rebranding is necessary for companies in the first place. The simple answer is that as time continues, and design styles and methodologies reprioritize/popularize themselves in the public eye, other styles become outdated to the point that they don’t elicit an emotional response from the viewer. It could also be due to derivative results of focus group testing where it is found that what a company thought was a strong logo isn’t all that they had hoped. In instances such as these it becomes a necessity to reevaluate the core values of a company and put pen to paper to come up with multiple logo options that seemingly represent those principles in a visually appealing and contemporary style. Sounds easy enough, yea? Not so fast.

Just because someone has a DSLR doesn’t make him or her a photographer. The same is true with design. Many people like to think of themselves as designers (or believe they don’t really need a professional designer) because they have Photoshop, or, God forbid, PowerPoint. It’s an easy trap to fall into, and so many people do it that sometimes it’s hard to spot. A great recent example is Uber’s CEO, who was primarily responsible for the re-design of the widely-criticized Uber app icon. You know the old saying, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” right? Case in point. That being said, we must now consider what does go into good logo design. What follows are five key lessons I’ve learned over the course of my experience:

#1 – Being original isn’t as valuable as being good.  

Of course, originality is an added bonus. Paul Rand, one of the greatest logo designers around (he created logos for IBM, UPS, Westinghouse, Yale University Press, ABC, among others)  once advised not worry so much about being “original,” but to focus on being “good.” This is important to keep in mind when trying to come up with a new logo. That’s not to say that you should take someone else’s idea and put a slight tweak on it to make it your own. Keep in mind that if you can think of it, the Simpson’s have most likely already done it. What I mean is that you should focus on creating something that can stand on its own and worry less about creating something that’s never been done before. A great example of this is Airbnb’s redesign logo being found in a decades-old trademark book a couple years ago. Maybe they took it directly from that book and maybe they didn’t. What matters is that it’s an effective logo that is easily recognizable to the public.

#2 – Don’t stop Sketching.

One of the crucial lessons I learned at the very beginning of my design studies is that good graphic design work must start with a good ideas, and one of the best ways to come up with good ideas is to brainstorm and throw all of your ideas onto paper. The more you brainstorm, the better your ideas get and the closer you are to finding the right solution.


#3 – Context is everything.

One day, your logo may need to be blown up on the side of a large truck or on a billboard. It’s almost guaranteed that it will need to shrink down to less than 1 inch on someone’s business card too, so, it’s important that a logo be versatile so that it looks great no matter the context. Logo Designthat works well at both extremes—extremely large and extremely small—is important. If you fail to do that, you’ll come to find that it’ll be time to re-brand sooner than you thought. You also have to think about the audience of the business. Who is the target market? What is the personality of the company (e.g. is it a stern, formal legal firm or a playful, fresh yogurt shop)? Does their customer base exist only in one country, or do they have customers from around the world?

#4 – Logo design should be done in Illustrator and almost nothing else.

This one is easy. Don’t create your logo in any Microsoft Office software; that means no Word, PowerPoint, or Publisher. You shouldn’t even create your logo in Photoshop if I’m being completely honest. The reason why is that these programs aren’t meant for working with vector graphics, and therefore are incapable of creating a simple file that can be scaled to context (remember #3). The chosen tool of almost all designers for logo design is Adobe Illustrator (there are also a few decent alternatives to Illustrator out there).

#5 – Create logo designs that are objectively good by following standard design principles.

Art and artistic quality are largely subjective, or in other words, heavily influenced by personal feelings, tastes, and/or opinions. While certain aspects of graphic design can be somewhat subjective as well, it is much less subjective than art.

A great logo design is not simply subjectively good (e.g. it “looks good” or is “pretty” to a few people). Great logo design is objectively good because it meets the objective of the client which will be using the design work. The client’s objectives and personality are what must define the colors, shapes, typefaces, and other design elements—not what they (or even you) “feel” is good.

So, how do you define the objective? You should work with the client to create a creative brief, and use the answers provided in the brief to make informed decisions about which direction to take.

In other words, when someone asks you “why did you pick that color?” or “why did you pick that typeface?” your answer should not be “because it looks good.” You should be able to point back to the creative brief and the research you’ve done on your client and their market/industry and use that as the basis of your decision making. Regardless of who the client is and what they put in their creative brief, there are general rules you should follow to create a great logo design. Also keep in mind that color and type choice can make or break a design.


3 WordPress blog Lessons You Can Benefit From Today by Maurice Lennon

Recently I was reached out to by one of our readers for advice about starting a running a successful website? Tragically, there is no simple shortcut or answer. To begin with, simply working hard is a great place to start. In this article, we’ll take a look at where that hard work should be aimed towards with 3 top tips for starting a successful website based on WordPress. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have already picked your niche and have decided why you need to make a WordPress site. So what’s next?


