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Today, Rodan + Fields is a billion-dollar beauty brand.  We were there at its inception.  Rodan + Fields Dermatologists lives under the radar of an entire beauty industry, yet its sales surpass all the well-knowns.  While brands can evolve, this one has only had a nip and tuck here, and there in nuance only.  All its brand principles and underpinnings from its origins remain intact and have withstood the test of time.

Building a better mousetrap.

build a better mousetrap.  
The Rodan + Fields story began mid-spring some years ago when Drs. Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields and I sat around Katie’s kitchen table in the Bay area.  As creators of Proactiv, the infamous acne brand sold direct-to-consumer via infomercial, the doctors felt they had more work to do to; more lives to change; more skin problems to solve.  They wanted to create a skincare company, reinforcing their belief in regimens, and do so under their own new moniker, Rodan & Fields.

 

Considering the conversation that day, and being a billion-dollar business today, the doctors would, no doubt, categorize their company as a ‘wildest dream’ come true.  And we’d characterize it as one of our greatest success stories that makes us very proud.

 

Today’s evolved Rodan + Fields.

Branding challenges.

branding challenge 1:  
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicated Products are Regulated.
Ideating with a clean slate is something we do well, but OTC medicated brands are complicated, filled with a lot of hurdles in terms of FDA regulatory requirements, warnings, active, non-active ingredient listings, all of which challenge brand vernacular, naming, navigation and aesthetics.

 

branding challenge 2:  
Regimens.
 Rodan + Fields point of difference was not just in its efficacious pharmacy-grade ingredient formulas, but also its methodology.  The doctors believe regimens deliver results, as Proactiv proved, and the path to great skin lies in their unique multi-med approach, where one step in a regimen builds on the next.  With compliance a challenge, we knew if a consumer was given the option to cherry-pick their steps, and buy individually packaged products, proper treatment would be unlikely.  And yet, we didn’t want to be another box on a shelf full of tubes and bottles that confused a consumer.

 

Rodan + Fields beginnings.

If you can’t fix it, feature it. 

if you can’t fix it, feature it.
1. Conceptual inspiration originated from happenstance–picking up a prescription at the pharmacy one day.  It was in a white bag with the drug information stapled to it.  That led to our patented packaging system that mimicked a ‘medically associated’ experience, done upscale.  We used the front of the package as a messaging billboard, and the back had ample room for branding, storytelling, and the required information of each OTC product inside.
2. Cue clinical, use premium packaging, present a luxurious, modern, timeless aesthetic. Be elegant enough to live outside medicine cabinets and not shamefully placed in drawers.

3. Create a brand vernacular/naming system that focused on the desired skin outcome by regimen, and the product action by SKU.  You don’t have to shout “Hey, in case you didn’t know, you have ACNE!”
4. Brand and navigate regimens with a unique, vibrant, spirited, saturated color palette, untraditional for serious skin care.
5. Share component look, style where possible for a uniform approach.  Boldly number each step on the primary packaging to reinforce the regimen philosophy, help with compliance, and theoretically, not require reading.