Soft & Gentle was acquired from Colgate Palmolive by Indian conglomerate Godrej Group in late 2012, and Ergo was brought in to look at new positioning in early 2013 through an ‘informal pitch’ process, according to managing director Stuart Mackay.
Following a series of consumer workshops, Ergo looked to create new positioning that targeted Soft & Gentle’s existing older consumer base, while aiming the products also at mothers in their early 30s.
Mackay says, ‘The brand was a bit of a sleeping giant, and it was losing relevance really quickly. The core group of loyalists were getting older and older and fewer and fewer.
‘Their consumers were mothers around the 50 mark and their daughters, but we wanted to bridge that with mothers in their early 30s’.
Aside from the name, all other aspects of the branding were ‘up for grabs’, says Mackay.
The overall look and feel is based around the proposition ‘Soft & Gentle keeps you Fresh & Fragrant’, creating a new identity that showed efficacy while highlighting the brand’s feminine appeal.
The logo was redesigned, with a new word-mark using a tweaked Bodoni typeface.
‘We wanted the logo to be composed, rather than just three words’, says Mackay. ‘We spent a lot of time tweaking the ampersand, it’s a bit like a female figure sitting up. The logo’s fairly classical’.
Aiming to create a ‘rhythm’, the ‘S’ and ‘G’ are joined, and the ‘g’ and ‘e’ of Gentle have been drawn to run together.
The range has relaunched with nine fragrances, including the core variants Lotus & Watermelon, Lavender & Patchouli and Orchid & Passionflower; with new scents such as Pear & Cottonflower, Orange Blossom & Grapefruit and Pink Grapefruit.