Over a year after our first global lockdowns, many are the new lessons we have learned from a global pandemic. One of these is that the best brands are the ones with a powerful identity. In that, Air Wick has very few equals.
Darren Morgan, Global Brand Experience and Strategy Lead at Reckitt Benckiser, is one of the many incredibly influential marketers behind the success of Air Wick and its brand propositions. Darren works relentlessly behind the scenes with his team to ensure that the Air Wick DNA remains strong, and that the entire world reconnects with nature through the enriching products of the brand.
Today we are getting Behind the Air Wick Brand with Darren, learning more about the brand's story, main mission and everlasting commitment to sustainability.
How was your brand born and what does it do?
Nature has always been at the heart of the brand. Since 1943, Air Wick has harnessed the power of nature to care for the air around us. Originally using chlorophyll - the molecule that helps plants change sunlight to nutrients and make life-giving oxygen - today Air Wick leads the way in the pursuit of natural ingredients to make air care experiences that transform our homes, and the people within.
And here’s a little insight – the American modernist master Paul Rand was the art director and graphic designer who developed the logo, advertising and packaging during the 1950s.
What is one unique aspect of your brand?
It provides people with the opportunity to connect back to nature.
With the global epidemic, a new appreciation of where we fit in the world has become more and more important. Reconnecting with nature is not only beneficial for our health and wellbeing but encourages us to care more for the health of our planet as well.
Can you describe your brand’s personality in one sentence?
Air Wick is a catalyst for creating more opportunities for people to experience the wonders of nature.
The brand shares the benefits of nature; whether it’s inspiring people to act and behave in a positive way or providing innovative, enriched solutions to experience the natural world.
What was the biggest challenge for the growth of your brand?
Our ambition to be more socially conscious of the world we live in means we have to look at the full brand ecosystem. From our product life cycles, manufacturing efficiencies, formulas and materials to how we make use of nature, support growers and producers to improve the wellbeing of local societies and protect biodiversity.
This is our biggest challenge and won’t be fixed overnight but more importantly, it’s our biggest opportunity.
Do you work with an in-house creative team, an agency or both?
We have both, which will always deliver the best creative and business solutions. Our great creative partners help embody the strong DNA of the brand, meeting the needs of today’s customers and providing moments of delight. They also bring a fresh perspective when it comes to defining the future roadmap and vision.
What do you look for in a creative agency?
Impact: Making me feel creatively uncomfortable (in a good way). Creating tension and pushing boundaries when necessary.
Focus: Having the same level of ambition to improve people’s lives, being on a mission to drive quality and creative responsibility.
Clarity: Capturing the right articulation across the full customer experience.
Image credit: Marks
What is one tip you would give to other brands looking to grow?
Brand relevance is a more reliable indicator of a brand’s long-term success. Growth can come from many aspects of the business. Staying relevant with true meaning is key for your audience. These meaningful creative solutions will lead to commercial success.
What is your current role? What’s a ‘typical’ day?
Is there a typical day? Apart from ensuring there is time to listen, inspire and provide creative guidance, my role is to shift how the brand envisions its future experiences and how we capture new enriching moments to delight people. Coherent experiences encourage conversation and conversion; no matter where or when people encounter the Air Wick brand.
Image credit: Marks
What’s your one big hope for the future of branding?
Now we’re well into 2021, we see brands continue to rely on insights and data that allow them to simplify, clarify and have the greatest global impact. This enables brands to talk to individuals, not the masses to drive distinctive customer experiences. My hope is that brands capitalise on this to improve societal needs with a greater focus on humanity, approachability, warmth and connection.
Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?
There are so many inspirational books, but a provocative one that springs to mind is Roberto Verganti’s Design Driven Innovation.
It shares great examples of how successful brands have discovered and delivered meanings through breakthrough design to people who weren’t even looking for them - but once experienced them, couldn’t do without.