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“Don’t stop yourself” – 8X4 reinvents itself

Not too long ago, the new business unit OSCAR&PAUL – Corporate Indie Brands has introduced itself, and recently delivered its first proof point: the complete repositioning of the 8X4 deodorant brand. The new products have been on the shelves for a few weeks now and the wide-ranging campaign is running – on TV, digitally and out-of-home. We talked to Thorsten Trompeter (Marketing Manager 8X4 and Labello) and Michael Fuchs (Global Senior Brand Manager 8X4) about what’s behind the new appearance, which target group is addressed and what the new claim “Don’t stop yourself” is all about.

Thorsten, 8X4 has been one of the leading deodorant brands in Germany for years. A brand that was a pioneer on the deodorant market in 1951, and which you have already rejuvenated extremely in recent years. Why now this complete realignment?

Thorsten: Over the past few years, we have evolved at 8X4 – with creative digital marketing and campaigns via Snapchat, Instagram and (now TikTok), we’ve appealed especially to the young target group of 14- to 18-year-olds. The success stands for itself, but nevertheless, 8X4 was often still perceived as an old-fashioned brand. Therefore, we also worked out our new brand identity. Our goal was to position a new, modern product under its existing name – and to react to the mega-trend of individualization.

What exactly do you mean by individualization? And how did you approach that?

Michael: Individualization is a dominant mega trend nowadays. Almost everything can be individualized today: your own car, coffee at Starbucks, breakfast cereals and even sneakers and furniture. So why not personalize deodorant as well? We wanted to keep up with these developments and have therefore developed different deodorant variants for different lifestyles as part of our repositioning.

Thorsten: Very importantly, we developed our different types of deodorant in cooperation with our consumers – we ran innovation sprints and founded our own consumer community that helped us develop the products and provided feedback. Another highlight of the new brand: an online test that makes it very easy to find out which product suits you best. In addition to leisure, sport and travel habits are also tested. Our goal is “Personalized Protection” – a personalized combination of fragrance, protection and care.

The new range comprises a total of ten fragrance variants, available in ten sprays and five roll-ons. What is so special about it?

Thorsten: Our new fragrance concepts offer a modern deodorant performance and an exciting variety of scents, from which some can be classified as gender-neutral. Currently, the more “male” fragrances still have the addition “Men” – but only to make it easier for retailers to sort them on the shelves. Soon our aim will be to avoid this reference altogether.

Michael: We have not classified our products according to gender in the classic way in terms of color either. Our deodorant N°7 in the light green shade is clearly also suitable for men, while the dark green variant N°8 was also chosen by women during the development phase. For the packaging, we used a very simple formula: Less is more. The design therefore convinces with a clear, pure look.

“Don’t stop yourself” is your new brand claim. What exactly does it stand for?

Michael: We found out during a study that for most people life goals and heart projects are often only dreams. When we developed the new 8X4 products, we were faced with the question: How can we individually support our consumers in achieving their own goals? Because only those who are completely at ease with themselves and feel comfortable can give their all when it comes to realizing their dreams. In our “Don’t stop yourself” campaign, we introduce three individuals who, despite all the circumstances, have the courage to go their own way. They are role models for leaving their comfort zone and turning to their own desires and dreams.

Thorsten: Deborah, Theo and Julius each embody one of our ten fragrances as brand ambassadors and encourage us to pursue our own life goals and dreams. With their life stories, they show what 8X4 stands for: Don’t stop yourself. Theo, for example, presents himself as a man who wears make-up – and thus openly rebels against a world that tends to be afraid of anything “different”. Deborah has asserted herself as a longboarding professional in a male-dominated world and wants to motivate other women to show what they are capable of. And Julius, who suffered severe burns after an accident, is now more successful than ever as a model. He thus shows the superficiality of beauty ideals.

Let’s talk about advertising: How do you draw attention to the brand relaunch?

Thorsten: Of course, we accompany our major brand relaunch with a comprehensive communication campaign. Always in focus: the online type test. In addition to TV commercials with our three brand ambassadors, we also launch a broad-based out-of-home campaign – we want to tell relevant stories about deodorant in an unseen way.

Michael: I am really enthusiastic about the idea and the implementation of our advertising pillars. These are turned into three meter large deodorant cans and thus, quite inevitably, attract attention. In addition, we are running an online campaign and introduce our three brand ambassadors on different channels. Moreover, we are already planning a second wave of communication at full speed.

Last but not least: What is your personal 8X4 number?

Michael: I am N°8 – and indeed this fragrance suits me perfectly! I like the clear, pleasant note of the fragrance and especially its cleanliness. The performance convinces me absolutely and besides that, the N° 8 is my lucky number – I always had it on my basketball jersey.

Thorsten: Deo N° 9 suits me perfectly. It’s my absolute favorite, a fresh antiperspirant that helps me to get a clear head in the morning. I like the mint notes, the green fruits and the sea breeze that the fragrance reminds me of. We also have N° 9 as a roll-on, which I personally like better than sprays.

Many thanks to both of you for the interesting conversation and good luck for the new 8X4!

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Kathrin Erbar

About the editor: Kathrin Erbar

Since 2017, Kathrin is responsible for communication on HR related topics, including e.g. diversity, learning & development, leadership or new work. Before that, she was very much about the figures when she was responsible for financial communications at Beiersdorf for several years.