Nick Symmonds and Hanson Dodge have been strategic partners ever since they joined forces to fight for athletes' rights during the 2012 Summer Olympics — a partnership that began when Hanson Dodge won the Olympic runner’s eBay auction for ad space on his arm. So when Symmonds, who has a background in biochemistry, needed an agency to help him turn his latest entrepreneurial idea — a caffeinated chewing gum for athletes — into a full-fledged brand, Hanson Dodge answered the call.
The first step was creating a name and tagline for the product that would resonate with the target audience — runners, athletes and active consumers looking for a competitive edge and a better way to consume caffeine, the most popular (and legal) performance enhancing drug. The product also needed to stand out in a crowded marketplace filled with buzzy, over-the-top energy-product brands. After extensive market, competitor and consumer research, Run Gum, “the smarter caffeine kick,” was born.
To bring the brand to life, Hanson Dodge worked with Symmonds to create a logo, color scheme and packaging for the gum’s original two flavors, Mint and Fruit. The packages featured the new logo, a silhouette of a runner (Symmonds, of course) and to-the-point messaging about the product’s benefits, nutritional value and instructions. The package was designed to be simple and clean, but bold, to stand out from the competition.
With the new logo, tagline, brand platform and packaging in place, Run Gum launched in October 2014 to a national audience. One year following the launch, Run Gum was being sold in more than 100 specialty running stores across the country, as well as a growing number of chiropractic offices and convenience stores. And to bring things full circle, Symmonds showcased the Run Gum logo on his arms when he competed in the U.S. Track & Field Championships in 2015, harkening back to the temporary Hanson Dodge tattoo where it all began.