Rebranding the Cowshed, helping them rewild.
The British spa and natural therapy brand wanted to refresh their appearance and remind customers of a pioneering heritage. We helped them re-wild.
Spinach was recently asked to partner Cowshed on their first comprehensive brand review in over 20 years. Created originally in 1998 to offer guests at Babington House – Soho House Group’s iconic country retreat – an additional layer of pampering and comfort, Cowshed spas and therapy products can now be found in dozens of locations around the world. We helped bring the Cowshed brand up to date; refreshing packaging design, refining brand messaging and retuning tone of voice principles, and refocusing their brand values.
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Cowshed‘s target customers live hectic lives with demanding careers, growing families, and/or busy social lives that leave them very short of time. Having a treatment or using a product is one of the very few ‘me times’ they get in a day. It’s a much-needed indulgence to help them relax, revive and re-energise. Cowshed offers their customers a premium experience and product in an understated way. With this in mind, we began to build a brand refresh around a theme of Understated Indulgence.
The things that made Cowshed pioneering and unique back in the day – the use of all-natural ingredients, commitment to strong therapeutic and ecological principles, a strong personality and sense of purpose – have become commonplace for beauty and wellness brands. These attributes are also a must for most modern consumers too. As they had grown in size and product offering, Cowshed had simply stopped reminding customers who they were, where they’d come from and why they were special. We had to reconnect the brand with its heritage and re-establish its powerful credibility as an originator.
Our brand refresh was built around satisfying the core customer insight and bringing the concept of Understated Indulgence to life. Based on extensive customer research, we began to develop a picture of what was sacred and how we might amplify/turn down certain elements of the existing visual and verbal identity to appeal to a new global audience. We then worked closely with the Cowshed design team and expert botanical illustrator Katie Scott (katie-scott.com) to achieve a considered and natural evolution of the brand.
As part of the project we also updated Cowshed’s value set to Honest, Original, Social, Transformative, and developed a new narrative for each. Explaining why they matter and how they might be expressed through words and actions. It was a happy accident that the first letter of each value combined spells ‘host’, further reinforcing the kind of lived-in luxury pioneered by the Soho House brand.
The new brand successfully launched mid 2019. By bringing Cowshed‘s heritage and principles back to the fore, we enabled the brand to redefine their position in a hyper competitive space. We built on and refined core visual elements of the original brand across all packaging, and helped reconnect Cowshed to its pioneering roots in Somerset with updated values and new brand line (‘Natural Therapies from the Heart & Soil of Somerset, England’) to articulate the brand promise and origin of the products and spas.