brands i luuurve 3: lush
Can you believe it’s week three of February already?! I was glad to see the back of January, but this is too much! On the plus side, it will be Summer before we know it (sangria, anyone?). Anyway, week 3 of February means week 3 of my ‘brands I luuurve’ series - this week focussing on the eco-cosmetics juggernaut that is Lush. I’ll be exploring how Lush have used the 4 v’s - Vision, values, voice and visuals to create a recognisable, exciting and sometimes controversial brand.
Lush started in 1995 in Poole, Dorset, noticing a gap in the market for ethically made, cruelty free beauty products. Lush have grown an incredible amount in the last 24 years, now boasting over 900 stores across 49 countries, but their visions and values have remained the same. Though far from their humble beginnings in Dorset, Lush still hand make 100% of their products worldwide. Choosing more staff over lower quality creation methods such as machinery has built Lush a dedicated following of fans known worldwide as ‘Lushies’. Their products are known for being fun, colourful and sometimes totally silly, but ultimately it’s Lush’s steadfast approach to their initial vision and values that has made them the cosmetics giant they are today.
V no 1: Vision
Lush are so much more than a cosmetics brand, they invest heavily in charity and often run political campaigns. Social justice is as much what Lush trades in as bath bombs, they’re seeking to make the world a better place on the inside not just on the outside. Lush are one of the rare brands that really, seriously walk the walk when it comes to planet-friendly and cruelty-free practices. They carry out no animal testing, all of their products are vegetarian and the vast majority (85%) are completely vegan. They don’t believe in mass production so they don’t mass produce any of their products. They have policies for ethical buying, fair trade guarantees, anti-trafficking and human rights, whistleblowing, anti-bribery and corruption, charitable support and the list goes on and on and on…
Lush’s vision is so much more than ‘be as eco friendly as possible’, they want to leave the world better than how they found it. And demonstrably so looking at their mammoth list of ethical policies. Lush prove that it’s not enough to just say you believe in something, you have to put your money where your mouth is and prove it. That’s how you get loyal, happy customers for life.
V no 2: Values
This isn’t always the case with brands, but with Lush their visions and values are practically the same. They have one key goal which is to create beautiful, fun products that leave the world a better place. Because Lush know what they want to achieve and stick to that 100% - the values they uphold perfectly reflect their overall vision. You can read more about them in great detail here.
As Lush have grown, as has their reach. This means they are now able to get involved in a huge number of causes that, due to financial or location restrictions, they wouldn’t have been able to from the very beginning of their career. Since going global, they now have a strong interest in anti-slavery and anti-trafficking measures, as well as fair-trade and ethical buying policies now that they create such a huge amount of product.
The core values of Lush have been always remained strong, and remain front and centre in their brand. They have stuck by their 100% vegetarian policy, 100% hand made policy, and 0 animal testing policies from the very beginning, and just added to those causes as they have grown.
V no 3: Voice
From their fun product names (It’s Raining Men and Brazilliant come to mind) to their witty campaign slogans, Lush have nailed the art of cheeky, informal voice without coming across as patronising. They know when to leave the jokes at the door, like when discussing modern slavery, and when to have a giggle with their audience, like when releasing a spot treatment called ‘Grease Lightning’. Tell me about it, stud. From the Grease Lighting desciption: ‘If you're hopelessly devoted to clear skin, apply with a finger as often as you like. So easy even a beauty school drop-out could do it.’
Lush are a liiitle bit cheesy, but it’s always done with a knowing wink. They know how to be serious too - in June of 2018 they released a campaign directly criticising the methods of the Metropolitan Police. The goal of the campaign was ‘to raise awareness of the ongoing undercover policing scandal, where officers have infiltrated the lives, homes and beds of activists.’ Clearly this is a heavy topic that caught Lush a lot of heat from those claiming it to be anti-police, but Lush stood their ground. They kept the tone of voice simple for impact, using an evocative hashtag #spycops and urging their customers to sign a postcard addressed to Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
This knowledge of when to keep things light and when to step it up a notch are crucial for brands involved in activism as well as product sales.
V no 4: Visuals
For a company who have made such a huge impact, The Lush visual branding is incredibly simple. And for good reason - keeping Lush product containers reusable and recyclable is obviously top of the agenda, with fancy visual design taking a back seat. The logo is simple, bold and memorable, and the colour palette is minimal, sticking to black and white and allowing the bold colours of the products do the talking.
Even their logo is kept crazy simple. The moved away from the yellow and green from their old logo, and rebranded to bigger, bolder, and simpler. Keeping their core logo and packaging look super simple makes it incredibly versatile for the range of campaigns they produce each year.
Lush know that the reason people shop with them is because their products are amazing, fun and totally unique, and because we all know it to be a guilt free experience. With young people more planet-conscious than ever, and people really doing their best to create a positive impact on the world, Lush have set themselves up as market leaders in kind consumerism.
Interested in finding out more about what solid branding can do for you? Let’s have a chat about it (no obligation of course)