Packaging for your manly man

Modern men are much more sophisticated than some brands think they are and will ultimately see through a superficial, cookie-cutter approach.

“Most brands ‘for men’ are not connecting with men,” said Ben Grace, Bulldog marketing director. “Men are put off by imagery and language that is too elaborate.” Instead, Bulldog, the third largest men’s skin care brand in the UK, steers away from “pseudoscientific” terms that overcomplicate an uncomplicated category. The language used is simple and to the point. “We talk to men the way they talk to each other,” explained Grace.

Bulldog packages feature a short description along with what the product does and the key ingredients. “Some men’s brands seem to struggle with arranging their messaging, so they throw all the information on the package,” said Grace. On the back of each product, the brand encourages people to find out more about the listed ingredients by visiting the web site for full information. The brand lists every single ingredient that it uses. Not only that, it outlines the source of the ingredient and its primary function in its formulations. “We try to be as transparent as we can,” said Grace. “We want people to care about what they put on their skin as much as the food that they eat.”

Competing with huge global companies with significant marketing budgets, the brand knew it had to use the shelf as its billboard. “The packaging deliberately disrupts the category, by being different,” Grace continued. “When we looked at the category as a whole, we found a sea of sameness.” Bulldog packaging inverts the usual visuals, featuring an over-sized dark logo on white packaging.

Brands that are light-hearted also resonate with the consumer, especially men. Like using humor in marketing campaigns, such as Benefit’s tongue-in-cheek vidoes and Lynx’ and use of a double entendre, packaging that doesn’t take itself too seriously breaks down a barrier created by some men’s continued discomfort in discussing personal hygiene.

This is reflected in all Bulldog’s communication and on the packaging, where the brand injects a bit of humor that shares its personality with the consumer. While competitors use good-looking models with chiseled jaws and six-packs, Bulldog, primarily uses its namesake mascot. “It’s not nature’s prettiest beast but he’s man’s best friend,” said Grace.

Avoiding the cookie-cutter approach by purpose-building the brand for men, Bulldog was able to expand to 13 different countries worldwide since its launch in 2007.

Read more about packaging for men in the March 2014 issue of GCI Magazine.

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