With regards to choosing your domain, I advise you to go with a standard instead of using the default assigned “” Try to purchase a domain. Many of the domain registrar providers nowadays are reliable. However, on a more personal note, I would love to suggest “NameCheap” due to the fact that you get whois guard that is absolutely free. If you want to go a step further though or are finding it hard to find a domain that is suitable for you, you need not worry. Here are 5 more of our favorite domain providers.

1. Lean Domain Search

2. Domainr

3. Panabee

4. Name Mesh

5. DomainsBot

Creating Engaging Content

As we continue to say over and over, content is a very vital ingredient in creating any WordPress Blog. Simply pumping out article after article won’t always be enough though and you’ll have in work from a different angle or approach. Include some videos, web applications as well as infographics. Always keep your readers, who are the lifeblood of your WordPress Blogs, aware that you are there to serve and help them. In the event that you are not yet an expert on a specific topic, you might need to think about citing several experts. Crediting people this way is a good way to build relationships and eventually have others crediting you and linking traffic to your site, which leads us to our 3rd tip.

Reach Out and Listen

Everything is two-way when it comes to blogging — – you share engaging content, and the readers give their insights about yours. So make it to a point that you give them blogs you would want to read. In the same manner, listen to their suggestions as well as to their article recommendations. At the end of the day, it’s your audience who brings positive traffic to your blog.

LinkedIn Blogging: 5 Easy Steps for Successful Personal Branding

Blogging is often overlooked as a means to marketing and business success, but under closer evaluation it’s turned out in recent years that blogging is a star on the rise. Just like any other platform of promotion, whether for business or personal, blogging has been one of the vital tools in popularizing businesses or the blogger personally by creating a relatable human presence behind brands. Blogging for personal promotion especially, which is also known as personal branding, is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. This concept suggests that self-packaging is the new mode of highlighting oneself as a standout candidate whether it be for consideration for a job or simply as a business entity worthy of new clients.

However, as much as we want to promote ourselves as much as possible online, there are limitations to what we can accomplish on sites like LinkedIn. Until recently the only people who were able to post their blog content on the professional social site were people that were deemed “influencers.” Over time we have seen those restrictions peeled back to the point where anyone, even a novice college student trying to wedge their way into the job market, can post their own blog content, and so we’ve seen LinkedIn evolve to the point where people are now able to:

  •  Increase visibility
  •  Expand his network
  •  Demonstrate Leadership

And since we are now able to leverage LinkedIn as a personal branding tool it’s time to take advantage of it. It’s time to learn the 5 Steps for maximizing the LinkedIn blogging feature for personal branding according Forbes.

Step 1. Have your strategy be developed

Any successful plan is born from and carefully executed according to strategic planning. Consider, the following:

1.Topic: Know what you want to talk about and maintain your focus on that. You don’t have to be good at just anything; you have to be good at something specific. Remember that the whole is the sum of its parts so be sure that all the parts are relevant.

2. Format: Select from images, text and videos according to your discernment.

3. Frequency: It doesn’t matter if you don’t post content every day, as long as you are still visible to your target audience’s eyes. What is more important is the consistency of your content.

4. Style: Is your content formal or friendly? Be consistent in your tone because people usually anticipate a certain style as they become familiar with the content you’ve been posting.

5. Limit: LinkedIn suggests content that consists of around three paragraphs.

Step 2. Create compelling content

Creating quality content means more than just having killer filler material. You just have to generate striking titles that will catch the attention of the readers. Also, including interesting photos adds glitz, as does the inclusion of source material from other bloggers and authors.

Step 3. Make it Visible

By scheduling yours posts on specific dates, you get to assure that your content becomes visible to your target audience.

Step 4. Have it Promoted

Disseminate your content not just on LinkedIn, but also on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms that you might think will increase your visibility.

Step 5. Measure It

As per Forbes’ advice, study and write about topics that get the highest amounts of likes, tweets and shares. From there you can refine your strategy and create the most brand value with the least effort.

The Importance of Owning Your Own Business Website by Maurice Lennon

Business practices have been with us since the earliest known civilization, evolving from the simple trade and barter system of old to the revolutionized versions of capitalism and investment that drive western economies today. It has always been one of the main driving forces behind people’s method of survival and ability to provide both for themselves and for their families. And after millennia of undergoing updates to the simple practice  and methodology of it,  it is so ingrained within our society and the fabric of our being that it is hard to think of a way in which business is not present in our lives.  Wherever you go, you will find business whether it be in the most remote villages of the world to the sanctity of your own home. Need an example? Modern Greeks are currently reverting to ancient barter systems in their more remote fishing villages. And if you’re in your home chances are you’re watching TV, listening to music, or reading a book, all of which you’ve paid for. So, aside from change as the only constant thing in this world, there is also business. Thus, it becomes important to take control of what you can regarding business and do as much as possible to use it to benefit your own life so that you can not only provide for yourself in a constantly changing world, but also your family. In today’s world it is not enough just to be a mere employee. It has become essential in so many ways to master your own destiny and be able to run your own business. However, setting up business is not as easy as 1, 2, 3. It requires innate talent, passion, determination, as well as a network. In this article, we’ll talk about this network.  What does it mean exactly? Simply put, it just means that you have to have a good online presence whereby you are able to communicate with potential customers, existing customers and even competitors. Besides maintaining an excellent social media presence this is done by setting up your own website for your business. You might say, “My business is doing well already,”  and not think it essential which very well may be the case, but you’d still be wrong to think a website isn’t important to further success.  What we are trying to say here is that, as your business is heading to its full potential, you have to establish and position it in today’s competitive digital market, and for that you definitely need a website. But why? Below are four simple reasons why your small (but soon to be big) business needs a website.

