Creating a double-take brand
Written by Laura Daquino
These days, the lines between beauty and food are blurred, presenting an unparalleled marketing opportunity for brands across the spaces.
We’re seeing wellness brands bid farewell to packaging stereotypes. No longer is the neutral colour scheme, with a touch of green, the only way to sell sustainability and healthy living.
Food-based products can now better stand out in the beauty aisle, and likewise beauty-inspired brands have an edge on traditional food packaging. It’s about maximising the retail floor to break down walls and packaging norms.
Naturally Good exhibitor Golden Grind, a turmeric-tilted wellness brand from Melbourne, understands this all too well.
It all started when co-founder Sage Greenwood recognised a sudden upturn in the number of people ordering turmeric with warm milk at her health food cafe. Around the same time, her daughter, Tahli Watts, was noticing that more and more peer-reviewed journal articles on the health benefits of turmeric were being published.
They knew, with the right direction, turmeric had the legs to become something more. And the first step was marketing, which Tahli’s husband and FMCG professional, Renwick, knew something or two about.
“At first we were thinking we would package the product in an organic brown bag and put an earthy logo on it, make it really appeal to the traditional health market, and then we realised—hang on, we don’t really come from that background ourselves,” recalls Watts.
“We all really love fashion and beauty, and edgy marketing, so we decided to shake things up and make the product really minimalistic, much like the trends we’re seeing in those spaces. For some strange reason, there seems to be a disconnect between the modern world and health world.”
Out of the box thinking
Matte-red, black and white tones, and a touch of gold, makes up the Golden Grind palette. The branding is uniform across a range that includes the turmeric latte blends, as well as chocolate, capsules, and even face masks and soaps, all cut from the same turmeric cloth.
The range would better blend in Sephora or Mecca, even at an ultra upmarket Tom Ford beauty counter, than it would suit a traditional health food store—and that is precisely the point.
“We think it’s about time health products are mainstream, and they shouldn’t be pigeonholed as daggy or dowdy, but on the cutting-edge instead,” says Watts.
“And just because something is in a brown bag, doesn’t mean it’s better for the world. Our bags are all recyclable and we’re a really earth-conscious brand.”
Golden Grind is proof that beauty can be achieved naturally, and brands need not compromise their supply chains in the process. From packaging and processing to ingredients, the business is vegan through-and-through. It’s on its way to becoming 100 per cent biodegradable as well.
Watts says the Golden Grind team has made the small business scale-up process more onerous in some ways, by managing all the moving parts and pieces themselves. This is only to ensure greater quality control, and she believes the end product speaks for itself.
They don’t just follow a simple process where they put everything in the hands of the manufacturer, but instead, have specifically sourced all of their packaging, ingredients and hand-picked the people who pack the product.
The path less travelled
It’s been through these tactics that the company has proved it’s true that sometimes it pays to look for nuggets of gold in areas you least expect them, on paths less travelled by your peers.
In addition to finding inspiration tangentially in the beauty space, the Golden Grind team has travelled abroad. They’ve done their trips to India and met with Ayurvedic doctors, but have then gone one step further into seemingly unrelated territory.
And this is probably their best tip yet for fellow Australian wellness brands who are struggling to set themselves apart.
Watts notes how Australian businesses tend to benchmark against the US and sometimes the UK, so the Golden Grind team decided to look outside the box.
“European scientists lead the world with monitoring organic certifications and producing health studies, and in terms of sustainability, European farmers practice the best techniques, more often than not shunning GMOs,” she said.
“There’s some really cool stuff in the health food space coming out of western Europe, in areas like Amsterdam and Germany, and that is where we have always looked for our inspiration. Their marketing is best of breed but you don’t really hear of it a lot here—at least not yet anyway.”
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