Unique branding exercise for India’s first Halal cosmetics – Iba

iba flowering droplet logo.jpg
Cut The Crap (CTC) Mumbai has undertaken a unique branding exercise for India’s first Halal cosmetics – iba. The agency has been instrumental in creating and conceptualizing the entire brand identity – right from naming of the brand onwards, to packaging, design integration and communication for a category that has very low awareness in India.

Ecotrail Personal Care, a start-up by sisters Mauli and Grishma Teli, is the only company in India that makes Halal cosmetics.

“The brief for the agency was to create a brand that would be progressive and non-preachy. Halal had to become consumers’ choice,” says Jagdish Acharya, Founder-Director, Cut the Crap.

iba launch .jpgFor India’s very first Halal cosmetics, CTC came up with the name iba. Iba in arabic means sense and pride. That’s because Halal makes sense as the right choice for scientific reasons. And there is pride in switching to a brand that stands for values like beauty without cruelty. The logo motif of Iba is a ‘flowering water droplet’. Water and cleaning are the fundamental beauty-care tenets of Halal. The flowering droplet connotes beauty that blooms through cleansing.

The brand motifs were made integral to the design of exclusive Iba stores. The water motif was incorporated throughout the tiling and the rack-headers were designed in the shape of the logo-droplet. CTC then designed the look, feel and packaging for 70 plus products that comprise the Iba range. The packaging had to look aspirational and international – but with a key detail – in this case international meant the Middle East and not Europe or USA.

iba lipstick.jpgWhile in India Halal popularly and immediately refers to meat, Halal cosmetics is a global phenomenon, a rapidly evolving market worldwide. These products are certified by the Halal board and do not contain pig-fat and other animal derived ingredients, harsh chemicals and alcohol. They are 100% animal-cruelty free.

“It’s a case of creating a new brand order. It is concept promotion, brand building and competing against well-entrenched cosmetics and skincare brands; all rolled into one. We had to educate the consumer on the concept of Halal while at the same time going beyond it to create a brand she would aspire to connect with,” added Acharya.

Commenting on the successful launch of Iba, Mauli Teli, CEO of Ecotrail Personal Care said, “ECOTRAIL is a start-up and we were keen to have a creative agency that was driven by an equal level of commitment and enthusiasm in launching a new concept in the extremely competitive personal care space. I am happy to share that team CTC rose to the challenge and delivered creative work that has been well received.”

iba kajal.jpgA huge part of the branding challenge was to launch key products within the range. For instance, Iba fairness range would have to create an edge over the leading brands in this category while staying rooted to the halal theme. Ditto for color cosmetics and so on.

Talking of which, says Mauli, “Iba branding not only conveyed the concept effectively but also enabled each product to tell its story distinctively.”

For its first launch at Ahmedabad, CTC came up with a campaign around the festival of Eid. The campaign broke with a teaser that just said ‘iba mubarak’. Coming alliteratively close to ‘Eid Mubarak’, the work created tremendous buzz. On its way to national roll out, several key cities were targeted around Eid this year. Sanjeeda Shaikh of Nach baliye and Ek Hasina Thi fame is the current face of the brand.

iba fairness.jpg“Iba Halal Care range is a new offering in personal care and cosmetics that addresses unmet needs of consumers. Jagdish and his team at CTC worked closely with research and client team to ensure that. I believe we have begun well,” added Chandan Nath-Brand Mentor and Founder ideas2brands.

CTC is currently working on creating the yang part of the brand – its male counterpart. This will anchor the men’s range of products – Halal deodorants and more.

The brand is being retailed out of exclusive Iba stores in Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Baroda and Surat and is sold nationally through leading e-commerce portals, Amazon and Flipkart.