Thymes: A Makeover To Stay Ahead Of The Marketplace.

By Nancy Kullas Mar 30, 2007


Minneapolis based Thymes, the maker of beautifully fragranced bath, body, and homecare products, had reached a crossroads.

Founded in 1982 by Leslie Ross Lentz, the company had evolved over the years from its humble start as a one woman, home-based business to become a valued and trusted brand. As 20 years passed and their business grew, the marketplace and consumers evolved. People were buying Thymes products as gifts for themselves as well as others. Consumers were placing greater emphasis on small indulgences for self and home—things that could provide a warm environment for entertaining; products that facilitate a few minutes of personal freedom to re-connect to the important things; beautiful things to share with others. The products that offered those benefits had grown in scope including home cleaning products, and more.

The original design inspiration of founder Ross Lentz had empowered the company to grow to a business of over $15 million by the end of 2004, with 120 employees and sales in over 27 countries around the world.

The Challenge:  Keeping Pace With A Changing Marketplace

Marketplace dynamics required change. Thymes realized that, though they had been an early leader in the category, many new competitors had entered the market. Their core, loyal gift-giving customer was aging and younger buyers were attracted to other brands presenting themselves in more youthful and stylish ways. And like fashion, fragrance styles were evolving and growing as well.

 “We found ourselves at a point of diminishing returns in terms of our growth.  We really had stagnated and were looking for someone to reinvent us. The time had finally come to look outside of ourselves for that inspiration.  That’s what attracted us to Duffy & Partners in the first place” said Christiana Kippels, vice president of marketing, “

It was time for Thymes to reinvent itself – starting with their positioning and brand identity, working across their entire product line and even in all facets of selling and marketing the brand. They needed to send a signal to retailers and consumers alike that Thymes was changing with the times. With new products. A new look. And fresh ideas. All coming from that same original attention to detail, but with the aspiration of helping people to find meaningful and emotional connections in their lives—with self, with family and with friends.

The Solution:  A Magnificent Make-over

The company name was shortened from The Thymes to “Thymes.” The primary identity was reinvigorated. Then it was time to evolve the products and the marketing materials developed to support and sell the brand and its many individual product lines.

A “brand book” was produced to deliver the refined brand vision, the new products and the strategy behind the changes. Distribution of this story began in the spring of 2005, as it was shared with employees, the sales force, distributors and retailers.

Evolved packaging was adopted for existing product lines. New fragrance families and new product offerings were introduced with entirely new looks. Sales materials underwent a makeover. The new website launched in October 2005 and a revitalized trade show presentation made its debut at the New York gift show August 2005.


What others think:

  • My biggest problem is finding a retailer. The retail store I have purchased the product from in the past no longer carries the brand. Asked why, the owner stated that he had to buy the entire line of a particular product, many of which did not sell in his small midwest store. Retailers should be able to select just those items that they can sell and not be required to buy the entire line of a specific product.  

    Anonymous Mar 5, 2010 — 10:07 am

  • where can I find Thymes product in my area? Mar 22, 2010 — 7:34 pm

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