Form Factors and Tactile Feedback

When Listerine began marketing their pocket breath sprays, I was really taken by the shape of the product.

The rounded edges combined with the hole at the top made it look and feel completely different to anything else that I keep in my pockets or desk drawers. To this day, I can grab my Listerine out of the center console of my car in short order without looking – the form is that unique. I imagine the same is true for purses (ladies?).

That’s why I was so mortified when I saw another, very different product cash in on that same form factor…

That’s Neosporin’s new “Neo-to-Go,” which I saw advertised the other night on TV as a must-have for moms with accident-prone kids.

I think this is asking for trouble. While I’m probably not at risk of having both in my car, I could see women keeping both in their purses, and potentially mixing them up, with .

Both of these products are made by Johnson & Johnson, and I’m sure their product designers found what seemed like another innovative use for a cool form factor. But the uniqueness of that form factor has other ramifications than strictly visual appeal, which I think they must have ignored or not even considered. I just hope the incidence of swallowing Neosporin doesn’t spike over the coming months.

Be Sociable, Share!

The conversation continues...

  1. On May 19th, 2008 at 8:58 am, Eric said:

    I’m not so sure that form factor is completely original. This is the first thing I thought of. I can’t imagine that mixing up a cigar cutter with either of these two products could be a pleasant experience.

  2. On May 19th, 2008 at 10:27 am, zsz said:

    That’s a good point! I suppose inspiration comes from the most unexpected places, but I hadn’t thought about a cigar cutter until you brought it up.

    But I think the shape, size, and smooth plastic still make these items unique. Plus, I think they are pretty likely to both be found in a mom’s purse.

    Of course, that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with a mom having a cigar cutter in her purse also. =D

What do you think?