Branding in the bathtub

By Alexandra Pickel | June 27, 2016

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When a friend of mine bought a set of Crayola bath toys for my daughter, I was pretty psyched.


Of course we already had a seemingly identical set of bath squirters lying around the house, but these were going to be different… somehow. They were made by Crayola, and I was convinced they were special in some hidden way.


My family didn’t understand — they couldn’t figure out why I was scrutinizing the packaging, or why I was studying the toys so closely. “They’re just animals that float and squirt water, Alex,” they told me.

But I knew they were wrong. There had to be something about this product that tied into color — it was Crayola after all.

Sure enough, I found the line I was looking for on the package: Watch for the color-changing stripes. It was the key factor that made these bath squirters different.

It’s surprising how often we get asked the question “what do you mean by brand?” And Crayola provides a perfect example.

Crayola has so closely associated itself with color that you just know any product they produce will be defined by the colors it makes, identifies, or becomes. It seems obvious, but this unwavering focus allows them to extend the brand beyond core products like crayons and markers.

The tie is so strong that, even when moving into the market of rubber bath toys, the user’s colorful expectations persist. How many brands can boast this kind of achievement?

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A brand is so much more than a logo or even its visual identity. It’s also the promises, explicit and inherent, that brand has made to users. “This product is all about color” may not be an impressive statement — but the fact that it can go unstated and still be conveyed… that’s impressive.