Design: Robot Food
Location: United Kingdom
Project Type: Produced
Client: Stories and Ink
Product Launch Location: Global
Packaging Contents: Skincare for tattoos – creams, serums and body oils
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Carton boxes and plastic bottles
Robot Food rebrand Electric Ink following a strategic shift online as a direct-to-consumer tattoo skincare brand.
Alongside the change in business strategy, the UK-based branding agency saw an opportunity to reassess the brand, adding further depth to the original proposition and creating potential for wider growth. A progressive direction marked by a new name, Stories & Ink.
Electric Ink was founded on a mass-niche opportunity: In an industry worth billions and with over 40% of the western world bearing ink – why were there no long-term skincare brands dedicated to tattooed skin? Robot Food had an answer and created a brand that quickly secured listings in retailers including Boots, Superdrug, Selfridges and Urban Outfitters, globally. Three years on, after validating the brand, product and consumer fit, it was clear the largest potential for growth was online – connecting directly with customers, free from the constraints of retail.
More demanding than ever, consumers today choose to interact with brands that truly reflect their own personal values and beliefs. While exploration found the original proposition still stood strong, the team chose to challenge and build on the brand strategy, establishing the consumer firmly in the heart of the brand and creating richer experiences for them across all touchpoints.
From this, Electric Ink became Stories & Ink. A name reflective of the brand’s new mission to facilitate meaningful conversations around tattoos and create an inclusive space where tattoo enthusiasts could share their personal stories.
Natalie Redford, Creative Strategist at Robot Food said:
“The decision to reposition the brand was inspired by the passion and creativity of people with tattoos. We wanted Stories & Ink to become a go-to source and credible commentator on the culture – sparking conversations and championing different voices, styles and experiences.”
Without the need to shout ‘tattoo’ from shelf, Robot Food’s approach to the new design was more holistic. Blending the pillars of skincare ‘efficacy’ and the ‘credibility’ of tattoos was still important, however now, the team was free to explore what these meant as part of a much broader brand world.
Packaging was evolved to feel more akin to contemporary health and beauty brands, stripping the original illustration right back to a single icon on each SKU for clear range navigation. The original flash sheet illustration now adds to the customer experience featuring as internal packaging print and on branded tissue inside shipping boxes.
Off pack, full control over the customer journey meant freedom at each touchpoint to create an impactful brand experience. Across everything, from a bespoke Shopify web platform to social channels and the unboxing experience, a newly developed tone of voice and photography style helps build a more complete story of the brand.
Simon Forster, Founder of Robot Food and Co-founder of Stories & Ink said:
“Now more than ever, to be truly successful, brands need a compelling purpose behind their design. We saw the move to DTC as a necessary business decision, an opportunity to cement our position as a global brand, but also to add depth to the identity to take it beyond just product into a lifestyle.
Since shifting, we’ve raised £300,000 to fund our strategy. We’ve also formed a partnership with one of the largest online health and beauty retailers across the United States and Canada. Stories & Ink is just the start for the partnership and I can’t wait to reveal other brands that will disrupt their categories.”
Stories & Ink is available now online in Europe at www.storiesandink.com and the U.S. and Canada through www.pharmapacks.com.