Friday, May 12, 2017

Emotional Innovation--Hello's Founder Charms the Crowd

Emotional Innovation
Craig Dubitsky, Friendly Founder, Hello Products

Hello is disrupting a $30b daily use global category by asking the right questions and delivering delight.

Hello loves big companies and is in awe of big companies; however, Hello is tiny.

Craig started with Method when it was just the two founders, Adam and Eric. Everyone told them “it will never work. It’s a mature category, etc.” They were mixing product concepts in their bathroom.

Then he helped launch Boots in the U.S. Worked with Eos. They did focus groups, which panned the concept. “Luckily, we didn’t listen to them. One woman claimed it looked like ‘a third testicle.’”

“Cultural Currency is figuring out what people want before they know they want it, and I learned this lesson from the Bay City Rollers because my father received a copy six months before it was released because he was the graphic designer for the album cover,” he says.

Craig’s manta is Always. Dream. Design. He claims to be geared this way, non-stop. If you were in the session, you’d believe him.

“Most things suck, so there is so much blue sky.”

His advice: Fall in love with the problem. “Fall in love with the problem, not one possible solution. We can make it better. Solutions are never satisfactory. We are never done. Look for the cracks in the category.”

“We write narratives through our stuff.” As people we identify with our stuff, so why not see “everything as art.”

For Hello the big idea was Make Personal Care Personal, and Human. And friendly. This insight has driven the venture. More so than striving to fit a segment like natural or new. “People have B.S. meters.”

“The world of Oral Care wasn’t friendly or genuine at all,” Craig says. The large CPG brands have brainwashed the public to “kill, eliminate, and destroy germs, discoloration, and smells … this is the same theme as Rambo.”

So, where was the fun? The form? The function? Even with colors, it was a sea of red and blue. What about all the other colors?

Every category is being redesign. Don’t let your category be left behind. Not much was happening in Oral Care. The bar was really low.

Fear and shame were the drivers in the category. “The dentist will drill, fill, and bill you; you won’t get the job if your teeth aren’t white, etc.”

The question was, “what is the friendliest word in the world?” It was Hello. We trademarked Hello around the world. No one had done it.

Everything that goes in your mouth should be natural and delicious—not fearful and shaming. We stove to be “everyday awesome.”

Let’s “rethink the sink.” We won the top three international design awards—and we are 11 people and two dogs. Our copy reads “like a friend would talk to you.”

“We explain what every ingredient does on the package—that’s friendly.”

Everyone has a network, provide an experience and aim for a return on experience. “UX is everything.”

Michael Graber is the managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an insight, innovation, and strategy firm based in Memphis, TN, and the author of Going Electric. Visit

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