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Consumer Success Stories

We believe true innovation is the result of applying creativity, insight and teamwork to meet the functional and emotional needs of consumers. We believe in helping companies create and sustain a culture of innovation. The HLB Design Strategy practice focuses on helping companies innovate through knowledge-building and opportunity definition. We then create product, service and experience strategies that envision a profitable future.


ROAN Tools

Central Pet & Garden



The First Years



Industrial Case Study: Redspur

Consumer Success Story:  ROAN Tools

ROAN Tools with an intent focus on improving job site safety and efficiency, has set its sights on developing a new circular saw solution aimed at greatly reducing messy and harmful dust without requiring the use of additional cumbersome equipment. The ultimate goal was to increase user safety without interfering with the cutting procedure or adding equipment to the cutting environment. Diverse environmental factors and user requirements represented a challenge for creating a solution addressing the needs of construction professionals across the country.  ROAN Tools chose HLB, LLC as their research, design, engineering, and development partner for their revolutionary undertaking.

HLB with the direction of ROAN Tools immediately set out to identify user work environment issues, processes, concerns, and needs. HLB researchers submersed themselves within the world of the user and was able to quickly identify that the desired solution must not require the use of a respirator or additional vacuum devices. Respirators were seen as uncomfortable and attachable vacuum hoses greatly restricted motion and cut quality. Furthermore, given the demanding working environment the device must be durable and lightweight.

Armed with extensive field research findings, HLB designers and engineers embarked on integrating user needs with the added benefit of dust collection into a single viable solution. The result is the ROAN 7.25" Dust Collecting Circular Saw, a revolutionary patent pending dust collecting saw. Innovatively generating a cyclonic effect by harnessing the existing airflow produced by traditional circular saw blades is the secret to successfully capturing dust and debris. This organic approach is achieved without the need of a secondary vacuum and hose. Furthermore, utilizing strong lightweight materials minimizes weight ensuring ease of operation and durability. Additional filtration technology enables the containment and easy disposal of particulate matter in a safe and easy manner. As a result the operator is provided a safer, cleaner, and effective working environment with reduced exposure to harmful and dirty dust and debris. An added benefit of dust reduction is improved job site efficiency enabling increased focus on production with less time required for clean-up. Ultimately this results in improved job profitability for the contractor or user, lower costs for the property owner or manager, and overall improved customer satisfaction.

There is a growing awareness and interest in promoting and utilizing construction methods focused on energy efficiency, renewable resources, and worker safety. For example, OSHA continues to tighten regulations concerning exposure to harmful dust particulate. Currently OSHA is cutting the construction industries permissible exposure to silica dust generated from cutting concrete and concrete related building materials from 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. ROAN Tools 7.25" Dust Collecting Circular Saw is at the forefront of providing saw technology promoting worker safety and cost effectively enabling the industry to meet OSHA requirements. “Testing has shown that the ROAN 7.25" saw's ability to contain harmful dust already meets the new OSHA requirements,” said Matthew Spencer, ROAN Tools Director of Innovation. Matthew went on to say, “We are thrilled to provide a tool that promotes worker safety and workplace efficiency without hindering ease of use and production.”

For more information on this case study, drop us a line.

Medical Case Study: Central Garden & Pet

Consumer Success Story: Central Garden & Pet

Central Garden & Pet Company, a leading innovator, marketer and producer of quality branded products for the lawn & garden and pet supplies markets, wanted to differentiate its ADAMS™ Spot On® topical flea and tick products from the rest of the pack. Limited ways to communicate formula benefits and nearly identical delivery methods created a unique challenge for communicating their value proposition. Preliminary findings identified the application experience as a potential area for providing greater value above and beyond competing brands. Central Garden & Pet partnered with HLB to research unmet consumer needs, design an innovative solution, and develop a market viable product.

The collaborative team of HLB and Central Garden & Pet listened to and observed pet owners to gain a better understanding of issues and dissatisfiers when applying traditional topical flea and tick treatments to their pets. It was quickly learned that current application methods were messy, resulting in more of the oily product residing on pet owners hands and pets hair rather than where it belonged, on their dog's or cat's skin. Armed with a clear understanding of the problem, customer needs were translated into a commonsense, ergonomic design. Through continuous customer feedback and usability testing, HLB's designers created the Smart Shield™ Applicator.

