Established in 2008, Agénus is a French organic skincare product manufacturer. Different from other big names on the market, the young French business only features products that employ natural home-grown ingredients, including native fruits, herbs, and other botanical products. Having gained popularity in its home market, Agénus is now ready to bring its products to customers in other parts of Europe.
However, for this expansion, Agénus requires a total brand overhaul to better position itself as the brand enters the big market.
As Agénus's partner, LNM Production, led by Nhat Minh Ly, is tasked to help the French business to rebrand itself in preparation for its expansion to other European markets. The rebrand project includes an overhaul of the business's identity system, the development of a packaging system for both direct sales and retailer sales and collateral designs, and directions for social media presence.
An identity to celebrate the brand's origins
To begin the project, our team first visit Agénus's name. The name "Agénus" is a combination of two words: "Anti-aging" ("anti-âge" in French) and "Venus" ("Vénus" in French). The business's name not only shows Agénus's mission as a skin care product manufacturer but also the brand's ideal image: Venus, the mythical goddess of love and beauty. Furthermore, the acute accent (l'accent aigu) on the letter "e" also shows the business's strong attachment to the French culture.
Targeting, positioning, and core values
Moving forward, the project team proceeded to analyzing and defining Agénus's positioning and core values. As a skincare product maker, Agénus primarily targets women with a large age range from the early 20s to late 60s. Furthermore, as an organic product maker, the business targets customers who prefer ethical products or support non-chemical products. Through surveys, our project team also discovers that a large portion of Agénus's customers also supports the business's stance in using home-grown ingredients.
To establish a firm brand positioning and to build a foundation for the visual identity development phase, the project team also conducted brainstorming sessions and interviews to explore and define Agénus's core brand values. Through this process, our team discovered the business's focus on developing eco-friendly products that are also cruelty-free, all while supporting local agriculture through the business's effort to partner with local farmers to grow native ingredients. What's more, Agénus also promotes a new trend in the skincare industry: Easy Selection ("Choix Facile" in French or "Easy Choices" in English).
Based on these results, our project team established a new brand positioning for Agénus: Neutral, Minimal, Open & Supportive.
Bringing modernity to the classic
/ Visual Identity Development
With the brand's targeting, positioning, and core values defined, the project team proceeded to the first step of visual development: recreating the logo for the business. Based on the results from the earlier phase, the project team decided to use a serif typeface as the base for the type mark. By alternating between hairline strokes and thick strokes, as well as combining basic geometrical shapes, the project team succeeded in creating an elegant logo that's not only recognizable but also carries a French atmosphere.
For Agénus, our project team chose Silka (Sans-Serif family) and Argesta (Serif family), both created by Atipo Foundry, as the primary typefaces for the brand.
After careful considerations, our project team chose Neutral White (#FFFFFF) and PMS Black 6C (#101820) as the two primary colors for Agénus. Though basic, these two colors, when combined together, boast high contrast while maintaining an elegant feeling at the right proportion. Furthermore, their high contrast also helps to maintain the brand's recognizability even for consumers with visual impairments, all while supporting the concept of "minimal," one of the brand's core keywords. In addition to these colors, the project team also chose various light tones as the brand's complimentary palette.
Inspired by the natural ingredients used in Agénus's products, our project team decided to build a separate graphic motif system to add another layer of personality to the brand. Based on the images of the raw ingredients, with a simple grid system and basic geometries, the project team succeeded in developing a modular, flexible graphic motif system that could be deployed independently or together with other elements to create a complex system.
Developing a unified packaging system is, perhaps, the most vital phase in the rebranding project. Based on the defined brand values, brand design principles, color palette and typeface choices, the project team chose Neutral White as the defining background and material color while using PMS Black 6C as the primary color. Furthermore, keeping the concept "minimal" in mind, the project team proceeded to selecting and drafting designs that are simple, straight-forward, yet maintain an elegant feeling. Moreover, by carefully selecting the material for the products' labels and printing techniques, the project team further employed the developed graphic motif system, adding further personalities to the final packaging system.
To ensure that Agénus could maintain a consistent image throughout all touch points, including both digital and analog touch points, the project team also defined a clear social media guideline for Agénus. The defined guidelines shows clear rules regarding the type of imagery, messages, and tone of voice to be used when communicating with customers.
A special thanks to the project team
Client: Agénus (Lyon, France)
Creative Agency: LNM Production
Creative Director: Nhat Minh Ly (LNM Production)Business Owner: Rébecca Lapointe & Antoine Lapointe (Agénus)
Marketing Team Leader: Florence Romilly (Agénus)
Product Development Team Leader: Adeline Dubois (Agénus)