Healthcare branding case study: Help Remedies

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 11.30.59 AMClose your eyes. Picture yourself, not feeling well, browsing the “remedies” aisle of your drug store.  As if you don’t feel bad enough already, do you now feel worse?

Help Remedies (whose URL is helpIneedhelp.com; but temporarily down pending a sale to another owner) can ease your pain. In contrast to shelves full of confusing packaging and obscure jargon, they’re a “simple” healthcare products company that sells an assortment of single-ingredient over-the-counter medications.

I’ve meant to write about the company for some time now. Not only because we specialize in healthcare and consumer health and wellness, but because Help is a role model for brilliant healthcare branding. Consider how the strategic and tactical elements below come together to create a compelling, seamless, brilliant brand experience:

1. Declaration: they lead front and center with a simple, human and approachable purpose that transcends the functionality of their products. No talk of what goes into their products, the efficacy of their products, or the technology behind their products. Rather, a refreshingly simple statement of what they (and their target audience) stand for, and stand against. You’d expect this from a company that goes by the very simplistic name of Help® Remedies – and they deliver.

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2. Differentiation: There’s no mistaking this brand for others. Because they’re unlike any other OTC brand in the marketplace. Everything they do is simple and less. And it’s not just a point of difference, but a point of difference that really matters to their customers. From their simple corporate brand name, simple packaging, simple product names, simple single-dosage product, simple and sometimes “quirky” messaging, through to their clean and intuitive website and distribution strategy (a mix of traditional retail and hotels and bars [where their audiences are]) – this brand is tight in its execution.

3. Know-How: Claims are easy to make. Backing them up is tougher. But our System 2 brain (that operates consciously to rationalize our System 1 choices) requires proof that a particular brand knows what it’s doing. Know-how can be earned in different ways, and will take different forms depending on the category. For Help, it’s the rational payoff of why “Less” is more and is the best possible solution for its target customer’s needs. Less drugs, dyes, confusion, waste…in the language of their customers.


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4. Emotional Pull: Help understands its customers. The brand creates an instinctive attraction that goes beyond considered, rational reasons for purchase through its simple, genuine, quirky, no bull approach. Beyond selling an OTC product, they’re selling their viewpoint on the category.

5. Alignment: all brand touch points deliver a consistent look, messaging and emotion. Which means everything contributes to building intended brand meaning. And this alignment also maximizes value across all marketing.

6. Shoppability: doesn’t get much easier, whether shopping one product or shopping across the portfolio of single symptom products. In a category fraught with too many product variations, Help eases the pain of product selection.
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7. Dynamism: the brand doesn’t rest on its laurels. It continues to surprise and delight its audiences, to keep them interested and engaged. Consider the different mock problems on their website like “help, I am lonely” or the pop-up “help shop” that opened for a time in the nation’s capital…

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You might now be wondering about sales of Help. Truth is, they’ll never be able to compete with the likes of a Johnson & Johnson. But that’s not their strategy. They’re targeting a younger consumer who is attracted to stripped down, more human, more hip and a touch of humor. For this audience, their branding is right on the mark.

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Brilliant branding not only powers your business today, but provides the momentum to take today’s success forward into the future. It starts by differentiating your brand by critically and imaginatively finding the sweet spot of:

1. Your brand’s belief and purpose
2. Your best potential audience(s) attitudes, needs and behaviors
3. Competitive points of parity and points of difference
4. Your organizational culture and strengths

It then comes down to pushing, pulling and aligning the seven characteristics above.

To pull more people towards your brand, contact Rick Zaniboni at Trajectory.