The Smart Shield™ Applicator provides a more confident and secure method for delivering ADAMS Spot On® flea and tick treatment. The new patent pending approach keeps pet owners hands clean and parts the pet's hair enabling even amounts of product to be applied directly to the skin. This greatly improves the effectiveness of the product to help keep the pet and home free from fleas and ticks.

Within 8 months of the February 2012 product launch, Central Garden & Pet sold over 2.2 million units of the Smart Shield™ applicator. "It is often estimated that only 10% of new consumer products survive past year one. This ground-breaking new applicator is the first of its kind and has delivered a valued market differentiator resulting in strong sales for 2012. It will continue to be a significant part of our 2013 sales strategy," said Steve LeVeau, Director of Marketing - Animal Health for Central Garden & Pet. Additionally, the American Business Awards (ABA) awarded the Smart Shield™ Applicator a 2012 Silver Stevie Award within the Consumer Product Industry category. Together, HLB and Central Garden & Pet directly responded to customer needs driving increased market share, revenue, and ROI.

For more information on this case study, drop us a line.

Medical Case Study: Dove

Consumer Success Story: Dove

When Dove set out to enhance their competitive position in the beauty and skin care market, they knew they had significant brand equity and an exceptional product. But they also knew that the competitive category was largely undifferentiated at the point-of-sale retail place. So they asked HLB to help.

Through our discovery process, we found that women were looking for customized, department store consultations within the mass retail environment. HLB then set about helping Dove make a splash at the critical point-of-sale location.

The result was a multi-tiered, in-store evaluation toolset that provided tailored skin-care advice along with the appropriate Dove product solutions. These included a shelf-mounted mirror and high-end Dove kiosk.

The Dove Mirror, an easy-to-use skin assessment tool, asks five simple skin questions and recommends a customized skin care regime. HLB created the hardware, software and packaging solutions for both the mirror and kiosks. We created a mirror that provides feedback for the shelf-mounted POP devices and explored various types of light sources that would allow images of product to appear on its surface.

Positioned near the skin care aisle in retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, the Dove Kiosk provides a sophisticated assessment tool with an enhanced "Sun Damage" evaluation. The tool takes a photograph of the customers' skin, analyzes its health, assesses sun damage, prints out a regime that's "right for her". We examined power sources and power management issue to ensure service-free reliability.

The award-winning Dove mirror and kiosk helped Dove reinvent the point of purchase experience and gain an audience with savvy women looking for quality skin-care in drug and mass retail outlets. The Dove mirror has been honored with the Design of the Times Distinction, by the In-Store Marketing Institute.

For more information on this case study, drop us a line.

Medical Case Study: First Years

Consumer Success Story: The First Years

The First Years Company was looking to create and introduce the most innovative baby care products on the market. So they asked HLB to transform utilitarian health and grooming tools into a ground-breaking line of exceptional baby care products.

Babies have tiny fingers, toes and teeth, all of which require delicate care. The precision required for trimming baby's nails or brushing their teeth, for example, is a source of anxiety, especially for first-time parents.

Through our iterative process of rapid envisioning, experiential prototyping, and collaborative assessment, we developed a number of concepts to address adult and infant ergonomics for a suite of baby care products. We translated adult-scale utility into baby-scale comfort. We created large, easy-to-maneuver grips to hold instruments steady, magnifying lenses to see tiny fingernails and oversized digital readouts on thermometers.

We made cleaning up more fun by consolidating bath-time needs into an All-in-one Brush for use with one hand, keeping the other free to secure and comfort baby. The built-in reservoir lets mom apply soapy water with a body brush or cradle cap brush. A three-in-one gum and toothbrush set helps parents provide consistent mouth care throughout early developmental stages with graduating attachments that gently clean gums, sooth teething pain and brush baby's first teeth.

The First Years' Comfort Care line received an Industrial Design Excellence Award and contributed to a 6% increase in sales. The Comfort Care line is now an officially licensed product of the American Red Cross.

For more information on this case study, drop us a line.

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