For bringing a human touch to a sterile category
"We wanted to create a brand that brings design and human factors and love and emotion to everyday things."
- Craig Dubitsky, Founder
Like method before them, hello products are a brilliant example of a brand bringing a 'real and human' character to a category where the main players have historically been obsessed with product performance and germ kill.
Seeing an opportunity to breakthrough the 'sameness' of a category dominated by a few big brands, and applying some of the lessons from his experience at EOS Skincare, Help Remedies and method, hello founder Craig Dubitsky set out in 2013 to bring a sense of friendliness and fun to the oralcare aisle. The brand projects this sense of fun and accessibility through their vibrant packaging and less harsh, ‘naturally friendly’ flavour combinations. The formulas themselves are just as effective as the market leaders whilst avoiding the use of alcohol, triclosan and artificial sweeteners - you can even drink the mouthwash.
As we know, actions speak louder than words, and the 'friendly' tone extends to more than just their website copy - everything about the hello brand is accessible and open. To prove it CEO Craig's skype address is clearly displayed on the website, so if you've got a question, he's happy to be the person who answers it.
"If I’m not in a meeting or right in the middle of something, I pick up. I’ve had to tell a couple of people to put their shirt on…it’s not some software that picks up, it’s me, it’s just me.”
And the friendly approach is striking a chord with both buyers and consumers - hello can now be found in in over 17,000 stores across the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland and Norway and we expect to see further growth. The strength of hello's proposition is, as Dubitsky puts it, that they "play on an emotional playing field" - they may have started in oralcare but the opportunities to bring the 'friendly' brand to other personal care or pharma categories is huge.
Of course, when a challenger enters with a new approach to shake up a category it forges a path for others in its wake - so as Dollar Shave Club's irreverent maverick preceded Harry's Shave and Shave Select, we're beginning to see other brands emerging in oralcare to compete with hello. Less 'real and human' and more 'next generation', new start-up Quip, for example, has a sleeker and more formal design aesthetic and adopts the direct to consumer subscription model rather than vying for space on the shelf. It'll be interesting to track if there's room for two challengers in this space, and if either brand can continue to gain some of the goliaths' share rather than cannibalising each other.
We're rooting for both.
- The Chicago Tribune
- The Challenger Project
Helen is eatbigfish's chief cynic, secret idealist and reluctant entrepreneur. She can mostly be found drinking wine and eating crisps in East London pubs.