For the new caring consumer: Hiki and Arfa
Pity any new brand launching right now.
I just received a box of Beauty Pie samples (there are new additions* to the Japanfusion line), extolling its new pop-up at Harvey Nichols, which obviously won’t be experienced now for a while.
But worse is Arfa, a US-based direct-to-consumer holding company, whose first brand is Hiki, a bold bodycare line for ‘everyday sweat needs’ (read: deodorant).
Three things of interest here. Acknowledging the mood of the moment, Hiki decided to give its products for free to hospital and medical workers (they just have to pay for part of the shipping), and to everyone else in exchange for a compassionate message on social to reinforce its brand value of ‘kindness’. It’s a way to make the best of a bad situation and bake that situation into its narrative of body care.
The product line itself is also interesting. It’s a deodorant line that goes beyond a deodorant or antiperspirant stick. As well as deodorants, there’s an anti-chafe stick (above), a talc-free body powder and compostable and biodegradable wipes.They’re all natural, vegan and free from artificial fragrance, in keeping with the trend for natural deodorants that I’ve been tracking.
And lastly, in the post-consumerist world, how do we address consumers? It’s become something of a dirty word as we rethink our rates of consumption. Where ‘consumers’ conjures greedy PacMan-esque monsters chomping their way to oblivion on anything and everything, Arfa prefers ‘stakeholders‘. But that’s also because it’s built of a ‘collective’ who earn a percentage of profits in exchange for their feedback and creative input. To quote the website blurb, ‘Arfa is a new consumer goods company that develops personal care brands based on close relationships with the people who use them’.
As all businesses learn to adapt in a post Covid-19 era, it feels like a new consumer landscape is evolving in front of our eyes and this brand will be one to watch…
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
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30 March, 2020 @ 5:08 pm
It’s funny how they named their “everyday sweat needs” product line Hiki – it means sweat in Finnish. If they ever launch there, it’s surely going to be a hit! :D The bright packaging is likely to go down well with the Nordic audience, too.
The now bygone trend to add Scandi letters in random words also resulted in a fun product name – Kosås literally means cow sauce in Swedish. I believe the brand has lately replaced the “å” with a regular “a”.
30 March, 2020 @ 7:33 pm
Thanks Annna. I didn’t know that about Kosas! It’s true though, you have to do a LOT of research when working on naming for brands. Otherwise it could disastrous!