1. Establish Credibility

How do customers find out which business are the best in town? A great website will give you an edge over others in exposure as well as in credibility.

2. Efficient Communication

With your website, you can find new customers while staying in touch with the existing ones. And, one way of knowing your clients’ suggestions, feedback and even complaints is through your website.

3. E-commerce

Based on studies, a great website can increase the revenues for up to 80%. Do not dare lose the opportunity while it’s available.

4. Cost-effective Marketing

When you ask about which marketing tool is the best, there are no second thoughts — it is the website. Websites can virtually reach anyone on the planet as long as they have a computer or smartphone and of course, internet connection. It also gives the business the highest return on investment. Cold calls, trade shows, commercials, brochures, magazine features are way too costly, right?  Think it over.

10 Types of Branding Strategies

brand strategy

Branding Strategies
A branding strategy helps establish a product within the market and to  build a brand that will grow and mature in a saturated marketplace. Making smart branding decisions up front is crucial since a company may  have to live with the decision for a long time. The following are commonly used branding strategies:

Company Name
In this case a strong brand name (or company name) is made the vehicle for a range of products (for example, Mercedes Benz or Black &  Decker) or a range of subsidiary brands (such as Cadbury Dairy Milk or  Cadbury Fingers in the United States).

Individual Branding
Each brand has a separate name, putting it into a de facto competition  against other brands from the same company (for example, Kool-Aid and  Tang are both owned by Kraft Foods). Individual brand names naturally allow greater flexibility by permitting  a variety of different products, of differing quality, to be sold  without confusing the consumer’s perception of what business the company is in or diluting higher quality products.

Attitude Branding and Iconic Brands
This is the choice to represent a larger feeling, which is not  necessarily connected with the product or consumption of the product at  all. Companies that use attitude branding include: Nike, Starbucks, The Body  Shop, and Apple, Inc. Iconic brands are defined as having aspects that  contribute to the consumer’s self-expression and personal identity.
Brands whose value to consumers comes primarily from having identity value are said to be “identity brands. ” Some brands have such a strong identity that they become “iconic brands” such as Apple, Nike, and Harley Davidson.

Derived Brands
Some suppliers of key components may wish to guarantee its own position by promoting that component as a brand in its own right. For example, Intel, positions itself in the PC market with the slogan (and sticker) “Intel Inside. ”

Brand Extension and Brand Dilution
The existing strong brand name can be used as a vehicle for new or modified products. For example, many fashion and designer companies extended brands into fragrances, shoes and accessories, furniture, and hotels. Frequently, the product is no different than what is already on the market, except it has a brand name marking. The risk of over-extension is brand dilution, which is when the brand loses its brand associations with a market segment, product area, or quality, price, or cachet.
Multi-brands Strategy 
Alternatively, in a very saturated market, a supplier can deliberately  launch totally new brands in apparent competition with its own existing  strong brand (and often with identical product characteristics) to soak  up some of the share of the market. The rationale is that having 3 out of 12 brands in such a market will  give a greater overall share than having 1 out of 10. Procter & Gamble is a leading exponent of this philosophy, running  as many as ten detergent brands in the US market. In the hotel business, Marriott uses the name Fairfield Inns for its budget chain.
Cannibalization is a particular problem of a multi-brands strategy  approach, in which the new brand takes business away from an established  one which the organization also owns. This may be acceptable (indeed to be expected) if there is a net gain  overall.
Private Labels
Also called own brands, or store brands, these have become increasingly popular. Where the retailer has a particularly strong identity this “own brand” may be able to  compete against even the strongest brand leaders, and may outperform  those products that are not otherwise strongly branded.
Individual and Organizational Brands
These are types of branding that treat individuals and organizations as the products to be branded. Personal branding treats persons and their careers as brands. Faith branding treats religious figures and organizations as brands.
Crowdsourcing Branding
These are brands that are created by the people for the business, which  is opposite to the traditional method where the business creates a  brand. This type of method minimizes the risk of brand failure, since the  people that might reject the brand in the traditional method are the  ones who are participating in the branding process.