Case Study by Lionel Lobo RGD, Founder and Lead Designer, Punch
Hi-Care was looking to change customers' perception of their company from primarily pest control towards that of 'hygiene services provider' and showcase new product offerings. Punch helped deliver design components to facilitate the shift in branding and achieve the client's goals.
Hi-Care was originally part of the Godrej group, one of India’s leading consumer goods, retail and real estate development companies and is India’s only HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) certified company.
In 2015 new investors intended to change the organization's perception from merely a ‘pest control’ company to a holistic ‘hygiene services’ provider, breathing new life into the brand and expanding the customer base exponentially. New offerings such as home cleaning services, pet care, bird netting and air purifiers complemented the pest control services. Starting with its B2C hygiene services, HiCare has expanded into the B2B space with investments of over $1 billion.
To refresh the company's image and communicate these new offerings to customers, the client was looking for more approachable, friendlier branding. The target audience was identified as urban, married, DINK (Dual Income No Kids) consumers in the age group of 25-35.
To change their brand perception, it was important for the client to take a systemized approach and engage the right resources to deliver meaningful results. This meant employing professional agencies and designers.
As a design professional I have extensive experience in branding projects, visual strategies and cross-media execution. A deep understanding of user segments helps me to adopt a clear, user-centric design approach and deliver effective design solutions.
The primary goals and deliverables for this project included:
- Conceptualizing multiple directions of brand positioning, tagline, tone and manner
- Creating a dynamic, approachable, concept-driven identity for each direction
- Visual language explorations for various usage scenarios
- Image selection and treatment
- Unified icon language
- User-interface design for desktop and mobile responsive website and web campaigns
For a company that was synonymous with a single service, it was crucial to get an empathetic understanding of the target audience, context, competition and organizational business goals to be achieved through rebranding. This information would help to lay a solid foundation upon which to build a user-centric design system.
Hi-Care hired a consultation company to initiate the brand shift, beginning with market and consumer research. The consultation provided an overview of the following key considerations:
- Market information and size
- Market share of HiCare
- Competition players (regulated and un-regulated)
- The effect of service aggregator apps on the business
- Strategic positioning of HiCare for future growth
- Detailed plan of HiCare entering into an integrated/360-degree service arena
- Ongoing HiCare marketing campaigns being conducting online and offline
- Breakdown of differences between B2B and B2C business segments, including high level personas for each and their expectations for the brand
- Customer touch points
- Overview of existing process for placing orders
The research highlighted the imperfections in the current service offerings and defined ways to improve them at the product and experience level. At the design level, the research highlighted areas of improvement, direction of the overall brand positioning, brand user experience, interaction in the digital space and website flow.
The structured information provided by the research helped the design team understand many aspects of the target audience, such as separating the B2B and B2C touch-point interfaces.
Based on the research, we understood the context and competition and knew first hand that a mobile-first responsive website was the need of the hour. The competition was aggregator apps, where multiple sellers provided multiple services. It also helped us understand the competition horizon: forms, colours, brand positioning etc.
While the research provided a clear idea of the objectives and consumer expectations for this project, it did not deliver a clear idea about what the singular approach should be for the positioning of the brand.
To address this, we developed three key individual positioning strategies, each conveying a unique brand personality and visual cues:
(1) Bold and no-nonsense with the promise of expertise.
(2) Friendly and human-centric with the promise of approachability.
(3) Tactile and elegant with the promise of premium service.
Each route worked to shift the consumer’s perception of the brand from a single-service provider (pest control) to a holistic hygiene services company. A visual approach to the challenge led to a clear resolution, with focused group discussions vetting the pros and cons of each positioning strategy versus the others.
The conclusive feedback received stated that the brand image of ‘friendly and human-centric’ (exterminator versus caring) resonated highest with current and new consumers. Approach (2) was then selected as the winning positioning strategy.
Since an elaborate design approach was already in place for each strategy, the designers set about building the brand and creative extensions around the selected strategy.
The rebranding exercise was a resounding success. The primary goal of change in brand perception was met at the consumer level, with the consumers acknowledging and welcoming the fact that the brand now had much more to offer.
With the new branding exercise rolled out in 2017, HiCare has strengthened its presence in the home-hygiene space. This service complemented the pest control services and had 20% growth each year since its launch. HiCare also expanded its Home Cleaning Service into the B2B space with investments of over $1 billion.
- Applications of branding have gone far beyond print. The design language must stand strong and consistent in various contexts from favicons to newsprints
- Mobile is a great influencer of the design approach, mobile-first is the future.
- Handovers to the development team are very important. The right translation from design to development plays a crucial role in how fluently the overall brand experience is delivered.
- Every design project is a new challenge and gives a unique opportunity to expand your design thinking and approach.