Ten years ago, most of us bought our personal hygiene products on an as-needed basis--and with zero thought to how those items looked (to you or to others). A toothbrush wasn't an indicator of personal style; it was just a necessity we used to keep our teeth clean. 

Today, though, increasingly more brands are factoring that Instagram aesthetic into their product development and marketing --  and for good reason. If you have a product people actually want to photograph, post and and perhaps even display proudly on a counter (rather than stashed in a medicine cabinet) its a whole lot easier to create a groundswell of interest--and potentially even virality--around your product. 

Run your own carefully curated, highly visual social media platforms, and you'll create even more visibility for the brand.  

And while it may seem far-fetched for personal hygiene companies to become truly lifestyle brands, it's already happening. These five companies stand out in the crowd and make purchasing everyday "necessities" seem less like a chore and more like a score.

Quip (@getquip)

The biggest deciding factors in buying a toothbrush used to be price, availability in the oral care aisle at the nearest drugstore, and perhaps the dentist's recommendation. Quip has managed to surpass all of that to make its electric toothbrushes the in-demand choice, and its biggest selling point is the design: The toothbrushes are sleek and stylish with color options like gold, silver, and copper metal and fit right into any minimalist, photo-ready bathroom. Quip's own Instagram page intersperses images of the toothbrushes in such bathrooms with ones that have nary a bristle in sight -- but that perfectly fit the minimalist aesthetic and include brief brand mentions, cheeky brushing references, and handy dental advice.

Billie (@billie)

Billie is another brand that has nailed the minimalist look that seems to dominate Instagram these days. The shaving company's razors feature a smooth, streamlined design; and the cream, lotion, and body wash bottles perfectly complement the hero product, pulling all four color options into the large, typographic logo. The brand's Instagram feed further cements the whimsical-meets-retro-meets-chic vibe, with a bright, pale filter overlaying every post -- whether it's of body hair, a razor, or just a dreamy vacation shot.

Care/of ( @careofvitamins)

Anyone can go to the drugstore and buy a bottle of almost any mass-produced vitamin they'd need, likely with the letter largely emblazoned on the front of the not-particularly-pretty bottle. But Care/of provides consumers with something they can't get at a big box store: customization. The personalized vitamin packs arrive in adorable white packages with the customer's name printed right on the front, with a daily (Instagrammable) quote underneath. And if that wasn't enough to make people feel seen, Care/of's own feed extends that vibe with the kind of funny and relatable posts that have followers thinking, "This is so me" and tagging more friends while they're at it.

Beard buddy ( @beardbuddy)

"Instagram-friendly" isn't a one-size-fits-all descriptor, and certainly doesn't only refer to brands that have mastered minimalism, soft filters, and just the right amount of millennial pink. Case in point: Beard Buddy, a quirky men's grooming brand specifically focused on -- you guessed it -- beard products. The company's website states it was "built on the appreciation of good design and a good sense of humor," and that's pretty evident at first glance. The Beard Buddy labels feature its cartoon, side-eye-glancing mascot that basically begs to be photographed; and the brand's Instagram feed has a similarly playful, "we don't take ourselves too seriously" thing going on. While the Beard Buddy account does include some pictures of the product itself; it seems to be more of a general "beard appreciation" page full of memes, inspirational beards (if you will), self-deprecating humor, and all-around entertaining beard content.

Ursa Major ( @ursamajorvt)

Upon first glance at Ursa Major's Instagram page, you might think you've happened upon an aspirational travel blogger. The account is full of the kind of stunning photos you might expect to see in the pages of a top travel magazine; all expertly curated into one cohesive feed. Many of the posts don't even mention skincare, much less the brand that's running the account -- which makes it an easy follow for someone who wants the travel inspiration and doesn't mind a light sprinkling of product pushing. As for the product itself, Ursa Major's packaging fits right into any packing essentials flatlay or adventure snapshot: It's mostly white, with blue and green pops of color at the bottom that evoke the ocean -- or is that just the genius of the brand's water-centric Instagram feed working its magic on me?

Published on: Sep 13, 2018