Case Study – Drunk Elephant: Vypr Adjusts Product Name to Match UK Preferences

Drunk Elephant is probably the world’s most-wanted skin care, according to Cult Beauty, one of the brand’s UK distributors. Launched in the US in 2013 by entrepreneur Tiffany Masterson, it soon became one of beauty chain Sephora‘s best-selling skincare brands. The brand is committed to “a clean break from toxins” and is free from the “Suspicious 6” – essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance/dyes and SLS. Despite a “clean clinical” positioning, Drunk Elephant doesn’t take itself too seriously. It got its name from one of the founder’s favourite skincare ingredients, Marula oil and the myth of elephants getting drunk off the fermented, fallen marula fruit.

Drunk Elephant’s F-Balm line of cosmetics just got a new addition – a moisturising overnight mask, called F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial. Launched in the UK in the beginning of January 2020, it is only available from online cosmetics firm Cult Beauty, and Space NK, a beauty chain selling “highly innovative and boundary-pushing beauty brands”.

Considering the international success of Drunk Elephant, it could soon reach a more main-stream audience in the UK, especially in case it secures a listing with major supermarkets and beauty retailers. There are slight changes that could support this, without altering the brand’s overall identity and message. While the formulation and packaging design stay true to the original, could a change in product name optimise success with UK consumers?

Vypr ran a preference steer suggesting four versions of the product, different only in the name. The name suggestions are extracted from the product’s description in marketing materials and aim to cast light on what the product actually is. 

Preference steers present options in groups of three until all combinations are exhausted and produce both exclusive and all preference results. Exclusive preferences are consistent choices, where the same option is picked every time it has been shown. We obtained the following exclusive preference results:

A product name, different from the original, has gained 44% of exclusive preferences, while all other options lag behind with less than 19% each.

Next we performed a “blind test” to verify the result. We took the top two name options from the preference steer and launched a split-by-description steer, which shows different text to part of the consumer panel, while the image shown is identical for all respondents.

The leadership of “Super-Moisturising Overnight Face Mask” is confirmed by a significant difference of eight percentage points.

In the case that the product is introduced in mainstream retail, adjusting the product name could help in marketing to skin care consumers who might have not previously heard of the US brand. Vypr provides a number of test options, which can be used to gradually narrow down name variants until a winner is selected.

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