The 3C Collective: Brand Positioning and Naming for a low cost hand hygiene product for India

The 3C Collective

The 3C Collective is a group of professionals with backgrounds in behavior change, product development, design thinking and hand hygiene in particular. In their early phases they called themselves the 'Clean Hands Inc' and that is when I first engaged with their project to create low cost hand hygiene products for consumers living in Indian slums.

The first phase of working on this project was in the summer of 2011, where as part of the team at Quicksand, we developed quick and dirty prototypes to test some of the basic assumptions the 3C team had about possible innovative formats for their low cost product. The 3C team took the insights about perceptions around hand hygiene further and created a new gel based product, detailing the format, packaging and other details through a second phase with Quicksand in 2013.

Trying new shapes and formats with potential users
Trying out quick prototypes of new formats in the first phase (image courtesy: Quicksand Design Studio, 2011)
Prototyping Paraphernalia from the first phase (image courtesy: Quicksand Design Studio, 2011)

The Problem/Brief

In August 2015, the team had a clear idea (after various smaller testing and pilot exercises) of the final formulation of the product, which would be in the format of a gel comprising a special version of a licensed chemical compound. They were in the process of raising money for a pilot at scale, and to that end Helen, one of the co-founders, was in India to figure out the name and the positioning of the brand for their product.

She built a temporary team with three consultants, Aditi, (in the picture below) an expert in marketing and branding in India; Rashmi, a graphic designer and me. My role on the project was mainly to organise, manage and conduct all the workshops in the field.

thinking through the various names
Working out the details for the field research (image courtesy: Helen Trevaskis, 2015)

There were primarily two sets of workshops that we conducted. In an initial set of workshops we worked with individuals in Mumbai who worked in advertising, design, social impact or entrepreneurship to come up with possible names based on an initial set of directions for positioning.

This was followed by a phase in which we parsed these names, created better articulated positions for the brand to take, besides working with Rashmi to realise a few of the names as logos and logotypes, mocking them up on packaging.

mocking up some of the names
The logotypes for some of the names being tested (image courtesy: Helen Trevaskis, 2015)
testing with one of the groups
Explaining the exercise around positioning to one of the groups (image courtesy: Helen Trevaskis, 2015)
Further we tested these ideas of various positions and names with three groups of potential users in different parts of Delhi NCR, to gather insights about which positioning worked and for what reasons.


After this phase of research, the assembled team worked together to parse the positions that worked, and we were able to finalise one of the names and ascertain the positioning and tone that could be tested during the pilot at scale. As of early 2016, the 3C Collective was in the process of raising additional funding and setting up partnerships and a team in India to carry forward the pilot.