The lessons learnt from Uspa’s brand refresh (a luxury Australian skincare line) may be well worth taking note of – particularly if you’re a business owner or operator who’s also considering rebranding.
Indeed, over the last three years, Uspa, pioneers of the Melbourne spa industry (founded in 1995) have worked tirelessly to revamp every inch of their offering. From new packaging to revised promotional strategies, they sought to nail-down their presence in today’s ultra-competitive market.
Launching their updated range of products and professional treatments yesterday, at the QT Hotel in Sydney, it’s clear they have achieved the goal.
Not only does the upgrade tap into the global eco-luxe market trend, it maintains (and capitalises on) the quintessentially Australian ethos that’s made the brand unique since incarnation.
“We have an amazing brand story and products backed by 20 years of experience and a loyal following of clients, so we saw great potential for future growth,” says Lelien Hang, graphic and brand manager for Uspa.
“Although we’ve done a complete product and brand overhaul we ensured our heritage wasn’t lost, as this is what gives us credibility and builds trust with our consumers.” Her tips for rebranding based on experience:
Identify your number one key strength
Focusing on one key strength as a business makes it easier to develop brand messaging that resonates with your target audience. When rebranding, consider elements that may be confusing that message.
“Our key strength is our Australian essence – the brand was born from a vision to create a uniquely Australian spa experience,” says Lelien. “The first ever Uspa treatment involved smoothing warmed native clay onto the body, which was then wrapped in organic cloth.
“This is still one of our signature and most requested rituals – and our proudly Australian echoes throughout our brand, from our local manufacturing process to the native botanical ingredients in our skincare.
“With this core strength at the forefront, we then analysed every element of the brand to find parts that detracted or confused our brand offering.”
Truly understand your target audience
By tapping into the mindset of your current customers, you can capitalise on the trends they may be influenced by; both now, and in the future.
“Today’s consumer is very savvy,” confirms Lelien. “Not only are they looking for products and treatments to help their skin, they are also finding products that connect them back to nature as they seek to improve their health and lifestyle in a holistic approach.
“There’s clearly a trend and a need for premium natural products that are active and effective. This is the way we see the market going and we have targeted our recently updated range to meet this need.”
Set Clear Goals
For Uspa, it made sense to explore overseas markets when re-branding. The Australian essence echoed throughout the brand is not only valued and trusted locally, but in Asia too.
“Our brand promise and product truth meant there was potential to be at the forefront of both local and overseas markets,” says Lelien. “Currently we’re focusing on China and Hong Kong.”
Day spas, salons and clinics rebrand may have goals including:
- Developing a private line of skincare products.
- Extending treatment offerings.
- Becoming an educator at an industry trade show, such as Beauty Expo.
Capitalise on key strength
The trust local and overseas markets have in Australian products and ingredients, informed every decision moving forward for Uspa. After defining the direction, they worked to create a new style guide and eliminate any element of the brand that confused the message, or was outdated. Lelien elaborates:
“Our strategy was to emphasise on the core value and improve on it, with elements that moved the brand forward.
“It inspired many areas from the look and feel of products to our formulations, as well as our brand story.
“We introduced new native Australian ingredients such as Lilly Pilly, Caviar Lime and Kakadu Plum.
“All formulations were updated for more innovative and greener solutions. New packaging was designed and sourced and the brand identity was updated.
“We needed to ensure this message was crystal clear – from naming conventions of products to marketing collateral.”
Determine the variables to measure the success of the changes made. Uspa were particularly interested in increasing brand awareness, brand advocacy and sales.
“We had our first appearance of the re-branded skincare range at Cosmoprof Hong Kong last year, and it was very well received,” reveals Lelien.
“Our local customers and brand partners also love the new look and the changes – the response has exceeded our expectations.”
Be Future Forward
Lelien says it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse and always be thinking of the next move. Ideas to consider:
- New and innovative marketing, POS and training solutions.
- Redeveloping your website and introducing video footage to better connect with today’s consumer.
- Improving major touch points via media and social media.
- Updating the vibe of the physical space of your business.