When I first held the two prototypes for help in my hands a number of weeks ago I wasn’t blown away with the packaging. I was instantly comparing it in my head w/ Target ClearRx. It was probably not a fair comparison as there’s a lot more information considerations and systems at play with Target then with help. I also thought that there wasn’t enough of a unique visual on the typographic side. If someone else stole/knocked off the idea with a me too product I wondered if help looked unique enough. Could they sustain a number of competitors going with a similar clean aesthetic. A simple branding exercise I like to refer back to is if you were to place your thumb over the logo – could you still tell what brand it is? This is always a challenge with new companies as no one knows who they are – but you also need to hope that at some point the visual points will help trigger that memory. While the shape of the packaging is unique and one of the best features that’s bit hard to transfer to other media types.
But when I came across two different sites that mentioned help I decided to challenge some of my first branding assumptions. PSFK interviewed the founder while the blog i am bella mentions help too. The one thing I didn’t originally do was go to the help website www.helpineedhelp.com. The conversational tone and soft pitch reminded me of another extremely successful business called Swich. Both brands come off as human while smart and not constrained which helps make them different. The idea and language create as an interesting brand. I luv their idea on selling shirts. Make your own message with help. They also have some smart ideas on the issue of being bored. So the question I ask myself is that if I place my thumb over the logo and can’t tell where it came from, yet on the flip side I’m now likely more to remember the brand b/c of the site’s conversational tone is it going to be a success? I hope so – there’s a lot of potential with other packaged product that could use a tonal adjustment.
Noticed today (04/12/2008) that MoCo Loco has a post too
Noticed tonight (04/12/2008) that Cool Hunting has a post too