Click through the gallery to the left to view the Dom prototype.

Background

The CEO of the Chesapeake Region of the American Red Cross approached us to solve three specific problems: 

  1. Reduced financial contribution
  2. Reduced blood donation
  3. Reduced volunteerism

In each of these areas, ARC has competitors. This is a hard concept for many people in the for-profit business world to understand--to think of non-profits as real businesses (sometimes, it's difficult for the people in the non-profits as well). Furthermore, our research into the brand standards and mission of the American Red Cross revealed other unmet community needs.

 

HMW (Identifying the Real Problem)

Frankly, few people we interviewed (and we interviewed a lot of people) even understood what the ARC does. Those who did have some sort of relationship with the Red Cross had grown irritated with ARC PR. So, we clarified our goal. By asing "why?" we eventually arrived at our "How might we..." statement. 

It became apparent that the personal anchor to the American Red Cross was missing. Without this anchor, individuals had no language to speak about the ARC to one another. Our "Theory of Change" began with a "magic box" that would increase the relevance of the American Red Cross to the individual.

Working backward to find the root cause: Dom provides a physical anchor to connect the individual to the American Red Cross. It provides a language with which to speak about preparedness in our communities. Dom increases the relevance of the ARC in people's lives and eschews scare tactics for empowerment. It is this affirmative relevance that leads to increased monetary/blood donation and volunteerism.

Working backward to find the root cause: Dom provides a physical anchor to connect the individual to the American Red Cross. It provides a language with which to speak about preparedness in our communities. Dom increases the relevance of the ARC in people's lives and eschews scare tactics for empowerment. It is this affirmative relevance that leads to increased monetary/blood donation and volunteerism.


An Awareness Campaign Disguised as a Product

Dom your "just-in-case-place"

Dom your "just-in-case-place"

Dom is more than a first-aid kit. It is a "preparedness kit." Modular in nature, the final Dom unit is unique to each consumer. Inside Dom are up to 16 "Pods" attached to Dom magnetically. The easiest way to understand Pods is as a new sales channel for different products. Immediately, certain products such as Ibuprofen or bandages come to mind. However, the products that one desires in his Dom are as diverse as is his definition of "preparedness." 

pod.png

The very question "What would I put in my Dom?" begs the question "What do you put in yours?" Dom provides communities for an affirmative language with which to speak about preparedness. It does all of this under the brand of the American Red Cross.

 

A Startup Design Mentality

A) A strategy canvas informs a startup where to focus its efforts.

A) A strategy canvas informs a startup where to focus its efforts.

B) 2x2 matrices are used here to understand the competitive environment with regard to the ARC brand standards.

B) 2x2 matrices are used here to understand the competitive environment with regard to the ARC brand standards.

C) 2x2 matrices are used here to test the efficacy of our Theory of Change.

C) 2x2 matrices are used here to test the efficacy of our Theory of Change.

...And it Makes Money

The "Standard Model" describes a structure where ARC directs production of Dom and starter Pods itself (i.e., financing, management, etc.).

The "Standard Model" describes a structure where ARC directs production of Dom and starter Pods itself (i.e., financing, management, etc.).

A brand-licensing structure produces revenue through royalties. A good corporate partner is required and creative control of the product is reduced.

A brand-licensing structure produces revenue through royalties. A good corporate partner is required and creative control of the product is reduced.

 

Developing the Dom concept for the American Red Cross was a creative thrill and a privilege, and I owe them so many thanks for the opportunity to work with them. I must also credit my amazing teammates: Eric Bielby, Mark Coughlin, Brian Gerardo, Molly Needelman, Kyle Peppers, and Clark Undem--the best creative group I have ever worked with. When your team is this skilled and this passionate, great results are inevitable.