The Heat is On
Mentholatum's WellPatch undergoes a visual-and strategic-repositioning.The story: Muscle pain sufferers want fast relief without the mess and hassle of ointments and rubs. Mentholatum Corp., a global health and wellness company, introduced the technology of pain relief patches in the late 1990s with Mentholatum Pain Patch. The brand was restaged under the WellPatch brand in 2003 and includes a line of patches and warming pads available in a variety of styles to treat pain ranging from arthritis to muscle aches and even migraine.
The goal: Though Mentholatum takes credit for introducing the technology, increased competition in the category created the need for a redesign. “We wanted to modernize and build attraction at shelf, where many purchase decisions are made,” says Mike Vendura, senior brand manager, healthcare. “We needed a new look that would allow WellPatch to stand out, while reinforcing and speaking to the innovation and efficacy of our products.”
The challenge: In addition to a visual refresh, the brand also made a strategic decision to create a clearer link between its topical pain relief patches and its Deep Heating brand of pain relieving rubs, which enjoys a strong equity and awareness.
The solution: Brand and design consultancy Dragon Rouge began the project by conducting quantitative research with consumers. The team found that, as Mentholatum had suspected, the Deep Heating brand did spark awareness and communicate the product’s intended benefits. “This gave us the opportunity to over-brand WellPatch with Deep Heating,” explains Dragon Rouge president Eric Zeitoun.
Designers first identified the design cues that would best communicate the technical and innovative warming/cooling benefit of the pain relief pad. Then, breaking with traditional visual cues in the category, a silver metallic package was selected. “We chose silver in a category dominated by red and blue as a way to communicate energy and modernity and enhance the technical efficacy of the product,” explains Zeitoun.
In contrast, and to communicate comfort from the Deep Heating benefits, warm waves of color-that also call out each product’s specific benefits-were added as design elements. A color-coding system (green for backache relief, orange for heat relief and red for arthritis relief) works hand-in-hand with pictograms to create a simple and clear graphic expression of the product and its benefits.
The logo was also redesigned to modernize and enhance the value perception of the brand. A white clear space around the logotype gives it more impact while the yellow and red Deep Heating wave band in a new “V” shape communicates the endorsement of WellPatch by Deep Heating.
The results: Early feedback from retailers has been positive, says Mentholatum’s Vendura: “They are excited by the new look because there’s nothing like it on the shelf.”