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Bold color and pattern is at the core of Los Angeles-based brand NCLA’s line of trend-driven nail lacquers and wraps. So when it came time for a rebrand, founder and chief executive officer Elin Dannerstedt wanted the product and brand messaging to reflect that.

In October, NCLA will re-issue its signature nail lacquers and vitamin-infused treatments in new bottles with baby-pink caps and logos, and will launch on its web site a campaign called Personality First, featuring real-life L.A. women and men — not models — who love to do their own nails.

“It’s becoming harder to stand out when every [nail brand] looks the same — clear bottles and black caps,” said Dannerstedt. “I’ve always wanted to differentiate us, to stand out, to be able to speak to everyone, all while capturing NCLA’s true attitude and essence.”

The redesigned bottle includes functional improvements to the brush and cap.

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Creative director Rory Rockmore chimed in: “Our brand has been selling the L.A. lifestyle for the last seven years, so this campaign focuses on people who actually live in L.A. and care about their nails, versus the beautiful models we usually use [in brand campaigns]. They can speak openly and honestly about what their nails mean to them and how it ties into their personality, how they’re using nail color and art to express themselves.

Using real people instead of models was important to the brand.

“Their stories are more important, more interesting, more relatable and quite frankly more fun,” said Rockmore. 

“Our redesign bottles up our true personality — the campaign prioritizes each person’s story and individuality, making your guys’ story just as important as ours,” added Dannerstedt.

With the rebranding also comes a new tagline, inspired by the 2004 Tina Fey-directed film, “Mean Girls” — “Your nails are like, really pretty.” Dannerstedt said the tagline is meant to reflect the irreverent downtown L.A.-girl attitude she’s going for with NCLA.

NCLA is sold in just under 1,000 global doors and in about 150 high-end salons. Aside from shopncla.com, it is sold on revolve.com, Detox Market, Ricky’s in New York and in Forever 21’s new Riley Rose stores. It is also sold on sephora.sg, the retailer’s Singaporean e-commerce site.

Dannerstedt said a priority for the brand going forward will be expanding the professional side of the business.