Excavating brand roots to reveal a bright, new future

Dr.Ci:Labo (DCL) is Japan’s No.1 premium derma-beauty brand, founded in 1995 by dermatologist Dr. Shirono, who propelled the world of beauty into a new era of benefit-led skin care systems. But over time, as DCL’s portfolio expanded, the brand’s traditional look, whilst trusted, had become fragmented, the brand itself was difficult to identify, and it lacked modernity and appeal to emerging audiences. 

Using our Hard Working Assets™ approach, we set out to deconstruct the brand, excavating the current and historical building blocks of brand value. We reassessed the brand’s strategic positioning in a balanced way, staying true to its classic Japanese traditions but also presenting a fresh modern face, relevant to younger audiences and paving the way for future innovation.

While the heart of our HWAs™ evolved from a reimagined logo mark, we created a new flexible identity system, that captures the subtlety and elegance of the mark, but is capable of morphing into louder, more confident forms, as seen in the evocative expressions across packaging, digital brand communications and retail design.

Within the first month, DCL saw +200% sales increase. Post the relaunch, data showed current consumers had remained loyal and new consumers had been recruited into the brand – a true testament to the power of the brand’s Hard Working Assets™.