From Farmer’s Market to Premium Niche
We were drawn by the small town charm and endless potential of Hipbees – a family owned skincare business out of St. Albert, Alberta. The natural, yet effective formulations made a splash among the locals, and with the right elements, they would make waves (the fun kind) in the skincare industry. Each product had an important story to tell – but lacked a storyteller. We recognized the need for a marketing plan, brand positioning, relevant social media content and presence and packaging that reflects the simplicity and beauty of the brand while calling out it’s highly sought after benefits.
Apothecary Traditions Re-Imagined
Collaborating directly with the brand creator we refined Hipbee’s target audience profile, brand positioning, and identity marks. After establishing a renewed brand position that functioned well in both retail and ecommerce environments we developed a suite of unique products with distinct personalities related to their function: Groovy Glow serum, Touch & Glow body butter, Pore Hustler facial cleanser, JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) Mask, and Pitter Patter (deodorant). We sourced responsible and sustainable packaging; reusable immediate containers comprised of glass and bamboo and outer packaging of FSC and Rainforest Alliance certified paperboard. Since a stellar unboxing experience has become expected of strong lifestyle brands, special care was allocated to the new outer packaging. A custom-crafted semi-auto lock bottom hexagon box was developed from scratch which maintains a simple elegance from the outside and layers of surprise and delight within, including a herbal pattern, lovingly crafted self-care instructions, and motivational sayings on the inner flap and bottom of the box. A set of custom icons built from a hexagonal design language were created to help quickly explain and differentiate each products functions. The lid features an embossed icon embellishment that makes the products feel premium despite their pragmatic approach and humility.
Building on the spirit of Hipbees apothecary roots we developing a robust digital rollout for the brand that included specialized ecommerce automations and promotions (like a sustainably sourced bamboo towel with purchase), web/social visuals and an interactive Instagram grid where customers could learn about the new suite of products. We gave Hipbees a literal face with Ester the Face Coach – an imagined personality that was personified from a key Hipbees ingredient, hemp ethyl ester. Ester was a no-nonsense optimist whose mission was to get peoples skin health back to a high level even after they thought they had given up! We set Ester up with her own social media accounts and provided our consumers with educational and useful content framed as if coming from a best friend or mentor. The end game was to supplement the brand’s primary identity and online footprint in an approachable “soft-sell” format that helped bring in new consumers that weren’t familiar with the brand. Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns were crafted to further advance this touchpoint.
With a functional base that was already filled with potential (terpene-rich, synergistic, wildcrafted, locally sourced, multi-benefit and multi-purpose), the Hipbees rebrand elevated them from a DIY skincare brand to one that could compete against the best of mass market players. It did this with elegance, all while remaining true to the brand’s core values. All aspects of the brand rollout were carefully and purposefully considered from hand-written style thank-you letters from the formulator to kraft paper shipping tape printed with inspirational quotes. In the weeks following launch the brand experienced a tremendously positive response including garnering attention from prominent influencers such as one of Canada’s top motivational speakers and author of “Focus on the 90%,” Darci Lang. We knew from the outset that Hipbees was a gem that needed to be polished, so we gave it the shine it deserves.