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Problem Validation // Brand Strategy

Despite being an iconic brand, over the years X-Men - 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 Vietnam.


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

  • Typical challenge - limited time, quick turnaround

Approach: mixed methods
We began with rapid immersions through friendship triads, self-ethnographies and covert observations at youth hang outs, to identify contemporary psycho-socio-cultural perspectives on masculinity in Vietnam. To supplement qualitative insights with hard category and brand data, we ran an insight mining exercise with past brand and category reports to identify barriers to growth vis-a-vis competition. 

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


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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