painting the future of nail art

CLIENT: LITTLE ONDINE

Little Ondine was established in 2013. With its unique water-based formula, within a year. it became the top leading nail polish brand in China. 2 years later, it expanded to UK and US.

CHALLENGE

To predict the future of nail polish and continue to take the lead in the nail category.

TREND FORECAST

Nail polish had no restrictions on its wearer but historically, it had been marketed towards women.​ While famous celebrities like Kurt Kobain, Iggy Pop and David Bowie had adorned their fingertips with colors, it seemed like a symbol of a certain counterculture - grunge, punk or glam rock. As genderless fashion and beauty was becoming the norm, a "no rules, no drama" approach to fashion and style appeared to cement itself, directing us to a genderless nail art movement.

TREND RESEARCH

3 SYSTEMIC SHIFTS IN NAIL CATEGORY

More than any other fast-moving consumer groups sector, the nail category was guided by trends in the beauty and fashion industry. In this trend-driven world, changes in vogue happened so instantaneously that trend-led companies had to obsessively and constantly keep researching on emerging trends to predict the next big thing. From haute couture outfits to mass market streetwear and nail art, trend forecasting played an important role in predicting what would come. But, as trends started small and constantly evolved along with changing consumer needs, it could be quite challenging to identify the trends that stick, and not just a flash in the pan. Walking the line between fashion and beauty, 3 systemic shifts had been spotted for the nail category, presenting exciting opportunities for Little Ondine.

A look by Miss Pop. Credit: Samantha Rapp for The New York Times

NATURAL PRODUCTS

DIVERSITY

PERSONAL

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Express yourself in colours, without losing yourself

Little Ondine's unique selling proposition was developed based on 3 most common nail problems. - toxic smell, brittle nails and white spots. Composed of organic colourants, natural resin and water, Little Ondine's nail polish was free of toxins. No formaldehyde, acetates or alcohol. Its water-based formula boasted 6 key qualities, allowing for bold and colourful expressions, without causing any harm on the wearer's nails.

STRENGTHENING BRAND IDENTITY

NATURAL INGREDIENTS

EASY

PEEL OFF

NO TOXIC SMELL

QUICK-
DRYING

CRUELTY-FREE

BRILLIANT
COLORS

Nail designs by Madeline Poole. Credit: Samantha Rapp for The New York Times

"If you're too easily bored for gel nail polish, I evangelically endorse Little Ondine. They're chemical- and odour-free, and exceptionally easy to use. Just slap on a coat, wait 30 seconds or so and they're dry. Then, they can be simply - and satisfyingly - peeled off whole, with zero damage to the nail."

- Beauty: Exceptionally good nail polishes. Sally Hughes. The Guardian

NEW OPPORTUNITY

A GENDER-FREE, FUSS-FREE LINE OF NAIL POLISH

While Little Ondine's water-based, non-toxic formula was aligned with consumers' demand for clean beauty products, The existing packaging design looked like the regular, gendered nail polish, making it difficult to engage a diverse audience.  To build a stronger brand identity, Little Ondine needed to make a strong stand as the next generation of nail polishes. A new line of nail polishes was proposed. One that was free from toxins, smell and gender discriminations. One that encouraged women, men and non-binary individuals to wear colours on their nails proudly. 

PROPOSED PRODUCT LINE

mANNUS BY LITTLE ONDINE:
No PETTY DRAMA

The proposed product line was called Mannus (Latin word for 'hand') by Little Ondine. At its core, it focused on colours, nails and self-expressions. This new generation of nail polishes took out toxins and gender discrimination so the consumer could focus on self-expression. It stood at the perfect intersection where fashion met health standards, allowing incredible freedom at fingertips. Its tagline 'No Petty Drama' was built on 3 pillars. No toxins, no unpleasantness and no wait! B'cos life was too short for such petty drama.

CONSUMER
INSIGHT

UNIQUE PRODUCT OFFER

TRENDS

GENDER-NEUTRAL PACKAGING

To avoid any gender colour stereotypes, the packaging was kept entirely black, retaining its existing single and twin packaging form for brand recognition. Only the sides of the bottle were kept transparent so consumers could see the colour of the nail polish accurately. As compared to Little Ondine's original packaging, the focus has shifted from gendered colour associations to product experience, leading to self-expressions.

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THE STRANGELY OBJECTIVE MART BY PAIGE LEE