First sold as a line of cologne in 1964 by cosmetics manufacturer Fabergé with manly spokespeople like Joe Namath, Muhammmed Ali, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kelly Le Brock (who is not manly, but brought the manly out in men), Brut, owned by Helen of Troy Limited since 2003, has grown to include after shave and deodorant and become one of the more well-known grooming brands for men. Tasked with evolving “Brut’s identity and packaging to push volume among current and lapsed consumers by reestablishing ‘The Essence of Man’ as a brand for me today”, New York, NY-based Beardwood helped Brut introduce a new design in late 2013.
Rooted in the past, Brut had to transition and reintroduce itself to consumers. We had to increase perceived performance and efficacy of the brand & introduce new fragrances to this ‘single fragrance brand’.
Our logo evolution features a bold shield inspired by sports teams, that cues masculinity and is a modern evolution of where they were. The clean and chiseled fonts deliver efficacy and functional benefits, complemented by the brand’s green equity color.
With strong competition from other men grooming brands like Old Spice and Axe plus the glut of big-brand products like Degree and Gillette, it’s easy to see how Brut would fall behind, landing somewhere between the old-timey aesthetic of Old Spice and the more contemporary Axe but without any real distinctive trait. In my mind, Brut is from my parents’ generation; none of my high school friends ever used it. So shedding its quasi Victorian logo is definitely a good move. (The options, I guess, were moving away from it or moving towards it full on and out-Old-Spice Old Spice.) The new logo goes for the outdoors, sports type with a chiseled type that looks bold and fresh but somehow seems out of place on a bottle of cologne.
I love me a good chisel logo, and this one is nicely crafted and perfectly deployed on the labels, but there is a bit of a disconnect between logo and product; it’s almost like this is Army-issued deodorant if the Army had a really good in-house design studio. Perhaps it’s simply the difficulty of separating the old image of Brut from this new iteration that is clearly meant to mark a line in the sand and establish Brut as something it hasn’t been before. There is also the iconic elongated shape of the cologne to deal with, which looks out of place in 2014 and clashes wildly with the new logo and label shape so I think part of reinvigorating the brand will require a strong effort on the product design, one that fits better with this new gung-ho approach.