Wally Bath, a Chinese company making bath and beauty products, is planning an international expansion into a UK supermarket or gift shop near you. However, taking a Chinese business into a global market means that a changing in branding, beauty logo design and packaging is essential.
The packaging style will depend on the product, with each item having a distinct brand. As you can see from the two examples we found, the packaging for different ranges is very different. The colours, images and general feelings vary so much that the average shopper would never guess that they belong to the same brand. While most health and beauty brands are trying to avoid precisely this situation, Wally Bath in fact seems to be using it as a branding strategy.
Wally Bath has formed an on-going relationship with a UK design agency, which will be responsible for creating the packaging for each of the company’s products. Each will be designed separately, without continuity in the product range. The company plans to introduce ten new products every year, with packaging designed according to the target market and that year’s trends.
Most of the packaging has floral themes and bright colours, but the similarities end here. Some are ultra-modern, with brightly coloured backgrounds and white line drawings. Others are more traditional, with plain backgrounds and images reminiscent of classical art. Some have upper case lettering with formal serifs, while others have lower case fonts in rounded letters. The design company behind this branding has stated that they plan to make makeup products feel edgy and dirty, while the body and bath products will focus on the ingredients. That is, this is their approach this year; a new year means new products, each with their own unique brands.
We can understand why products targeted at different audiences would have very different packaging. However, it would be good for Wally Bath if there were a central brand that formed a basis for all of the other products. It is possible to give every product in the range a very different feeling while maintaining a core brand. Moreover, this would help the company to begin building a customer base. If you look at the packaging examples, they each have a different version of the Wally Bath logo design. Each product may be attractive and appealing, but there is no brand-building going on here. Because the company plans to change their product line almost constantly, this unfortunate oversight could be a death knoll.
A lot of the marketing of this bath and body brand could be lost in translation. What works in one country may not work in another. It is possible that this strategy has been very successful in China; in fact, it is highly likely because the brand has the resources to launch an ambitious expansion. However, this brand is planning on moving into the European market and will be competing against products that have a recognizable brand and logo design. Wally Bath just might be at a huge disadvantage in the fickle, brand oriented UK market.