ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY
When you think of the beauty industry what comes to mind? Airbrushed models? Expensive prices? Fancy packaging? Testing on animals? Botoxed celebrities pushing ridiculous claims? Think: younger looking skin in one week…I’m looking at you Nicole Kidman and Neutrogena. Who genuinely believes Nicole Kidman’s smooth, age defying skin is the result of a product you can buy for AUD$25? Feel like you’re being sold to? Yup me too. Let me introduce you to The Ordinary.
Revolutionary brand The Ordinary has been one of the breakout skincare brands of 2017. Their popularity is due to taking a clear stand against the industry’s lack of integrity, honesty and transparency. Goodbye marketing schemes. Ta-ta buzzwords. Here’s how the Founder, Brandon Truaxe nicely sums up the beauty industry:
“Just a bunch of fluff being created, a bunch of fluff being bought, and a bunch of fluff being sold.”
— Founder, Brandon Truaxe
In stark contrast to their competitors The Ordinary have positioned themselves as “The Abnormal Beauty Company.” They offer honourable pricing, no filler ingredients, no unnecessary fragrances, minimal packaging and only uses widely produced (thus cheap) scientifically proven ingredients. Their no frills, monochrome dropper bottles look like they come straight out of a chemistry set, yet still manage to feel luxurious.
They offer high-quality skincare products, with no gimmicks and no marketing ploys. You’ll never see words such as ‘anti-ageing’ when it comes to The Ordinary, they simply show the ingredients they’re using and explain the scientific benefits for the skin. Most products contain only one highly concentrated active ingredient and the products are named after that one core ingredient (e.g. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5). Gone are the fluffy cute names, such as: The Perfecting Treatment, Vital Essence, Youth Activator or Ready Steady Glow etc.
The Ordinary stands for integrity, honesty, accountability, transparency and honourable pricing. Their purpose is to raise pricing and communication integrity in skincare. The Ordinary was born to disallow commodity to be disguised as ingenuity. In the category of functional beauty, integrity is rare. Commonplace technologies are referred to as ground-breaking and insensible pricing strategies confuse the audience, disguising commodity technologies as advanced. The Ordinary exists to communicate with integrity and bring to market effective, more familiar technologies at honourable prices.
This revolutionary brand are using what is known as the power of polarity to create clear differentiation in the marketplace. So, what exactly is polarity and how can you use it? Well, I’m glad you asked…
THE POWER OF POLARITY
Polarity allows you to create a movement in your market. It allows you to cut through. It’s the us versus them mentality. It creates clear separation in your market and allows you to attract customers whose principles are aligned with yours and repel those that don’t. Essentially polarity is about creating clarity. Clarity in your mind and clarity in your customers mind. Using the power of polarity means that when you get clear on what you stand for, you no longer need to compete with the rest. You’re in a league of your own.
Everything has an opposite. Day and night. Light and dark. Loud and quiet. Hot and cold. It’s the contrast between the two extremes that creates clear division. If everyone is wearing black and you’re wearing bright pink, then naturally this contrast will grab people’s attention. The same principle works for your brand. This is why Graphic Designers and Marketers are always saying “be different.” What they really mean is—create contrast in your marketplace and you will naturally stand out.
By applying Polarity to your brand’s core values you can capture your audience’s attention and create clear differentiation in your marketplace. The more exposed, clear and transparent you are about what you stand for as a brand, the more you amplify your resonance with your audience.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Now there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. It’s not about going out there and trying to pick a fight. It’s about uncovering your beliefs and values and then standing behind them.
If you go too extreme you can run the risk of turning people off. There is a fine line here and you don’t want to start outcasting people so much that they don’t want to become a part of what your doing. So proceed with caution.
One of the best examples is Donald Trump. He’s very polarising. People either love him or hate him. Yet some people stand behind him. The goal is to align your values with your audiences’ values so you split a part from the pack and resonate better with your audience.
OVER TO YOU
So, what do you stand for? But more importantly what do you stand against? Don’t be scared about polarity. Step off your neutral line, quit trying to be everything to everyone and be courageous enough to be yourself. How can you create polarity in your marketplace? What can you take a stand against?
*This is an excerpt from Branding: Uncomplicated our step-by step Brand Strategy Guide + Workbook to help you craft a modern brand with personality, meaning, heart and soul. Click below to find out more.