Responses by Meg Beckum, executive creative director, Elmwood New York
Background: BIC wanted to disrupt the heavily gendered razor system category with an alternative that catered to everyone. BIC knew that it had an amazing product but understood that to take it to the next level, it would need a distinct point of view. BIC brought on Elmwood New York to craft everything from the brand’s positioning and personality to its name and verbal expression to its visual identity and packaging.
Reasoning: The idea evolved from an essential truth: People—across genders, races, classes and sexual orientations—want a razor that works at a price they can afford. BIC’s new razor didn’t need to perform tricks or woo consumers with gendered hues or fancy gimmicks. It didn’t need to make grandiose promises or magically transform lives. Simply put—and at the heart of our sell—was a singular idea: people want a damn good razor at a damn good price. So, we gave it to them straight.
Challenges: We had to push our team and our clients to think beyond the traditional marketing handbook—to reject constructed stereotypes and advertising clichés. To stay true to the brand idea, it was critical to toss aside the bullshit, the hyperbole and gendered design tropes. We had to break down the wall between marketer and customer with honesty, directness and a sense of humor.
Favorite details: How we leveraged the power of language to give the unisex brand purpose and personality. From the unboxing experience to the Amazon launch, each message was carefully crafted to speak the raw truth and push boundaries. We never shied away from uncomfortable territory, and neither did our client.
Time constraints: As we entered the final design stage, Amazon caught wind of BIC’s newest product and it soon became Made for YOU’s exclusive distributor. The deal meant that the brand was going to market far sooner than we had anticipated. The expedited launch gave us even more reason to stay focused on the big idea and keep our design approach straightforward, bold and simple.
Anything new: We learned that an established organization like BIC can disrupt the market it has built. But it requires reconsidering a product’s purpose, questioning what consumers truly want and committing to a deeper point of view.