Hip Help

brand-as-business bit:  While perusing the aisles at Target awhile back, I stumbled across these really great packages of healthcare products and fell in love:

I was so pleased to read the story behind such an ingenious brand in Businessweek.   (Be sure to check out the sidebar on the playbook of gimmicks used in most drug commercials – it’s pretty humorous.)

Help Remedies has turned drug marketing on its head:

  • The brand voice is clear and friendly, selling “as though it was coming from a friend, not a doctor in a lab coat—or an actor playing one.
  • Their target is “people in their 20s and 30s who are largely ignored by the big brands. That’s why, in addition to pharmacies and grocery stores, Help can be found at high-profile conferences [like TED] and in the minibars of Morgans Hotels.
  • They use humor:  “‘If you try to maintain a tone of science and seriousness, it’s really alienating,’ says [co-founder Nathan Frank.] On the back of Help’s nausea medicine, the package jokes about how the pills are flavorless.  There are dozens of mock problems on their website… each of which links to a tongue-in-cheek solution.”

But what most distinguishes Help is that they are in drug category in the first place:  “Everybody in branding starts snack food and beverage businesses,” says [co-founder Richard Fine.] “They chase after these categories where there’s already a lot of brands…there’s 8,000 small beauty brands out there. In pharmaceuticals, you have the big companies, and then you have us.

Love the zag!

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