A clean success: eco range Alkimi delivers a powerful product launch

By Awards Analyst | The Drum Awards



bulletproof article

March 5, 2021 | 5 min read

Bulletproof took home an award for its Alkimi Brand Creation project, for Challs International. Learn how the team designed a novel, visually outstanding product in the competitive space of household cleaning. This was a winning entry in the design category at The Drum Awards for Marketing in 2020.

The challenge

The household cleaning category is becoming increasingly competitive, with nature-focused challenger brands taking on the traditional chemical-based players.

Brands with eco credentials, such as Method and Ecover, seemed to be winning consumer hearts and minds with their visually and environmentally appealing positioning. But lab analysis suggests their cleaning delivery is significantly lower than the traditional chemical-based market leaders.

Today’s consumers feel they are forced to compromise. Either they choose powerful cleaning products that get the job done, but contain harsh chemicals, or they choose eco-friendly products that ease the mind, but take twice the effort.

Challs International, a family owned and run UK business, located in Hadleigh, Suffolk, saw an opportunity to enter the home cleaning category, with a new highly efficacious and non-toxic cleaning range, safe for the user and their environment.

With the range of products in place, they needed to establish a brand and visual proposition that would win over consumers, and in collaboration with Bulletproof, Alkimi was born.

At the time of the Alkimi launch, industry bible The Grocer described supermarket sales of household products were “going down the plughole”. The combined 0.9% value loss of the five big sectors in home cleaning was only eclipsed by the 2.4% volume decline - meaning 20.2 million fewer packs of household cleaners sold year on year. Much of this was down to the rise of the discounters, who accounted for 30% of the overall category, with sales up 14%, according to P&G.

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A bottle of Alkimi home cleaner - full length pack shot.

The strategy

The brief was to create a new brand, that credibly combines the power of traditional cleaners with the modernity of new natural cleaning brands. Specifically, the client brief required:

• An aspirational brand that is not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but also communicates that it’s effective, kind to hands and the environment, and has excellent retail shelf standout.

• A unique pack, that consumers would be proud to put on display at home, instead of putting in the cupboard.

• A pack that speaks to consumers who don’t want to compromise on efficacy with an eco-product, but currently have no choice.

After a deep dive into the consumer and category, Bulletproof landed on their platform: Nature. Engineered. The brand name followed – Alkimi – inspired by scientific transformation.

Bulletproof worked alongside research agency Folk Agency to come up with the positioning, target audience and brand platforms.

Range of Alkimi products.

The designs

The pack design reflects the science behind Alkimi’s power, with a logo inspired by alchemist symbology, the synthesis of science and nature. At once, it reflects this process and the modern, efficacious nature of the product range.

A suite of ingredient symbols was created to inform consumers of the engineered nature of each Alkimi product in a clear and understandable way. Dramatic surges of colour at the top of each pack hints at the scientific process inside and delivers clear range navigation.

The new bottle structure is inspired by laboratory conical flasks – a beautiful and ownable structure implicitly connected to the brand world. While the Alkimi bottle, trigger, and sleeve have been developed to be 100% recyclable, reflecting the brand’s alignment with its natural origins.

The overall result is a stunning new cleaning brand that puts the safe, but unstoppable, power of engineered nature into consumers’ hands. For a super-clean home and a squeaky clean conscience.

The results

The Alkimi brand creation delivered return on design investment within 3 months of launch. The effect of the Alkimi brand launch has been impactful and far reaching, leading to results which have wowed the client team, including but not limited to:

• £600k of sales value in 18 months

• Exported into a further 9 markets globally

• Listings in 4 major retailers in first year

• 118% increase in social media followers

• 8 new jobs created

• 30% more funding won due to launch success, which facilitated further success

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing in 2020. To find out more about The Drum Awards, including which awards are currently open for entries, click here.

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