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The Art of Rebranding: A Case Study on Zims Max

Learn how one personal care company took stops to reposition and better represent all product categories under the one brand.

Mark Smith

August 12, 2015

4 Min Read
The Art of Rebranding: A Case Study on Zims Max

When the U.S. interstate highway system was constructed in the 1950s, thousands of Americans went to work building the roadways we rely on today. With cement workers' hands taking a beating, a pharmacist in Ohio was asked to help with their dry, cracked hands. Zim’s Crack Creme Original Liquid Formula was born. The herbal formula quickly gained the confidence of consumers nationwide.

Fast forward 60 years and what began as one product evolved into a portfolio of more than 25 popular naturally based consumer health products. Today, we distribute Zim’s throughout the U.S. and Canada to major food, drug and mass retail chains.

However, with the rise of the Zim’s brand we were confronted with new challenges. The company’s growth from a small town, single-product manufacturer to a nationally distributed consumer health brand gradually shifted the positioning of the brand over time.

We push the envelope on product development and innovation to maintain a competitive edge. Lip care, skin care, topical pain relief and first aid are just some of the product categories we expanded into.

Then, one day we looked up and realized that Zim’s had become a house of brands, rather than the branded house that we started with. Our products all carried the Zim’s brand, but they lacked the uniform voice, positioning and consistency that made the brand immediately recognizable, regardless of which product you looked at.

This revelation made us realize that we needed to pause and reevaluate who, what and why the Zim’s brand is. The discussion sparked what would become our rebrand process. The company had outgrown the brand, and it was time we reposition it under one identity again.

To accomplish this, we enlisted the assistance of an outside research company, AcuPoll, and a brand strategy company, Leonora Polonsky and Associates, to help us understand what consumers thought of the Zim’s brand. We decided to focus on two of our more popular products, Zim’s Max-Freeze and Zim’s Crack Creme. A focus group was conducted to compare Zim’s with its topical pain relief and skin care competitors.

The study revealed that Zim’s products were not as well known as our major competitors. The focus group also found that consumers value products that use natural ingredients and are backed by science.

Over the years, the combination of scientific methods and naturally based ingredients has been the focus of our product development for Zim’s. We wanted consumers to be more aware of this.

With these findings, we decided to introduce a new logo, brand mark, and slogan to better communicate our core values. The new brand elements would illustrate clearly our commitment to the use of natural ingredients and scientific product development methodologies.

We recruited the support of an outside design team, Snap Advertising, to propose options for our new logo, package design, brand mark and slogan. We tasked them with creating a unique, identifiable logo for unifying all the Zim’s products under a single identity. In addition to the rebranding, we sought to redesign Zim’s packaging to represent all product categories under the new brand; employing a single cohesive strategy.

Taking into account the success of Zim’s Max-Freeze, we chose to rebrand Zim’s to “Zim’s Max." The new clean, sleek logo and package design visually complemented the nature and science synergy with the Zim’s product line. The new brand mark unified nature, via an arnica flower (a common ingredient in Zim’s Max products), and science, via a molecule, under the Zim’s brand. Finally the new slogan, “Nature’s best, made better," brought it all together, clearly explaining our commitment to using science and nature to develop superior quality healthy living products. The Zim’s Max branded house was complete.

Upon introducing the new Zim’s Max in June, the national roll out was received with praise from consumers and retailers alike. We look forward to furthering product innovation under the new Zim’s Max as we continue to build the company from our small town in Ohio.

Mark Smith joined Perfecta Products Inc. in August 2003 as director of marketing and sales. He oversees the administration of the sales force, as well as marketing and advertising. Prior to joining Perfecta, he worked in various business arenas including accounting, purchasing and as corporate manager of operations and facilities for the DeBartolo Corporation, a retail mall development and management company. 

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