An Honest Look into Building a Billion Dollar Brand
Jessica Alba’s Honest Company Brand Promise: Together, we can make it better.
“We believe in truly engaging the public in our business, listening to all recommendations, and working together as a collective force to make a more honest, healthy, happy world.”
After reading Jessica Alba’s book “The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You”I felt inspired to write, not only to praise her wonderful new book, but to call attention to her billion dollar brand and empire called The Honest Company. A company that she, Christopher Gavigan, and co-founder Brian Lee had built, and a brand that seems to be quickly dominating many homes in America.
As parents, Jessica and Christopher were frustrated with today’s so-called earth friendly, non-toxic family and home care products. All they wanted was the ideal: eco-friendly, effective, safe, beautiful, convenient, and affordable. The ‘ideal’ meant that there were very little products to choose from. As you can see, this ultimately became the drive that build this happy, healthy, eco-chic company. Today The Honest Company continues to grow with over 250 employees, an astonishing $170 million in sales in 2014, and was recently valued at $1.7 billion in late 2015. (Wikipedia)
But before we dive into the branding, let us first have a quick glimpse at the two main founders behind this refreshing brand:
Jessica Alba, a Golden Globe-nominated actress most recently known for her role in “Fantastic Four”, comes from modest beginnings and endured many challenges growing up that later became a very unique and personal journey. Today she’s a mom of two beautiful girls and continues her involvement with charities such as Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, ONE, Habitat for Humanity, Project HOME and more.
Christopher Gavigan, father of 3 children, CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World (a national nonprofit empowering parents to protect their children from toxic risks), author of a best-selling book “Healthy Child Healthy World”, and collaborator for WebMD.
To add my personal note, I too am frustrated by the lack of trustworthy information out there on how to live a healthier and cleaner lifestyle. I do everything I can to eat clean, use natural products, and do my part for the environment but once you think you found a great product you later discover the “hidden” ingredients that’s still harmful to you, your family and your home. I say that Jessica is finally the powerhouse we need to step up this game in a world led by misleading products. Jessica struggled with harmful products the same way we all do and now she boldly puts her name behind the brand to build a business that’s ethical and well, honest. Today, building a great product with a celebrity backing its brand doesn’t always equal guaranteed success however, in this case, it seems that it was the right time with the right people.
The Honest Company went to Egg, a branding company that developed their compelling brand aimed specifically at new parents. Here’s a look at their very smart and streamlined campaign:
[Information and Images below courtesy of Egg at eggbranding.com]
“Because of the lifestyle nature of the brand, the broad range of offerings, and the fact that it is an online offering (not bricks-and-mortar), creation of a cohesive and powerfully compelling brand was key to the success of the entire product line.
The Honest Company mark is wholly the embodiment of the brand. Designed to convey high quality, friendly approachability, and environmental sensitivity, the personable eco-trustmark uses a childlike butterfly to communicate themes of transformation, freedom, natural systems-thinking and generational sustainability.
Our visual design language was conceived to steer clear of tired green themes, and appeal to the young, LA hipster eco-mom through pop whimsy, with magical and playful organic shapes and forms. Modern storybook, with a little Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak thrown in as subconscious cues, completed the decorative vision and illustrative brand toolkit.
Launching a new eco brand in a crowded category is one thing, but launching an online, subscription-based brand in a crowded category is another. A robust web platform is critical, with targeted messaging to encourage trial and prevent opt-out. A super-smooth funnel and intuitive e-commerce UX is key, and a comprehensive socially-enabled strategy had to be factored into the bones of the build-out.
The brand family consists of 20 SKUs, ranging in forms from a multi-surface cleaner and dish washing gel, to sunscreen, bubble bath, wipes, and of course, diapers. The design system uses abrand architecture aided by infographics, color and form.”
About the book: The Honest Life recounts Alba’s personal journey of discovery and reveals her tips for making healthy living fun, real, and stylish, while offering a candid look inside her home and daily life. She shares strategies for maintaining a clean diet (with favorite family-friendly recipes) and embraces nontoxic choices at home and provides eco-friendly decor tips to fit any budget. Alba also discusses cultivating a daily eco beauty routine, finding one’s personal style without resorting to yoga pants, and engaging in fun, hands-on activities with kids. Her solutions are easy, chic, and down-to-earth: they’re honest. And discovering everyday ways to live naturally and authentically―true to you―could be honestly life-changing.
Jennifer Boyce Richardson
What do you think of their branding strategy?
Do you like the idea of an eco-trustmark as a symbol of trust and sustainability?