You’ve got five months to finalize design, to build and get 42 stores ready to open. Go! And there was more; deadline challenged product introductions and ad campaigns; strategic positionings for upcoming product innovation; holiday package design; Aveda’s international distributor’s meeting; a global roll-out; collateral for salons, stores, and the Aveda Institute (the brand’s hair stylist school), and, and… And we hit the ground running, handling every facet of design.

The Aveda story worthy of sharing isn’t about delivering this and that.  Nor is about meeting deadlines or facilitating the integration of a large, once privately owned, entrepreneur’s business in to a publicly traded Fortune 500 company’s creative processes, though we did it all as their out-sourced brand agency.  Our story is about the importance of recognizing the awesome responsibility that comes with handling a brand steeped in its heritage, rich in equities and assets, and mindfully shepherding it through complex, multi-dimensional business facets and factions. 

“Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in…” Aveda’s purpose-driven beliefs extend beyond products.  This brand walks its talk with the expertise of environmentalists, botanists, Ayurvedic masters, olfactory specialists and more.  We considered the brand’s braintrust with equal importance as its products, across every expression executed, and in every medium. The environmental impact of building materials, packaging materials, ingredients, etc all mattered, and how to best inform the consumer on such concerns was top of mind.  If any changes were to be made, big or small, they were done so only after a great deal of consideration, never putting Aveda’s heritage in question.

1. Keep the Kitchen Kosher. Best metaphor to describe our mindset. We understand the sensitivity that comes when a brand (Aveda) is acquired by a conglomerate, now its parent company (Estee Lauder), whose foundations differ.  One has multiple global iconic brands in the synthetic perfume arena; the other is the antithesis—pure flower and plant essences. Since branding is about trust, any visual change made, any redesign, any new design must affirm and build on the brand’s heritage.  If we suddenly treated the Aveda logo differently in an ad, on a bottle or a box, even if it looked better, a tried-and-true Aveda consumer may think a legacy product, like Rosemary Mint shampoo, was no longer the same. Any changes made were done for the right reasons, slowly and surely.

2. Waste Not. Want Not. Aveda is a storytelling brand that highlights both what is, and what is not in a product. The point-of-sale messaging is critical to the brand.  Its paper-made system in stores and salons constantly gets damaged and needs replacements. This wasted use of paper and energy didn’t sit well with the brand so we were asked to come up with a solution.  We designed a system using magnets that had a long shelf life, didn’t wear and tear, was environmentally approved by their experts, and put an end to excessive paper re-orders.

The Out-Sourced Creative Director and Branding Agency-of-Record.  
-managed, supervised, hired all creative teams, consultants, production.
-all branding, design, and advertising.
-ideation, hiring, management, supervision of store-design teams.
-supervised the redesign of Aveda Institute NYC.
-managed construction teams for Aveda stores.
-ideated, created all new product launches strategies and package design.
-ideated, created all PR event materials.
-created all collateral for Aveda Congress and distributor meetings.
-Aveda Magazine concept, design.