The 3 Ps According to Method: Purpose, Personality, Product
Is cleaning the house your idea of a good time? If so, you and I are very different. But — as the saying goes about writing — I love having cleaned. I love a clean house, fresh laundry, shiny surfaces. And if Method has anything to do with it, I might soon change my mind about the actual cleaning part too.
Method is the unique, wildly colorful, witty, exuberant brand behind the now-iconic teardrop-shaped bottles of hand wash. An exemplar of a purpose-driven company, their cleaning products are so pretty you want to leave them out on the counter and so eco-friendly you feel bathed in planet-love with every use.
Method has turned cleaning into a fun revolution. The company is rallying its customers against all things dirty — smog, toxic ingredients, unfair business practices, ocean plastic, animal testing — and holds core values like “keeping it weird” and “everybody into the pool!” But don’t be fooled by hilarious videos like How to Clean Up a Kitty Surprise and How to Put the Toilet Seat Down or the 4-episodes-long romantic comedy #cleanhappy featured on the website. Method takes clean seriously.
Its credentials include being a certified B-Corp, a public benefit corporation, and one of the first Cradle to Cradle endorsed companies. Its San Francisco headquarters is a LEED-certified green building made with 96% reused or recycled materials. And in April 2015, Method opened its first manufacturing plant, also LEED-certified, boasting a green roof, solar panels in the parking lot, and a wind turbine to supply half the building’s electrical consumption. The plant is in Chicago, which ensures a minimal carbon footprint for distribution throughout the U.S.
Method’s new, green soap factory in Chicago
We asked Method’s Design Director Deena Keller a few questions about how the company pulls off this extravaganza of purpose-driven brand building. We are keeping her answers in authentic, lowercase Method-ese:
What’s the deal with the lack of capitalization in Method’s copy? we think capitalization is so official. lowercase is the grammatical equivalent of wearing shorts to the office. which we firmly support. it is more approachable and friendly — and we are too.
Did someone decide that Method should be a wonderfully weird brand? Or did the personality evolve naturally? keeping it weird is one of method’s core values, and it has been a part of who we are since day one. we always strive to bring the fun and the weird to everything we do. we try and do things differently and approach things differently and keeping it weird helps us do that.
Same question about Method’s community service efforts (MLK Day, etc.). Did someone come up with the direction or did it just happen? we have three care days a year to volunteer within our communities and give back. I think that stems from another one of our core values, which is care like a mother. we care for our planet, our pets, our customers, and most importantly, each other.
Geese flock, gracile animals herd, Method fans and family are PAD. Who thought of that? people against dirty has always been a sort of rallying cry for our brand as well as how we refer to the fine folks who use our products and how we refer to each other. for us, people against dirty describes not only the people who buy and love our products but more broadly the movement we try to inspire: joining the fight against dirty. which isn’t just about tackling dust bunnies. it’s about making the planet, and our homes, a cleaner place. we believe that cleaning products can be beautiful and smell like flowers and put the hurt on dirt without harming people, animals or the planet.
Does your superstar in-house creative team have a big impact on the content Method creates? of course. being in-house allows us to have a seat at the table to help guide the business and provide a design + strategic lens to what we do. it helps make our work that much stronger and more relevant because we understand all the nuances and complexity of bringing a product to market. it also ensures the stories we tell and the content we share is consistent and fluid because we work on, and own, all brand touch points.
We keep an eye out for when Method launches new products and you are less in-your-face about it than other companies. What’s your philosophy on product launches? we do our best. some of it has to do with the fact that we’re still a rather scrappy company with a relatively small marketing budget. the other aspect is that we invest heavily in the product itself. we believe it will do its own marketing if we create a truly innovative, distinct product experience that people will love and enjoy to use.
If you had to describe Method as a person, who would he/she/it be? I would have to say macgyver. again, another one of our values is what would macgyver do? which is all about being resourceful and making good use of duct tape. it also means striving to discover hidden opportunities, anticipating the needs of the business, thinking smart and moving fast. method as a company does all this and would also look stunning in a leather bomber jacket and mullet.
Originally published at getrebelmind.com on May 13, 2015.