CAPTAIN BLANKENSHIP

Repositioning one of the earth’s most loved hair care brands.

Location:

New Paltz New York, United States

Selling:

World wide

Sector:

Beauty - Hair care

Our role:

Branding; Brand Strategy, Brand Messaging, Copywriting, Creative Direction, Art Direction, Packaging Design, Brand Photography

Packaging; Creative Direction, Packaging Design

Background

Through our formulas, I hope to free people from conventional ideas of beauty, guide them to discover a deeper connection with nature, and help them find their inner wild.

— Jana, Founder

Since its inception in 2009, Captain Blankenship set out to bring a holistic, less is more approach to plant-powered hair care, following an innate desire to do no harm, reduce the need to buy more, and shine a light on their community’s inner wild beauty.

The Captain Blankenship logo began as a hand-drawn sketch by the founder herself and formed part of its visual presence for a decade. As the brand grew, so did the need for its value proposition to be redefined and its identity to evolve.

The founder came to us with three main goals in mind: to align with their audience more deeply, to take another step towards more environmentally friendly packaging and to mitigate the legibility and production issues they were facing with their original branding. 

We set out to showcase that Captain Blankenship difference: to ensure aligned consumers experience the wisdom of the ocean and the beauty of the earth that surrounds us through every bottle they hold.

Our approach

The Captain Blankenship product line is derived from nature’s counterparts, connecting humans with the wildness of it all. Our approach to their brand repositioning was no different. 

Each detail of Captain Blankenship’s new brand identity was thoughtfully crafted to be a deep representation of their core belief Beauty Wild with Natureand to cultivate a profound resonance with their earth-loving, wellness-minded, environmentally conscious consumers.

Our creative process began in true By Ninja style: deep diving into the hearts and brains of Captain Blankenship’s ideal customer until we truly knew and understood their thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how these play into their purchasing decisions. 

There was no shortage of obstacles that preceded our collaboration with Captain Blankenship. We were tested to push the limits of our creativity and think differently. From aligning design choices with international compliance requirements and navigating communication barriers with external suppliers, it was a dance between strategy, creativity, problem-solving, compromise, and patience. 

We successfully connected and collaborated from across the globe with physical locations spanning from Brisbane Australia to New Paltz New York. Strategic technology, mindful planning and an interactive virtual workshop allowed us to share and create irrespective of time zones. 

We looked for opportunities to use the geographical distance to our advantage – particularly when curating and capturing the vision of the campaign imagery. While the Captain Blankenship team were knee-deep in fresh United States snow, we were capitalising on our Australian summer, infusing the magic of untouched ocean backdrops. 

No seashell was left unturned throughout the journey of Captain Blankenship’s brand repositioning. Their meaningful mission was the pivotal criterion that every decision was measured against — connecting us with nature, connecting us with ourselves.

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Consumers want to take care of tomorrow, just as much as they want to enjoy today.

A key insight during our research was that consumers want to take care of tomorrow, just as much as they want to enjoy today. Brands like Captain Blankenship give them just that — the opportunity to stay true to the social causes they care about, like Climate Change, while simultaneously feeling elegant, beautiful and connected to nature.

The solution

An icon inspired by Bladderwrack seaweed, a wordmark incited by natural elements and their free-flowing movement, and a palette synonymous with key ingredients were just the beginning in creating a sense of interconnectedness to the wilderness.

From selections of blue and greens that embodied the calming and tranquil notions of the ocean and ecosystems, to creamy earthy tones and golden hues of natural luxury. Each detail was carefully considered for its emotional meaning and representation of the tangible elements Captain Blankenship’s range is inspired and formulated by.

The rebrand was equal parts an opportunity to remove secondary packing, reduce waste, and move towards more recyclable materials. Aluminium was selected over glass, to reduce weight for transport, and in turn, emissions. The reduced surface space saw us utilise technology to easily deliver customer information, by opting for QR codes instead of excess packaging.

The refinement of the messaging component was led by their long-standing mission of purpose over profit, seeking to complement consumers, not necessarily change them, and leaving the planet better than they found it. 

Captain Blankenship feels strongly about their customers feeling beautiful from the inside out, honouring themselves, the earth and celebrating both along the way. From the strategy implemented, the branding choices made, the direction of all artistic visions, collateral and the subsequent repositioning were set on that foundation.

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The results

Inspired by the Founder’s deep reverence for nature, the unveiling of this galvanised new direction aims to evoke feelings of connectedness to everything that the wildness brings to the human spirit: adventure, free-spiritedness, and vitality.

It was our overarching aim to broaden Captain Blankenship's reach and build their purpose-driven community, through the exploration and transparency of Earth-first formulas, and ultimately, create more beauty while leaving less waste behind.

Captain Blankenship believes that ritual is an anchor that colours our days. We delivered a full-circle outcome that inspires consumers to invite the Captain Blankenship range to be a part of theirs.

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