It’s rare that we find a company that understands what its brand language can do. Maybe that’s why, when we encounter it, it feels enchanting.
I had that experience walking through a Target store. I was cutting through the aisle back near the pharmacy when I was stopped by a display for bandages. No, really. Bandages. The brand that stopped me was Welly. Welly exists in a tough category. The way most people describe its product is by using the trademark of the segment’s biggest player — Band-Aid. In fact, it’s hard to describe exactly what you’re talking about without calling it a Band-Aid. It’s tough to compete when your competitor’s name has achieved that kind of ubiquity.
But Welly has found a way to stand out. And the brand language has much to do with that.
Language = surprise + delight
The Welly products sport tasteful colors and whimsical designs. Other products in the category have used playful designs in the past. But those have felt like an attempt to simply be kid-oriented. Welly, too, has playful products for kids, but the overall design makes it feel more like a fashion item meant to relate to the people who actually pay for the bandages — the parents.
The design slowed me down on my trip down the aisle, but it was the language that won me over. Here’s what I mean. The kids’ bandages were called ‘hero badges’. Anyone with kids would smile at that. You know what’s it like to patch up a skinned knee or elbow. And after you had finished, telling them how brave they were. Of course that bandage is a hero badge.
On the website, Welly calls them Bravery Badges as well. Its first aid tins are called Human Repair Kits. Or Superhero Supplies. Then there are the Dressings For Distress and Oops Equipment.
The Welly name itself is both relevant (communicating wellness) and accessible (the ‘y’ on the end makes it feel friendly). The language expands these brand qualities. It’s this kind of approach to brand language that helps a brand rise above in a commodity category. Not only creating distinction, but delivering the surprise and delight that every brand wishes for. The surprise and delight that literally can stop someone in their tracks.
Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.
Originally published at https://www.dansalva.com on February 27, 2020.