Hone is a new lifestyle brand that offers specialized products, knowledge, and motivation to empower Black men to define their own version of greatness.

Three squares with portraits of Black men, and a quote reading "You are the secret to your own success."

Professional basketball player turned venture capitalist Michael Redd was frustrated with the lack of quality skincare products for Black men. Looking for a product or brand tailored explicitly to Black men, he found his options limited and inaccessible. Michael and the leadership team from his VC firm, 22 Ventures, decided to do something about it. But first, they needed to understand the current landscape, what was available, and ultimately who were the people they set out to serve. We facilitated research and built an insights-driven brand strategy for Hone, a wellness brand with the unique needs of Black men at the center.

Listen to their experiences

We listened to 20 Black men share their current skincare experience–what they like, need, and want to know. The insights from these men helped inform a survey that took a closer look at what Black men find valuable when it comes to their skin care. Taken by 550 respondents, we distilled and analyzed the data finding significant patterns. This research yielded four psychographic personas that were our cardinal directions during the creation of the brand.

Three whiteboards filled with post-it notes detailing the process of creating personas.

Understand their core motivations

Each persona was rich with insights. These core motivations includes their motivation for using products, priorities when purchasing, how they use products, and their overall attitude towards self care.

Two columns with sliding scales that describe the purchasing behaviors of two different personas.

Something deeper than just “marketing”

We also uncovered skepticism around Black-focused products. These men wanted something that went deeper than just “marketing.” They asked about the science behind what makes their skin unique—and how do they protect and preserve it?

As a result, the vision shifted from skincare to a more significant lifestyle and wellness brand that encompassed Michael’s love for inspiring people to greatness.

Text inside a large circle reading "We exist to change the narrative that being Black is bad for your health."

By unifying the leadership team’s vision for greatness, the audience’s want to understand, and the brand’s need for flexibility, we named, visualized, and developed their new brand, Hone.

A collection of monogram and wordmark iterations

What is Hone?

“Let’s make precise progress. Reshape and refocus our grind to sharpen the body, mind, and soul.

Resolute and focused, we deserve to be our peak selves. For ourselves and those around us. To continuously polish ourselves to become the optimal person, father, son, partner, and friend.”

The hone wordmark in dark green sitting on a beige background
Dots filled with Hone brand colors moving up and down in a wave formation
Hone monogram on a dark green background
Hone billboard with the tagline "Own it and hone it."
Examples of Hone branded photography, messaging, and packaging

We look forward to seeing Hone help Black men to refine their grind.

What we delivered for Hone

Brand Strategy & Positioning

Brand Identity System

Messaging Strategy

Brand Strategy Workshop