The Evolution of a Household Favorite

By Jennifer Acevedo

When Dial Corp. decided it was time to redesign the packaging for its Soft Scrub brand, the intent was evolutionary: Evolve the brand without alienating its loyal current consumer. Dial enlisted Chicago-based Ciulla | MLR to leverage Soft Scrub’s heritage while updating the look and improving the functionality of the staple household brand.
Dial’s consumer research showed that the Soft Scrub consumer values her house and wants the job of cleaning it done right. Research also showed there was room for improvement in the existing packaging. Consumers complained that the thick liquid was hard to squirt out from the bottle and that the opening and cap crusted and clogged when stored, preventing the bottle from closing completely after a few uses. Many consumers even took to storing the product upside down in their cupboards to overcome the problem, but the bottle’s shape didn’t allow for much stability in this position.
Soft Scrub’s new structure is an ergonomic, inverted bottle with a pressure-sensitive valve at the nozzle designed to deliver better control when applying the liquid and eliminate the hassle of clogging.
Key graphic equities of the brand—the white bottle, strong fragrance/variant color coding, yellow brand mark and underlying “S” shape in the background—have been maintained but contemporized in the redesign. A full body shrink label helps break up the boundaries of the old die-cut label, and an “S”-shaped swath of color runs the height of the bottle—playing up the curvy new structure and hinting at a gentle, scrubbing motion.
Combined with the new structure, the updated graphics bring Soft Scrub forward with a new look that speaks to the product’s “hard working, but gentle” positioning.
The author, Jennifer Acevedo, is the Editor-in-Chief of BRANDPACKAGING magazine.

Where to go for more information...
Strategic brand design. At Ciulla | MLR, call 312.943.5995 or visit