• 01 05 2017

How design helped Unilever transform customer perceptions

The premium hair care market grew by 5.3% last year (compared to 3.5% for mass), largely driven by a strong consumer price-quality bias. Indeed 7 out of 10 women think expensive haircare brands work better than inexpensive brands.

Discount brand Suave  wanted to challenge perceptions and explain that you don’t need to spend a fortune to have beautiful, healthy hair, but they knew that changing long-standing attitudes would be incredibly challenging. Instead, they decided to leverage the power of design to go undercover and capture the attention of millennial beauty buyers – a notoriously discerning audience.

Enter Evaus (yes, that is simply Suave spelt backwards) with its insanely-instagrammable millennial-pink packaging, on-trend ingredients and luxurious fragrances.

Distributed to up-and-coming beauty influencers for a two-week trial, the results were astonishing (see in full here). The influencers unanimously declared their love for this ‘game-changing’ product which they believed to be a premium start-up brand but was in fact the same $3 shampoo and conditioners they would have avoided had it not been for the fancy packaging.

The moral of the story? Sometimes we really do judge a book by its cover, and design is a powerful tool in priming consumers and improving their perceptions of a product.

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