The brand vision for Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day is as clear as the skies of Iowa. The aromatherapeutic household cleaners, the brand story, and the brand name are all inspired by the founder’s mother, Thelma A. Meyer, and by Thelma’s home in Granger, Iowa. Mrs. Meyer’s works like the dickens on daily dust and grime.
PROCESS is important. As Thelma says, “Any job worth doing, is a job worth doing well.”
Monica Nassif, the founder of Caldrea Company, came to us with an unusual proposition: to ‘rip-off’ Caldrea, her successful, high-end aromatherapeutic cleaning brand. She wanted to create an aromatherapeutic brand at a lower price before someone else did. The new products would utilize less expensive bottle components and less complex scents with simpler ingredients, all in the service of achieving a lower price point and a wider distribution. We brainstormed names and brand stories for a couple of hours with Monica, and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day was born!
We got down to business, getting to know the real Mrs. Meyer and learn what she thinks about cleaning and aromatherapy, which is really just “a fancy word for healthy and good.” We don’t often have the luxury of building a brand based on a real person, and we soon came to realize that Thelma was very much like our own mothers. They’re from a generation that recycled, reused, and up-cycled long before it was cool–a generation that takes pride in doing a job right.
Mrs. Meyer’s has grown from the original 14 product SKUs to over 120 SKUs. Mrs. Meyer’s was acquired by SC Johnson in 2008 but little has changed in the Mrs. Meyer’s brand language.
“The brand has held up fantastically over the past 14 years. It has had very little change to the look and feel, which is a testament to the timelessness of the design. It was perhaps ahead of its time, as it continues to resonate with what the marketplace is doing now in terms of American craft, heritage, and authenticity. Consumers never comment on ‘liking’ the brand, they comment on ‘LOVING’ the brand.” – Pam Helms, VP of Research and Development at The Caldrea Company
“As I look back, the Mrs. Meyer’s brand has been successful because it’s the real deal. WDW was able to capture and express the essence of my mother in an authoritative and fun way. They created all of the elements to allow us to build a company for the long haul.” – Monica Nassif, founder of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and The Caldrea Company
We didn’t set out to make Mrs. Meyer’s retro. Rather, our design decisions were informed by the question “What would Thelma do?” We envisioned how Thelma would tell her friends about her products. We imagined the visual inspiration would she find in her Granger, Iowa kitchen. Thelma (and our own mothers) harken from a time when being thrifty was just plain common sense. A time when a box of baking soda was used not only to bake the cake, but also for the clean-up afterward, and when vinegar was not only essential for canning the pickles, but also for wiping up the floor when the canning was done.
Thelma has lots of NEW FRIENDS and more company is always welcome. “We know anecdotally that the packaging is so loved that our consumers tend to leave the bottles out on the counter. Stylists in all media prop it into magazines, catalogs and TV, giving us free publicity.” – Ariel Carter, Senior Designer at The Caldrea Company
From the very start, Monica saw Mrs. Meyer’s in stores such as Ace Hardware and Whole Foods. What none of us expected was how Mrs. Meyer’s seemed to ‘cross the aisle’ from hardworking mass retailers to the shelves of smaller, high-end, boutique retailers. Mrs. Meyer’s is now available everywhere from Ace Hardware and Bloomingdales, from Krogers to Dean & Deluca, as well as in Target, Home Depot, Ralph’s, D’Agostino’s, Duane Reade, Walmart, VitaminShoppe.com, Bed Bath and Beyond, Drugstore.com, Diapers.com, Walgreens and CVS, to name a few.
It’s always exciting to page through a magazine or scroll through a blog and see Mrs. Meyer’s in an article about cleaning, or simply used as a prop in photography. It’s a bit like bumping into a friend on the street. Thelma’s been invited onto the pages of more magazines and blogs than we can list here. Next time you open a home magazine, look for yourself. The brand story of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and interviews with Monica Nassif have been featured in various publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company/Co.Design, and The New York Times.
“WDW created rich layers of design that allowed us to engage our consumers in endless ways. This approach helped us immediately stand out on the retail shelf in a sea of sameness. WDW helped us evolve the brand as we rapidly gained market share in major retailers across the U.S. Not only are they amazing designers, they also are strategic business thinkers – always working to ensure we remain true to the essence of the brand in every execution.” – Monica Nassif, Founder of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and The Caldrea Company