It’s quite rare to see brands that have stood the test of time and still thrive up to this day. When it comes to male grooming products, many brands have come to the playing field for recognition, endurance, and relevance. But none of them comes close to the prestige that Old Spice has.
Old Spice, introduced in 1937, is a veteran in the male grooming business. After many decades, it ensures that its brand stays relevant.
From the very beginning, Old Spice has used its spice-filled products (scents, deodorants, body wash, hair care, and beard care products, etc.), bold marketing tactics, and robust and nautical feel in boosting every man’s confidence and sex appeal throughout the USA and the world. According to Statista, Old Spice High Endurance Deodorant was the third-best-selling deodorant in the US in 2016 and continues to rise to the top of the charts.
But Old Spice wasn’t the product that it is today. Throughout the decades, it has managed to find ways to make its bright red bottle and boat logo stand out and continuously evolve to the times and trends.
Today, people see Old Spice as synonymous with male grooming. But it wasn’t always the case. When William Lightfoot Schultz’s soap and toiletries company, Shulton, Inc., first launched Old Spice in 1937, its first products were originally aimed at women. In fact, the company had begun as a manufacturer of soaps and fragrances solely made for women.
Old Spice launched its first product, “Early American Old Spice,” inspired by the herbs- and spices-filled rose potpourri jar that Schultz’s mother used to keep.
Early American Old Spice was developed around a colonial theme. When Old Spice was introduced, Schultz was keen on maintaining a colonial framework for his products and opted for a nautical theme for Old Spice. Many of the original designs for the women’s deodorant looked like a glass filled with sand or a flower-decked package with pastel cursive lettering. The use of bright pastel colors, flowers, and dainty cursive lettering ensured that these products were marketed for its female consumers.
After one year in the business and much success, the company launched its men’s fragrances line during the holiday season. The launch garnered high sales, so the company decided to shift its target market and focus exclusively on men. Thus, Old Spice, the male grooming brand, was born.
From the beginning, Old Spice maintained the nautical theme to its products. For the design of their male’s fragrances line, the company decided to do away with its feminine pastel color scheme. But it still kept its nautical theme by introducing the image of a colonial-era sailing ship as an identifying marker.
It makes sense why a sailing ship was chosen as a symbol of a “manly” product. You could hardly imagine a woman steering a ship or being a sailor. The work required great courage and strength but also involved huge risk. All these characteristics were traditionally associated with manly qualities.
Eventually, though, the company decided to drop the colonial nautical theme and replace the ship with a yacht, which maintained the nautical theme but also represented a younger demographic. The blue yacht icon was seen on the buoy-shaped white bottles from the 1970s through the 1990s. The famous TV ad from the 1980s through the 1990s featured a lone surfer riding the waves.
In 1990, Procter and Gamble bought the Old Spice brand from Shulton, Inc. and began launching various types of deodorant, body sprays, and body washes.
In 2008, Procter and Gamble repackaged the Original Old Spice scent as “Classic Scent” and made the shift from white glass bottles to bright red plastic bottles. The brand also started making attention-grabbing slogans, such as, “The original. If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist,” and “Smell like a man, man,” which could be seen on deodorants and shower gels.
Besides the packaging, the brand eventually returned to the original choice, the nautical colonial ship, and it has stayed since.
Logo, font, and colors
According to Old Spice’s official website, among the ships that inspired the emblem in the packaging were originally the Grand Turk and the Friendship, and later, the Wesley, Salem, Hamilton, and Birmingham.
The font used for the logo consists of a laid-back script that imitates handwriting. Nowadays, it is mostly referred to as “Old Spice” font.
The current logo consists of dark red over a white background, or white over a dark red background, depending on the product and packaging. Earlier, the brand used a blue yacht icon.
What’s behind the success of Old Spice?
- Product variety – Mainly dealing with their male consumers, Old Spice has a wide range of products with great variety. The brand started with fragrances and deodorants, and it has now expanded its product range to include shower gel, shampoo, beard care products, after-shave lotions, shaving creams, styling products, and more. These products are among the company’s best sellers as Old Spice’s target market is the age group from 18 to 35. The wide range of products makes Old Spice distinctive in the market, helping the brand get more and more consumers.
- Price – Affordable products of good quality attract consumers more than anything. Therefore, the value of products genuinely determines the sale of a product. In this consideration, Old Spice has been selling its products at mid-low to high prices, making them available to all types of consumers, regardless of their economic standing. As the quality of Old Spice’s products is known to be very standard, the pocket-friendly price range helps the company sell its products more easily.
- Brand strength – Old Spice is a veteran when it comes to male grooming. As it has been a renowned brand since the 1930s, Old Spice has been consistent with the quality of its products. It has created a huge base of loyal customers, which has helped boost its brand strength. Even though other brands have penetrated the market, no other company has been able to tarnish Old Spice’s reputation. The brand strength has enabled Old Spice to launch new products without hesitation and expand its business even more.
- Strong distribution – Old Spice products are well distributed not only throughout the US, but also in many parts of the world. Its products can be found anywhere, from big-city malls to convenience stores. Because of the vast distribution, Old Spice’s products can be bought by its target group (18 to 35 years old). This strategy has not only helped in selling its products more but it also helps the company to bring brand awareness to more people who did not know about Old Spice.
- Social media activity – Like many other well-established brands, Old Spice has to adapt to the times, trends, and technology. And it has done so, quite successfully. Old Spice has a vast following across popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. It constantly promotes new products, promos, etc., thus keeping its followers updated and engaged.