WOW is a small, family-run business whose core business is saddle-making, producing innovative and bespoke saddles using beautiful leathers and materials.
During the coronavirus & covod-19 pandemic, a need became apparent for personal protective equipment, and in particular, face masks, that they could readily produce using their existing manufacturing equipment.
The concept was to produce masks that shared many of the qualities of their saddles; innovative and beautifully made using natural leathers and materials.
This project was time-critical as the market demand was immediate, so we needed to fast-track the concept, design and development process.
The client was preoccupied with the prototyping and manufacturing process, so needed to hand-over the job of creating a brand, website, key marketing messages and the launch campaigns to drive sales and establish market traction.
Many fashion brands and retail businesses are either heavily funded or grow organically over an extended period of time. WOW Masks had the luxury of neither of these and effectively needed to go from zero to hero with a fraction of the time and budget that you would normally require.
We created a brand style that complemented their core branding whilst standing out on its own. The style, imagery and choice of fonts and colours were designed to be bold, distinctive and lend itself to a fashion brand that crossed over between demographics, as of course, the market for their product was not limited to a small or niche audience.
There was no shortage of other masks on the market but none were designed to be stylish or fashionable, few could claim to be made in the UK and indeed even fewer offered the same washable and re-usable credentials. So we had a very clear USP that we communicated in a series of brand messages. The key messages, "Fashion isn't Faceless" and "Unmask your Identity" play strongly upon the unfashionable nature of other masks that all look the same. These were supported with messaging about UK manufacture and the washable and re-usable nature of WOW masks.
As soon as the first products came off the production line we undertook a series of photoshoots to curate the necessary imagery and product shots that we needed for the website and marketing material. We adopted a very distinctive style for the photography that reflected the brand styling.
We rapidly deployed the e-commerce website using our bespoke Webflow CMS platform that is fast, responsive and scaleable. Unlike other platforms, Webflow allows us to readily create a unique shopping experience that doesn't need to adopt the style or layout of a 'traditional' online shop, so the website evokes the bold, distinctive and stand-out qualities of the brand styling.
Integrating the website with a shipping and fulfilment system allows our client to easily process and manage the large volume of orders using without requiring additional staffing.
The project was born from a change of direction, which carried over into the marketing; Google, Facebook, Instagram, eBay and many other typical platforms, channels and routes to market collectively blocked anything to do with face masks, so our best laid plans were headed off at almost every turn. We were forced to completely rethink our marketing strategy and become even more imaginative than usual.
Our solution was to focus more on direct marketing and communication, identifying groups, sectors, industries and organisations to target directly with carefully crafted messaging and advertising that slipped through the virtual 'net', designed to filter out any reference to masks or related imagery.
WOW Masks very quickly gathered momentum, and despite confusing messaging from the UK Government about wearing masks, we successfully managed to reach a sector of the population that recognised the benefits of wearing a mask.
As lock-down restrictions began to ease, we launched a B2B/trade offering aimed in particular at sporting groups and organisations.
In the space of a few weeks, we created and launched a brand and business in unusually and uniquely difficult circumstances that has already sold thousands of masks.