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Despite being an iconic brand, over the years X-Men - a men's grooming brand in Vietnam, had been losing resonance among Vietnamese youth and growth was plateauing. There was a need to re-position X-Men in a way that would resonate with contemporary manifestations of masculinity in Vietnam. This meant coming up with a new brand key, and redefining the brand and communication strategy.


  • Atypical challenge - developing a brand key from scratch for an existing, long-known, and reputed brand

  • Typical challenge - limited time, quick turnaround


Mixed methods, phased approach
We began with an exploratory understanding of contemporary Vietnamese youth and masculinity perceptions through immersions, self-ethnographies, and covert observations in youth hangouts. This was topped up with an insight mining exercise leveraging existing category and brand data to cumulatively paint a picture of key barriers to growth and communication.

Subsequently, running collaborative ideation sessions with the X-Men team (brand, marketing, insights, creatives) to arrive at a revamped brand key and a creative brief that brought it alive


Insights were then translated into a universally comprehensible format using Jungian archetypes, highlighting:

  • Archetypes that best represent masculinity values in contemporary Vietnam

  • Archetypes that are desirable, aspirational to Vietnamese youth today

  • Archetypes occupied by competitors and opportunities to differentiate​

Based on our understanding of Vietnamese youth, their perceptions of masculinity, we identified 4 personas through Jungian Archetypes as a starting point, and mapped these back to Vietnamese context to determine what's aspirational vs. relatable but not aspirational

Identifying archetypes that resonate with Vietnamese youth
Shortlisting archetypes with potential for brand X-Men

To find the sweet spot and write up a refreshed brand key and positioning, we workshopped the insights together with the X-Men team and creative partners which culminated into a robust creative brief.


✔️ Fast forward to a few months later, a new campaign launched, re-positioning X-Men as a relatable man trying to find his identity, facing challenges but not shying away from risks - a big departure from X-Men's otherwise James Bond-esque portrayal of the man as a 'rescuer'
✔️ Significant improvement in brand imagery across almost all key attributes (modern, young, energetic, dynamic, masculine)
✔️ Increase in brand meaningfulness scores
✔️ Brand growth, bridging gap with competition 
✔️ Increase in brand worth scores, 'brand worth paying more for'

​"The campaign was really special... the re-positioning got noticed, the brand grew, and more importantly, gave us a platform to build the brand on" 

- Vice President, Marketing, Marico SEA

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