Creating a bold new unified strategy for a pet care brand that understands the shift away from traditional ownership and towards ‘pet parenting’
Strategic brand agency Robot Food has undertaken a global rebrand for pet care brand YuMOVE. Owned by parent company Lintbells, the specialist, high-efficacy brand’s mission is ‘giving pets an active life for life’.
Internally, the Lintbells team was struggling with how to categorise its products. Previously, YuMOVE (the brand’s joint formula) sat next to a number of other variants such as YuDerm (skin and coat care) and YuCalm.
Since YuMOVE accounts for 70% of sales, Robot Food proposed a strategy that united all products under the singular YuMOVE name and masterbrand. But internally, Lintbells’ association with ‘YuMOVE’ as the ‘joints’ product name meant the teams had concerns around conventionalising the naming across the range.
“Our job was to rationalise the strategic direction and provide a clear approach that would help the business move forward in agreement and unify the team around a central idea,” says Emma Collingswood, Robot Food senior account manager. “We helped demonstrate to the client that YuMOVE aligned with their brand mission — it made sense commercially, and to consumers. One URL, one brand for all of your dogs’ needs.”
The new brand architecture brings all products together under the YuMOVE name, with each clearly stating its individual benefits (such as dental, joints, and skin/coat care) on-pack.
Now, the proud, consistent YuMOVE name and masterbrand can flex across various propositions without losing any of the efficacy or trust of the former designs: it’s clearer, stronger and primes YuMOVE for future growth. “Now, YuMOVE can play in its heartland of scientifically proven formulas and ingredients and also into more lifestyle and preventative categories,” says Collingswood.
Robot Food’s work will facilitate the briefing of agencies in future to ensure consistency around how the brand appears. The new design system and guidelines provide a seamless transfer across advertising, packaging and online.
A new breed of pet owner
The rebrand comes at a time when people’s relationship with their pets is changing dramatically. YuMOVE’s core buyers have historically been more ‘traditional’ dog owners, since larger breeds like Labradors are more prone to joint issues. Now, with the growth in ownership of smaller dogs and an increase in younger, more city-based pet owners, the designs needed to appeal to a broader audience.
“Pet owners have been replaced by ‘pet parents’, with a greater degree of emotional connection with their pets, and as a result the spend per animal has increased,” says Robot Food senior designer Julia Allan.
“As with human wellness, the pet wellness category is in steep growth. YuMOVE has an opportunity to lead the category and become the go-to, trusted brand for any pets’ condition or wellness needs.”
Saying less, communicating more
While YuMOVE is mostly sold in the UK and US, the brand needed an omni-channel, global approach that could straddle both on and offline sales across a number of markets.
With 80% of sales made online (on yumove.co.uk or through distributors like Amazon), Robot Food needed to address the formerly cluttered pack fronts, which often repeated the same information. The agency instead looked to let the website and the back and side of packs do some of the work.
“We decluttered the packs as much as possible to help consumers shop both on and offline,” says Allan. “We had to simplify them and amplify what mattered — care for your pets.”
Using the YuMOVE name across all products brought about greater clarity for consumers in the pack design: removing that extra layer of information in the naming meant the products could be ‘decoded’ far more easily.
Marrying efficacy and lifestyle
The new logo is a modernised version of the former to aid recognition, but with a more contemporary, impactful look. The overall design system is based around using visual segmentation to denote each product’s benefits through the use of shapes and colours, such as a purple lotus flower on the calming product and a blue polygon for dental care.
Design details inspired by the wider world of wellness brands — such as playful, freer layouts and a more approachable colour palette — are used on the packs to create a friendlier look and feel that maintains the sense of efficacy. “We’ve seen products with a medical ‘need’ becoming increasingly accessible, and categories that once relied purely on scientific efficacy now employing more everyday lifestyle cues — pet care is not immune from this,” says Collingswood.
“Dynamic representation of dogs through photography helps bring the packs to life, and provides a singular clear look and feel throughout the whole brand world,” says Allan. She adds that the ‘dynamism’ of these images relied on choosing fur colours that ‘pop’, and shots where the dog is looking into the camera as far as possible. “It was important to steer clear of breeds that are too obscure or ‘trendy’ — it had to feel like an ‘everydog’,” she says.
“People want to know they’re doing the best thing for their pets’ wellness. Making it easier for consumers to understand the benefits of YuMOVE products makes it easier for them to make their pets’ lives better.”