A modern brand must be a culture, whose values are communicated through the material things it creates.
In an age of
transparency, façades don’t work. Consumers seek out brands with values they admire, so a
brand can no longer be created as a façade just to persuade
people to buy stuff. Branding must run deep. The organization must be
structured around the brand, and the people who work there must live by the
brand’s values. In short, the brand and the culture of the organization must be
one and the same. Even so, consumers will often only experience a brand through
the physical stuff the organization produces. That stuff is the proof of a
culture’s existence, and it’s where we come in. We find ways to express a
brand’s values through everything produced in its name, building a material culture that is the brand’s
most authentic and convincing communication tool.
Liz Earle makes skincare products that are both
scientifically effective and entirely natural. For fifteen years we were
responsible for everything visual that came out of the company, building a material culture that expressed the
brand’s values, which led ultimately to its successful sale to Avon.
To begin with there were just four products. When the
company was sold, it produced 120 products spanning many categories: everyday
skincare, premium skincare, treatments, fragrance, men’s products, hair care,
cosmetics and more.
As well as creating much of the brand’s material culture
ourselves, we acted as creative directors, involved in all strategic decisions
for the brand. We even set up their internal design team. The brand’s
philosophy influenced everything we did from packaging that clearly
differentiated and informed, to the website that won the coveted Which? Magazine Best Consumer Website 5
years in a row and now accounts for up 70% of total sales. Our work spanned retail
design, literature, internal communications, new product innovations, etc. Every
detail was considered, proving to consumers through the material culture we
created, that the brand’s values were not a façade, but an authentic way of
The success of this brand shows the competitive advantage a
brand can have if it embraces design at the highest level, and pays attention
to even the smallest detail. Success came with no advertising support
whatsoever—rare in the image obsessed beauty world. Design was a key
consideration in every dimension of the company, influencing brand and business
strategy and every interaction with the customer.
We’ve been instrumental in every step of the brand’s journey—from
a fledgling brand, to becoming the UK’s biggest independent beauty brand, and
finally selling to a global beauty giant. Along the
way, we’ve learned a lot about the power of design to drive business growth and
at the same time, we’ve made some lifelong friends.
“At Liz Earle, design has become a
competitive advantage for us. We couldn’t have done it without the team at
Turner Duckworth. Thank you for your
vision and for showing us the right way.”
Kim Buckland MBE Founder, Liz Earle Beauty Co.