There was a time, in the not so distant past, when pantyhose were as much a part of a woman’s workplace wardrobe as a smart pair of pumps. Yes, this was before Starbucks.
But times have changed. And recognizing the need to change with them, No Nonsense recently undertook a revitalization effort to make the brand more relevant for women today.
“There’s a generation of women who entered the workplace when sheer hosiery was not a required wardrobe item, so they didn’t even really know the brand,” explains No Nonsense senior director of marketing Trish Martin. “To them, the concept of ‘no nonsense’ meant: Take the silly stuff out of life; get rid of the things that are draining my energy, and help me remember the pleasant parts of my life.”
An unconventional approach
Instead of using traditional advertising, No Nonsense—with the help of branding and package design firm Garage—decided to utilize key consumer touchpoints such as the Internet and packaging to deliver this new message.
The redesigned packaging moves beyond the more typical approach that might depict women wearing No Nonsense products. Instead, package images convey the idea that it’s ‘nonsense’ to go through life without slowing down to enjoy its real, honest moments. Sometimes the product is shown in the photo; sometimes it’s not. It’s the ‘moment’ that is the hero.
“Packaging was the major thrust of our revitalization effort,” says Martin. “This No Nonsense woman that we were creating enjoys humor; she laughs at herself; she’s not stuck up and doesn’t take things too seriously. So when we looked at our package, we looked at the ‘smile factor’.”
Garage enlisted the help of two photographers, Parish Kohanim and Christa Renee, to help capture the new No Nonsense brand essence: honest, real, fun. Each package also tells a unique story, through the use of imagery and copy.
The “smile factor” has even been applied to product naming: for a line of super soft socks, the brand chose the name “ahh, said the foot”.
But walking the fine line between clever and obtuse was always the challenge. Take the photography used for the brand’s new line of foot comfort products, which include cotton shoe liners that keep feet dry and wrap-around bands that lend support. The photo depicts a stack of shoeboxes in a woman’s arms, her head barely peeking out from behind.
“This was a real risk, because though at first glance the photo might seem to be about shoe boxes; what it’s really about is a woman’s love for shoes,” explains Garage’s Denzil Strickland. “The product name is ‘Shoes, say hello to comfort.’ Consumers see something of themselves, and they like it.”
Strickland says packaging is a crucial marketing element for the brand. “Here’s an opportunity to do more than just tell people what the product is,” he says, “Here’s an opportunity to make an emotional connection and build loyalty to the brand.” BP
The author, Jennifer Acevedo, is the Editor-in-Chief of BRANDPACKAGING magazine.