The future is clean, over and over again.
INNGAGE embraced the challenge of revolutionizing the future of eco-friendly detergents by working alongside EcoX to develop its new identity, its new brand positioning and strategy, and its new packaging.
A pioneering and 100% Portuguese brand, EcoX transforms used cooking oils into cleaning detergents. With the mission of making the future clean, over and over again, this brand is dedicated to developing more environmentally friendly solutions. And its success is remarkable.
In just four months after the new brand launch, EcoX has already won a Green Good Design Award, promoted by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.
After months of research and strategic development, André Gouveia, CEO, and Sílvia Silva, Visual Designer at INNGAGE, give us their perspective on what it was like to work on this project.
1 . How was your first contact with EcoX and why did you accept this challenge?
André Gouveia: It came through a recommendation. We already had a long history of working with Mistolin SA, which was creating a partnership with EcoX and recommended the services of INNGAGE. We met with César Henriques and Daniel Martins, partners of EcoX, and I believe that right from the beginning there was good chemistry between us.
We accepted the challenge firstly because we felt we were aligned with the purpose of this brand and we wanted to make it a reality. Secondly, we really liked the EcoX team and in our area, projects only work if there is trust and empathy between teams. And also as a result of all the work done with Mistolin, we have a lot of experience in the field of cleaning products and detergents, in terms of packaging and brand strategy.
2 . What was the briefing of the project?
Sílvia Silva: At the beginning of the project, the idea was to update and find a new design for the new EcoX detergent bottle. But we quickly realized, together with EcoX, that it was a good opportunity to do a complete redesign of the entire brand strategy. So, the goal came to be: Doing a rebranding and defining the new communication that would support and empower the new bottle and create a greater impact on consumers.
3 . What were the phases of the whole project?
AG: We started with in-depth research around the market of sustainable detergent brands. It was important to understand in depth the state of the art and understand how communication was being established with consumers. With this understanding of the market, we defined some strategic opportunities for both the brand and the packaging, defining a global and 360º vision. Then the process went through with the implementation of this vision. We were responsible for the brand and portfolio strategy. We outlined the new positioning. We designed the identity. We defined the key visual. We designed the whole packaging: 750ml bottles, labels, and transportation boxes. We created the website and the online store. We established the communication rules for social media and we are currently creating all the POS materials. In short, we are a true EcoX partner, from strategy to implementation.
4 . What is the key concept of this project?
AG: Besides being a sustainable and ecological brand, EcoX´s technology makes it also special as it effectively brings to life the concept of circular economy from product to packaging. EcoX takes used cooking oil off the market efficiently and transforms it into detergents for laundry, dishes, and others. This is magic. And that’s the concept we wanted to convey with the slogan “the future is clean, over and over again”.
SS: The true purpose of EcoX is to create a cleaner and better future. But three other values can be added, such as efficiency/quality of the products, information to consumers about sustainable issues, and functionality of a totally reusable packaging designed to last and to adapt to various usage scenarios.
5 . What features do you highlight in the new packaging?
AG: We made four commitments with this packaging. It had to be reusable, multifunctional, incorporate recycled material, and disruptive.
Reusable because the intention is to use it in bulk shops, which means that the consumer will fill the package as many times as necessary, thus avoiding excessive consumption of plastic. So we designed a more narrow and sturdy shape, to create greater strength in the packaging walls.
Multifunctional because, aligned with the brand’s ecological purpose, we want the same plastic mold, the same production process, and the same packaging to be used for different types of products. This way the packaging is ergonomically prepared to adapt to any scenario: a spray bottle, a multipurpose bottle, bottles for dish wash, and WC detergent and dosing cap for laundry. This way we avoid an industrial process for each type of product, increasing the sustainable nature of this packaging.
Recycled material because it couldn’t be any other way. We managed, through a shared effort with Mplastic and Mistolin, to incorporate 50% of recycled PE in the composition of the bottle, giving even more meaning to the concept of circularity.
Disruptive because EcoX is a pioneer in what they do and the packaging had to follow that positioning. The formal aspect of the packaging ends up being a result of the three previous commitments.
6 . What difference does your proposal bring?
SS: Human-centered design and functionality. The whole process was designed to enhance the experience that the consumer will have with the brand. We wanted to do something captivating for a large spectrum of people so the brand would reach a larger audience, but also something people could identify with. With meaning.
At the same time, our proposal has a very functional and practical component both in the packaging and in the identity, labels, and website. The objective is to get people to relate and easily understand the brand’s values. They know why they are making a difference and that they are collaborating for the circular economy system, without additional effort and without changing anything from their usual routine. In other words, explaining to the consumer that sustainable products can be functional, effective, and affordable.
7 . What was the biggest challenge of this project?
AG: Time, I believe. Sometimes you think that these projects are quick and immediate, but they are not. It took two years from our first meeting with EcoX to the launch of the brand. And when I say that time is a challenge, I say it because you need vision and patience, to understand that the process is not linear and that there will be setbacks. Sometimes we are tempted to rush processes and when that happens, my experience tells me, the work goes wrong. Doing that expectation management between us, the design team, the EcoX team, and all the suppliers involved was challenging. But it all went well!
8 . In terms of aesthetics, what trends did you follow?
SS: None in particular. Our aim was to create something contemporary that could last. The brand needed to communicate circularity and functionality. In order to communicate these concepts visually, we opted for something very clean but with personality, based on white with blue to green gradients. These colors pass on the idea of cleanliness and the fluidity of the detergents themselves. At the same time, it could not fail to convey the efficient side so we kept the shapes “clean” and round.
The stylization of some parts of the logo in the shape of an infinite symbol seeks to reinforce this idea of circularity and renewal. In the imagery, we´ve chosen photos of well-being and happiness, which appeals to the emotional side that EcoX solutions will provide.
9 . What opportunities can a Green Good Design Award bring?
AG: Winning a design award always brings opportunities. But above all, it brings recognition and, in this case, an international seal of quality.
The Good Design Award is a historic and highly reputable award, and the Green component of this award has recognized various projects with an impact on sustainability. It’s not an award for looks. It is an award for the impact and results that EcoX brings to society. That makes us very happy and proud.
10 . As a designer, what is it like to work with a team that may have different opinions and ideas?
SS: It’s actually one of the best parts of working in a team. Sharing ideas and having someone who adds a different vision or interpretation from ours, is very enriching both for the project and for our personal evolution. It makes the project even more challenging and you have to think of even better solutions, which adds a lot to the whole process.