#NICEStories – How Love, Indus Tells a Story Through Product Design by Being Triangles in a Square World

Maithree Venkatesan 2 February, 2022

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Love, Indus is a luxury skincare brand that embodies the combination of tradition and technology. This idea comes through in every piece of their packaging to give the consumer an unparalleled unboxing experience through their incredible attention to detail. Mastering the art of storytelling both online and offline, this brand takes the consumers through their origin story with every piece of their packaging.

Previously on our blog, we were in conversation with Surbhee Grover, the founder of Love, Indus. We highlighted how NICE entrepreneurs can derive inspiration from this brand’s journey in terms of designing an experiential product for their consumers. 

In this blog, see how to make the packaging of your brand integral to your story? How do you convey your brand’s story to the consumer? How do you make a consumer fall in love with your product? Read on to find out!

Wearing your Heart on your Sleeve – Designing the Outer Packaging of your Product

I like to think of our brand as triangles in a square world. Our logo is a heart made up of 14 triangles. I wanted to design a unique triangle box for the outer layer to integrate this element into our packaging. I like to say that our packaging is literally a piece of our heart. 

When I first told my packaging and design team that I wanted a triangle-shaped carton, they were skeptical. As a small brand, it is difficult to undertake innovation as there are so many different aspects. The suppliers, designers, and manufacturers all preferred to operate on a scale and not venture to do something drastically different on such an important aspect. I then made a case to my team about the efficiency, the geometry, the brand, the story, and how this would help us stand out in retail. Once they saw my vision, they were more passionate about it than even I was. It makes us stand out, which is super important to small businesses.

Love, Indus packaging

Judging a Book by Its CoverDetailing the Exterior

Each side of the triangle pays tribute to the product’s birthplace. 

One side of the triangle pays tribute to the region that inspired the product. For example, the packaging of our Amrutini® range says, ‘With Love from West Bengal, Darjeeling, and Assam.’ The graphics also fuel discovery and experience with the help of many Indian cultural elements, like the Bengali script and Kantha art. In the Detox mask, there are visuals of Thanaka from Burma and the Palaash Flower. 

On the other side of the triangle is a depiction of New York with elements that denote strength (a key focus of the Amrutini® range), such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Oculus. 

In this way, our design is symbolic of our formula – a fusion of India’s regional riches and New York’s transformative technology. 

Finally, we bring it all together to an emotional level. For instance, our Amrutini® package states ‘From us to a stronger you,’ while our Freedom of Expression Line Limiter packaging says ‘From us to a freer you.’

Love, Indus packaging

More than What Meets the EyeCurating the Unboxing Experience for Media Kits and Gift Boxes

What helped us get disproportionate attention from the press compared to the size of our brand was our carefully designed media kits. We wanted to center our unboxing experience around the story of these ingredients that are precious, rare, and beautiful. We created special packaging for our bestselling Amrutini® range. 

As we age, the protein bonds in our skins begin to break. To combat this, we have used silk in our product, which is nothing but protein. Only making use of the best, we have used Muga silk, the strongest silk in the world. We have also incorporated Makaibari Silver Tips Imperial Tea, one of the most expensive teas in the world. It is grown on a 150-year-old Darjeeling estate, and is only picked on certain full moon nights. We then have the tea shipped to a US-based partner who puts it through an enzyme based transformation process that makes it easier for the skin to assimilate before incorporating it into our product.

For our initial PR kit, we decided to bring to light the incredible ingredients that had gone into this product range. Our packaging had layers to it, which highlighted our story. You first begin by unwrapping our custom box branded with our logo to reveal silver tissue underneath. When peeling back that layer, you will discover a silk potli. On untying the potli, the Makaibari tea and the product is found nestled inside. There are also smaller elements for the recipient, like a personal letter from me. This helped tie together our story and peel back the many layers in it.

This played a huge part in influencers and media getting attracted to our brand. 

Love, Indus unboxing

Building Bonds that Don’t AgeCreating Meaningful Relationships with Influencers

We are constantly in the process of formulating our influencer strategy and will continue to find new creative ways. I want to work in very close partnerships with certain influencers, so our relationship is not transactional. 

Working with those who know, love, and use our brand amps up the authenticity for the viewers to a higher level. The quality of the product and the sensorial aspect of the brand speak for themselves. When influencers fall in love with a product or a brand, they often offer to do something for the brand themselves. For example, Olga Ferrara, an influencer based out of NY, fell in love with our product and offered to advertise our gift set herself. In this way, those who love our product become our ambassadors.

PR and influencers have been an integral part of our year-long journey in the market. Since the world has changed so much over the past year, I believe we need to constantly experiment to figure out what is working and what is not. Some of the influencers we have collaborated with are Pranitaa Pandit, Bhanushree Mehra, Ashanti Jain. Sushmita Sen also posted about our product!

Packaging

The Road AheadMilestones to Accomplish

After reflecting on how far we have come, I am amazed at what we have accomplished in one year. But there’s still a lot to be done.

I think our phase of experimentation will be constant because the world is continuously changing. With the level of uncertainty, there is no real formula to this. While ads would have worked really well in 2020, Apple made some changes that altered the efficacy of Facebook and Instagram ads. So the growth mantras that worked pre-pandemic are not as efficient. We are looking at growing in different ways, but our main goal is to build a deeper relationship with media, PR, and select influencers. I believe these authentic relationships will be the catalyst that helps more and more consumers to really experience the brand.

The pandemic has changed a lot about how business is done, especially with respect to the role of retail. Since our brand and products are surrounded by sensorial aspects, the presence of physical stores plays a very important part in our brand. One of our biggest aims is to find the right retail partners and grow with them. Parallelly, we also want to continue to push the experiential aspects of the brand in innovative ways online and give our prospective buyers the closest sensorial aspect they can get. 

Love, Indus has highlighted the importance of packaging in building brand value for a brand in the beauty sector. In order to find out how Love, Indus helped place India on the aisles of luxury skincare in the West, check out our article on the importance of using social media to tell your brand’s story. Coming up next is how a brand in the Fashion industry garnered a loyal consumer base through meaningful collaborations. Stay tuned!

If your cultural enterprise is in any of our five focus sectors and you would be interested in being featured, write to us at namaste@niceorg.in

author
Maithree Venkatesan

Maithree Venkatesan is a final year student pursuing her undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences at BITS Pilani. Hyderabad Campus. Passionate about the intersection of neuroscience, literature, and public health, she has completed her Master’s thesis at UC San Diego on Autism and will start her MPH in Fall’22. An avid reader and writer from a young age, Maithree is passionate about the representation of Indian culture on a global scale.