Over the last few years, self-care has been a big buzzword – with the pandemic really bringing to light the importance of how you care for yourself daily and not just through daily hygiene like brushing your teeth or taking a shower but taking care of your mental health too. Stressors multiplied overnight in early 2020 – events came to a halt, and many people lost their jobs. We faced an uncertainty that many of us hadn’t seen before. Taking care of your mental health grew to be a much larger conversation, and topics like mindfulness became much more prominent. It became more acceptable to splurge on things that make you feel good, like a nice-smelling candle, some body lotion, or some bubble bath.
HPG’s newest brand, Mixie, focuses on bringing self-care and personal care items to the promotional products industry in a way that the market hasn’t quite seen before. Purchased by HPG in 2020 and based in Minnesota, the brand has gone through a big shift over the last couple of years. I sat down with Trina Bicknell, CRO of HPG Brands, to talk about their newest brand and the uniqueness that it brings to the promotional products industry.
When they first acquired Mixie, then called Webb, they knew they had something special. Webb had decades of experience in their signature craft. But, they had more products in their inventory than just personal care. Transitioning those non-personal items to their other brands, Beacon and Best, allowed the company to focus and invest in the health and wellness category, which comes across clearly in their new rebrand of Mixie.
The rebrand included a stylistic approach to how they present and photograph each one of their products, bringing them to life in a way that at least I have never seen in the promotional products industry. Their approach is reminiscent of millennial-driven brands like Glossier, Target, and Hers. They’ve ditched the plain white background and instead have brought in bright pastels and neons with a heavy drop shadow to bring their products to life in a more eyecatching way.
I was already excited to talk to Trina about Mixie for their marketing, but her excitement for the brand increased my excitement tenfold!
You see, what makes Mixie such a stand-out in the industry is their ability to create custom scents and flavors. They can make any scent you could think of. Want it to smell like The Mandalorian’s Razor Crest? Or how about the Amazon rainforests of Brazil? Or maybe you want your lotion to smell like burnt popcorn (why, though?). They can make it happen. Trina tells me they have any scented oil that you can think of, and if a customer wants to make a hand sanitizer that smells like grandma’s Thanksgiving dinner, they’ll work with that customer until they get the scent precisely right. From there, they can put that scent in a variety of products, from lotions to lip balms, hand sanitizer, and more.
When it comes to creative and noteworthy marketing – this fits the bill. They recently developed a line of products for a popular fast food company that smells like cheese curds! That’s definitely a way to get people talking on social media. With other brands doing things like Swedish meatball scented candles or curly fry vodka, this type of marketing isn’t going away. Honestly, I kind of hope it doesn’t because it’s a really fun way to get consumers to engage with a brand in a more nontraditional way – and Mixie is primed to help you do that!
Another benefit of their scents is their mixability. Say you have cherry blossom scented hand sanitizer, and your friend has a lemon scent. You two could mix your hand sanitizers to create a really nice new scent – and that’s just what they demonstrated at The PPAI Expo in Vegas last month. They invited attendees to come up and get some hand sanitizer from their hand sanitizer wall (how smart and cool!) and had them mix them together in their hands. Trina said it was a massive success, and they had a ton of fun with their attendees.
In these interviews, I always like to ask what they’re doing for social responsibility and sustainability – I believe that we need to take care of our planet and HPG has the same views. Trina told me that they’re focusing on becoming ultimately carbon neutral. They’re proud that the majority of Mixie’s products are made and bottled in the United States, which provides jobs and helps cut back on emissions created by cargo ships.
HPG has big plans for the future of Mixie, too – by expanding their already highly-customizable kits line. Gone are the days of sitting around stuffing goodie bags to hand out at an event. With Mixie, customers can choose from a pre-curated kit or curate their own – choosing everything from the bag down to the products – and yes, the scents – that they want. Trina mentioned specifically their new dental kit, which I can’t wait to see. No more boring goodie bags from the dentist that get left in your car for six months!
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to have to hunt down Mixie lotion – whether it’s the cheese curd scented one or something else! What HPG is doing with the Mixie brand is definitely something to watch as they continue to bring fresh innovation and creativity to the promotional products industry, all the while still maintaining their shipping standard of three to five business days and making sure that their customer experience lives up to HPG’s award-winning service.
If you’re curious about Mixie (SAGE# 63952) and all they have to offer, you can check out their website here.