Robot Food Refreshes Cleancult As Brand Expands Retail Distribution
by Rudy Sanchez on 03/13/2023 | 3 Minute Read
Cleancult is a brand of home cleaning refillable products free from harsh chemicals that uses cartons made from FSC-certified cardboard that's entirely recyclable. Cleancult says its products use 90% less plastic when paired with refillable glass spray bottles. According to the brand, consumers can expect to cut out 55.8 pounds of plastic annually by switching to Cleancult.
And as far as cutting down on single-use plastic goes, that's pretty darn good.
The brand has grown considerably since its crowdfunding days and is now shifting away from relying primarily on a direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales model. As Cleancult moves from a DTC-first to a more retail-first distribution strategy, the brand felt the need for a refresh that increases shelf presence and effectively educates consumers on the refill system in person.
Central to Robot Food's refreshed identity is the “cult of clean” and connecting with consumers’ desires for more sustainable solutions in an attractive, countertop-ready format.
“Cults and brands aren’t so dissimilar when you break them down,” said Natalie Redford, senior creative strategist at Robot Food.
“We look to brands to make us feel good, lead us and feel part of something,” she added. For Cleancult, the challenge was connecting their purpose and unique selling proposition (USP) to an audience that was pretty indifferent to recyclability as a claim. "Green cleaning is considered safe ingredients and premium products that prove you can ‘adult’ with the best of them. Cleaning has shifted from a chore to an act of self-care—a ritual to make us feel safe when the world's pressures feel insurmountable. Pressures like the climate crisis.”
Visually, Robot Food’s design plays on the “cult” theme with graphical elements like the ornate wordmark. The arch along the top of the cartons is reminiscent of religious architecture, and radiating lines behind other graphics drive those spiritual icons home. Since customers can’t smell Cleancult’s products before purchasing, Robot Food turned up the color on the refreshed packaging to help smell with the eyes. A starburst, which Robot Food calls “the ding,” is like that glint that comes off freshly cleaned surfaces. Typography-wise, semi-serif Nazare gets used for titles and grotesque Brandon for copy.
“With cleaning products, it can feel like you have to make a sacrifice – between conventional and natural, eco-friendly and tough on germs, lemony freshness versus dried out hands,” said Jess Cook, client director at Robot Food, in a press release. “We wanted to show Cleancult as the full solution—something we can trust without fearing we’ve made the wrong choice for ourselves or the planet. People want to know what’s in it for them and feel reassured that they’re doing the right thing. The new branding really leans into the cult to inspire consumers and prove that clean really should mean clean”.
Cleancult’s refresh comes as the brand expands national distribution across 3,000 Walmart locations nationwide.