Fixing a fragmented global brand
A trusted global remedy
For sneezers and cold sufferers, Vicks is a well-known, trusted
brand of respiratory remedies. In 2006, P&G brought Landor a
simple brief: to redesign packaging. But we saw the chance to make
a bigger impact.
Vicks products have global distribution, yet internally, P&G
managed the brand regionally. This resulted in varying product
offerings, different identities, positionings, and package designs.
Nearly 100 years old, sold in over 50 countries, and with more than
20 subbrands in its portfolio, Vicks experienced extensive
The relationship of the brand name "Vicks" to its subbrands
differed by product. For example, Vicks is a part of the product
name on Vicks VapoRub, while it plays a small endorsing role on
NyQuil. Numerous graphic interpretations of the brandmark were
developed by regional brand teams acting independently. Landor
wanted to unify Vicks globally, but we had to figure out the best
way. We decided to ask the Vicks consumers by conducting research
worldwide. We visited six countries-the United States, Brazil,
Mexico, India, Australia, and Germany-going to customers' homes and
conducting group studies.
And though we quickly learned that there was no lack of trust in
Vicks to alleviate cold symptoms, peoples' emotional perceptions of
the brand were as varied as the packaging. In Western Europe, Vicks
was a tough, aggressive, and hard-hitting medicine that helped keep
you active even when you weren't feeling well. In Latin America,
Vicks was a comforting source of sensorial healing experiences.
During consumer research, Landor sought to dig deep into the
consumer's mindset and unveil the consistent attributes the brand
No matter the country, the hero was VapoRub. All other product
offerings seemed to halo from there. Around the world, Landor
discovered the name Vicks was associated with heritage and trust,
reliable performance and relief, and most of all: free breathing.
Consumers knew Vicks by its signature triangle shape, and
associated the brand primarily with the colors of the hero jar:
blue and green.
We redesigned the core brandmark using the equities we had
identified as consistently recognized around the world. The
original P&G brief of package redesign was complete and
beginning to be rolled out to the regional offices.
Knowing that a global design system is only effective if
executed according to plan, Landor built the Global Packaging
Matrix (GPM), a digital tool that posts packaging guidelines,
artwork, designs, and fonts for easy online access for comparison
across regions. The GPM's open share, centralized information, and
simple monitoring enabled Vicks to verify regional offices'
compliance with the new design system. Local brand managers could
also see how other regions were portraying Vicks products. This
resulted in global camaraderie and connected the people, plus
streamlined even the most finite details.
The design rollout was a success. Launched on shelf in 2007, the
Vicks global brand identity and package design system were the
first to represent the brand consistently around the world. The
universal visual and emotional assets of the brand were
incorporated in an approachable, updated style. Quantitative
research showed that consumers accepted the new Vicks packaging as
their familiar favorite, and now it was believed to be a
comforting, caring, and progressive medicine. Vicks was first and
foremost on all products.
Taking it further
With Landor consulting, Vicks continues to further define
consumer segmentation, architect current product portfolios, and
set the right aspirations for future innovations.
What started with a small regional brief for a global cold
remedy continues to grow into something much bigger. The Vicks goal
of reaching sales volumes comparable to sister brands like Tide,
Downy, and Febreze doesn't seem so far off.