The brand story
On the 15th May 2013, without warning, the Priya range of bar soaps was deleted by Coles with a single, brutal email.
It was shocking! Priya! Gone from Coles!
Priya had sat quietly on Australian supermarket shelves for decades…a brand whose fiercely loyal, but shrinking following had loved the brand since long before they started using walking frames…a brand that, let’s face it, not many people had ever even heard of, and that desperately needed a major makeover.
DKSH Grocery Connect recognised that for Priya to survive a changing market and further deletion from other retailers like Woolworths, a major brand revitalisation was needed.
While the brand had experienced issues – declining sales, old fashioned packaging and little appeal for growing, more youthful market opportunity – it had its assets too. The product itself was of high quality, Australian owned and made from natural, “foodie” ingredients. It had been trusted for decades by a small (admittedly shrinking) group of followers and it was eco-friendly.
DKSH Grocery Connect looked to the simple truths behind the Priya brand and product formulation and authentically matched them with a real shopper need. We recognised that there was an opportunity to appeal to time stressed women in their 20s, 30s and 40s and talk to them in a way that no other brand was doing.
Most women in this age bracket are experiencing the busiest, most stressful years of their lives. They want to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, and often the only moment they have to themselves each day is in the shower. We realised that Priya, which in Sanskrit means “beloved,” not only offered a natural, good quality product that matched these women’s values, but it also offered an antidote to a hectic lifestyle … A “mindful” pause every day.
An Australian-made, triple milled, olive oil based soap, Priya makes boutique quality accessible for supermarket shoppers. We improved the fragrance profiles to appeal to this younger target audience, introducing seductive combinations like Clary Sage & Cucumber, Macadamia Oil with Kadaku Plum and Fig and Cassia Bark; and we stayed true to the brand’s heritage, sourcing Australian ingredients wherever possible including our olive oil, goat’s milk, and macadamia oil.
And where not possible, we chose to work with responsible suppliers for our import ingredients. Proudly, Priya was the first supermarket soap brand to introduce sustainable palm oil into our range. We believe that this is something every brand should be doing, and we hope the big players follow suit!
Apart from modernising the product to appeal to a younger demographic, DKSH Grocery Connect overhauled the entire brand, inviting people to connect with warm, calming language. A simple “breathe” greets the reader on the back of the box, a simpler reminder to pause and be present. Even our packaging messages the new approach, inviting people to connect by saying:
“Happiness on the inside shines outwards, so when you see our new, bright thoughtful packaging, know that it is the same Priya soap you’ve known and loved for years, simply expressing itself to the world.”
Our work together
This simple but powerful brand insight transformed the Priya, not only creating a conversation piece and new way to position the previously old-fashioned branding, but an opportunity to develop an entire Priya Body Care range that extends beyond the bar of soap, with eventual plans to re-introduce our popular body wash and develop a range of moisturising creams and body scrubs. Priya’s brand truth has been discovered, and the results are astounding.
With this increased emotional connection between our new audience and Priya, and unprecedented retailer interest in this formerly uninspiring brand, sales have sky rocketed. Priya is one of the top selling single bar soaps in Woolworths, and our loyalty levels are strong. We were eventually welcomed back into Coles too. The team’s branding work on Priya was also rewarded with a final place in the Australian Marketing Institute’s State Award for Brand Revitalisation. Big wins for this little Aussie brand!