Launching a Successful Male Grooming Brand
INTRODUCING HAWKINS AND BRIMBLE
As the nights grow darker and the end of the year grows closer, it’s time to reflect on what a great year it’s been… not just for ourselves but for our clients. Let’s be honest, we are only as good as the company we keep!
We are fortunate to have many ambitious founders as friends of Design Happy who have trusted us to own their vision with them. One such friend is Stephen Shortt, founder of Hawkins & Brimble. Stephen approached Design Happy to create a male grooming range from the ground up, our only limitations were that it had to be rooted in the UK and to appeal to an ever-increasing male grooming market.
Hawkins & Brimble launched a little over a year ago. The brand has gone on to win not one, but two accolades at the Pure Beauty Awards last month and gained a heap of shelf space at well-known retailers from Sainsbury’s to House of Fraser.
A heady combination of a unique and stand-out brand that resonates with your target audience and a great product experience that drives repeat purchase is the recipe for success. But it’s also the relentless and timely sales and marketing activities that create momentum, build a loyal following and subsequently gain market share.
Hawkins & Brimble are a rapidly growing male grooming brand, so what have they been doing over the last year to achieve this?
1. A TIMELY LAUNCH
Hawkins & Brimble launched in October 2016 and quickly secured a raft of press reviews and celebrity endorsements, setting a good pace early on! The Classic Male has featured the Hawkins & Brimble range on his blog with an amazing review.
“The branding in my opinion is perfect. As well as it all looking quite dapper, the products themselves are top notch.”
But more importantly, the launch was just in time for the festive period, allowing the product range to feature heavily in Christmas gift guides. This timely and consistent PR, along with a festive flurry of online sales, was enough to secure the early interest of online retailers such as Boots, Ocado, Holland and Barrett, Mankind and Wolf and Badger.
2. ON BRAND PARTNERSHIPS
A partnership with The Grooming Room at London Fashion Week embodied the philosophy of vintage rituals for the modern man, with Master Barber Charles Fencott treating all guests to the full barbershop experience and the Hawkins & Brimble range.
“I was offering services to celebs, VIP’s and industry leaders who were attending the event, while at the same time demonstrating to, and educating said fashionistas in the luxuries and benefits of having this all new natural British product line. We impressed guys with hot towel shaves who experienced the shaving range in all its glory.“
The result was endorsements with said celebs, VIP’s and industry leaders. Content is King and the event generated some great shots and a promotional video showcasing the products and their usage in a fashionable modern man setting.
3. INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION
Less than 6 months after they launched the Hawkins & Brimble team secured listings with over 500 Etos stores across Europe. To celebrate, H&B held a launch party in the uber cool Cut Throat Barber Amsterdam (of course!) and invited influencers who were again were treated to the vintage rituals that the brand embodies.
¨Hawkins & Brimble is a great addition to our Etos assortment. With this brand we are able to engage the modern but also the authentic man who likes to put time to some grooming¨ – Cindy Hendriks, category manager Etos.
The cool and iconic branding stood out effortlessly in this traditional yet contemporary barber setting… a cut above some might say!
4. SEASONAL GIFTING
Smashing the seasonal calendar has been another big win for the brand this year. The Hawkins & Brimble sales and marketing plan paid close attention to seasonal events and their online customers to develop appropriate gift options across all key occasions. Of course, it helps to have a great design agency at the helm! A decorative illustration, crafted as part of the brand identity, created a unique, premium and flexible style to flow across a variety of gifting packs.
In addition, with the rise of direct to consumer sales, this illustrative style and other vibrant brand cues have been injected into e-commerce boxes. There is a focus on communicating social channels on the packaging to support an Instagrammable un-boxing experience.
5. TRADE ACTIVITY
The Hawkins & Brimble team put serious commitment into the trade circuit, covering everything from The British Style Collective in Liverpool and Great British Barber London to Barber Connect Russia. A consistent TOV across every touchpoint including stand design, goodies, and accessories, made sure the Hawkins & Brimble brand was impressive and omnipresent.
6. HONING THE BRAND MESSAGE
Communicating an authoritative and professional TOV to support the barber grade tonics positioning has been imperative. The precise 45 degree angles – the correct angle to hold a razor, typography based on vintage barber signage and the iconic vibrant red – a modern twist on classic barber poles, have all been captured in a brand book to guide activity and keep the brand looking sharp.
The book also included elements to inform the styling of photography, such as a material board and rich, antiqued photographic references which linked back to the brands’ heritage to give an identifiable and own-able look and feel.
7. WINNING AWARDS AND HITTING THE SHELVES
The year has culminated in winning Best New Male Skin & Body Care Product for the Face Wash the and second Best New Male Shaving & Beard Product for the Shaving Cream at the Pure Beauty awards and with listings gained in many well-known retailers, Hawkins & Brimble are on their way to being a household name.
There are many more exciting things in store for Hawkins & Brimble and we will continue our commitment to the brand, and the team behind the brand, to help them stay on top of the highly competitive male grooming game.