AXE Next is a new line from AXE created for Unilever. I worked directly
with industrial designers and packaging engineers to create this new
sub-brand of products.

The Challenge

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of two current AXE products and identify ways to premiumize the product and it's user experience

Phase I Who is AXE?

The Product

AXE has a very defined user base and style, but we quickly identified aspects that could be improved upon. Overall the branding and bottles needed to be simplified, easier to use, and given a more premium look and feel. But our biggest question was, who does AXE target?

The Insecure Novice

AXE has had great success targeting consumers they have defined as the "Insecure Novice", a guy who is awkward and has no idea what to do with girls. These consumers tend to be teens, which was something we kept in mind when it came to the premiumization aspect of the challenge.

Current Design Issues


Design Goals

Body Wash

Push button top
Simpler bottle
More angular form
Easier dispensing
Inverted position


Portion Control
Cleaner Dispensing 
Easier Application
Eliminate screw on cap 

Phase II New Forms

The Process

Our team really wanted challenge the expectations of how body wash and pomade are supposed to work and look. Why not create things no one had ever seen before? We were especially intrigued with the pomade, because we felt the current user experience was so frustrating. We were committed to reimagining the conventional.


Phase III AXE Next

A New Sub-brand

You've grown up and so has AXE; a new, premium line to take AXE users from boardroom to bar.

Our original challenge from Unilever was to premiumize the current products. However, given our teenage audience we wondered; do teens really care about having a product that is premium? Would they even notice? We decided it would be much more successful to create a premium line within AXE, for AXE lovers who are on the cusp of adulthood. We named this new line AXE Next. This mark represents the next phase for AXE, with a simple, bold, sharp aesthetic. The "x" signifies a blade cutting through the past and forging into the future. 

The Users


Male, 23
Alex recently graduated college with a degree in marketing and has just landed his first real job at an agency. He has been an AXE user for years, but doesn’t want to roll into meetings smelling like a frat boy. Alex needs product that can transition from boardroom to bar. Something subtle, but still sexy and sporty.


Male, 21
Jake is a junior in college studying Communication, who loves sports. He is captain of the school rugby team, and an avid traveler. Jake relates to the sporty, playful nature of AXE, but needs bottle designs that are easier to use on the go.

The Personas

With a new line of products we had to have new scents! We created these three personas to correspond with three new fragrances within the AXE Next line.

You are what you smell like, so why not smell like money? High rollers like you know that no expense should be spared for first impressions. Pairs well with cashmere and Italian models.

You're a lone wolf who marches to the beat of his own drum. Or whatever. Keep on mixin' it up with AXE Next.

This is it. It's all riding on you. Time to show them what you're made of. Might as well start out smelling like success. You've grown up and so has AXE.


Phase IV The Presentation

The Video

For our final presentation to Unilever, each team made a video to pitch our designs and concepts. My team really wanted to tap into the playful, humorous side of AXE. We pooled all of our resources to secure a great model and voiceover, both of which were fellow students!