Online Exclusive: Packaging the Power of the Sea

H2O Plus’ color coordinated packaging components conjure up the sea and provide for a cohesive skin care lineup.

By Lisa B. Samalonis, Associate Editor

H2O Plus recently unveiled a brand redesign that taps the power of the sea and provides a fresh look. While the brand has undergone a contemporary makeover, the formulations remain unchanged.

Marine color cues help differentiate between the brand’s skin care families.

“We are extremely proud of the brand's evolution. We find our current marine-based platform is even more relevant than when the brand was founded,” says Bob Seidl, president and CEO of H2O Plus. “The sea is our laboratory and our focus on marine science plays an important role in reinforcing our philosophy. However, one thing will remain the same: our tried and true range of formulas.”

The modernized packaging design broadens the brand’s color scheme to incorporate many of the colors of the deep sea environment. “These visual elements will be carried over into our upcoming store renovations,” he explains.

New Look and Tagline

The product range includes eight skin care families that are designed to address specific concerns: Oasis (oil-free hydration), Aquafirm+ (advanced marine firming), Sea Results (anti-aging), Aqualibrium (daily essentials), Sea Clear (oil control), Anti-Acne (blemish control), Waterwhite Advanced (brightening), and Marine Calm (sensitive skin.) Products range in price from $10 to $64.

Becky Fulmer, VP of marketing, explains that the primary purpose of the rebranding initiative was to unify the brand with one consistent tone in both look and feel and ensure it was globally viable. She adds that another goal was to bring the marine science element to life and make sure that all consumer touch points tie into the brand story “The Sea is our Laboratory” and new tagline “The
Science of Marine Skincare.”

“We have also created a standard hierarchy on all packaging making it easier for the consumer to navigate the brand and find their favorite products,” she says. For example, the Marine Calm range is blue green, while the Waterwhite Advanced range is a silvery gray.
“As we went through the redesign process we discovered that not everything in the ocean is blue. There is a vibrant underwater eco-system and in-turn, we expanded our color palette to include rich colors to help further differentiate between the brand families.”

The new look features both gradated and striated packaging design elements to evoke the ocean feel.

A sleek, more stylized and contemporary logo, set in lowercase type, now appears on all skin care and spa products. The new looks feature both gradated and striated package design elements that play off of oceanic imagery. “Both the gradated (primary) and striated patterns (secondary) are designed to evoke the image of the sea…lighter at the surface and growing deeper and darker as you descend,” Fulmer says.

The caps and dispensers shimmer against the backdrop of the marine colors. “We utilize silver throughout the packaging on all closures and dispensers to create unity. The silver tone is an upscale neutral tone which does not compete with the color range of the packaging designs. The metallic look also tied into our H2O Plus logo and brand family name graphics and the silver wave that can be found at the top of all unit cartons,” she explains.

Global Brand Building

H2O Plus is also building a cohesive global retail environment by creating contemporary shopping spaces across all market platforms. The initiative’s aim is to provide a redesigned and user-friendly shopping website, partnered retail stores, perfumeries and specialty store locations around the world. Some design obstacles came up during H20 Plus’ global brand building process. “A major challenge was successfully matching the color and striations/gradation design across multiple types of structures, materials and vendors. Also making sure that our universal packaging translated properly to our worldwide audience and met with each market’s unique legal requirements proved challenging,” Fulmer says.

The company engaged its design and research partners to help with the challenges, including LEK Consulting to identify and define the company’s core consumer; and OZZ who assisted in determining the company’s brand position. “Pearlfisher helped us express the brand position through all consumer touch points – logo, tone of voice, packaging and visuals,” she adds.

Jonathan Ford, creative partner at Pearlfisher comments: “H2O+ is such an insightful beauty brand and the global redesign needed to illustrate its universal expertise. The design emphasizes the immense power, richness and restorative qualities of the ocean and the science of marine botanicals, reinforcing the brands core truth of the benefits of marine science”.

H2O Plus also partnered with digital strategy agency, Iventus Digital LLC to reveal H2O Plus’ modern look to the world using various social media platforms. The global redesign for H2O+ has been rolling out across the H2O+ retail stores and through concession lines globally.