After losing his 25-year-old son Brian to addiction, Gary Mendell founded Brian’s Wish, an organization that challenged the outdated perception that addiction is a moral failing, rather than a disease. While the name “Brian’s Wish” encapsulated a personal and powerful story, Gary recognized the story needed to be bigger and resonate with vulnerable audiences that felt addiction didn’t concern them. Brian’s Wish needed a new brand name and identity.
Working closely with Gary, we underwent a brand naming process that explored a wide range of names with broad appeal and emotional impact. Because “addiction” may cease to be a relevant term as our understanding of the disease evolves, we made the pivotal decision to leave the word out of the name, instead introducing “Shatterproof,” with the tagline “Stronger than addiction.” The new name signifies the need to “shatterproof” children so they never become addicted, and to offer evidence-based treatment and recovery programs to those who suffer from addiction to prevent them from shattering their own lives. “Proof” also speaks to the scientific approach that sets this organization apart from many of its peers. We also designed the visual system, a strikethrough element that defiantly “erases” less informed attitudes about addiction.
Shortly after Shatterproof’s launch, the organization forged partnerships with MLB franchises, including the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates, to help spread its message. The new brand also received a 2014 REBRAND 100® distinction award. Today, Shatterproof is playing a pivotal role in getting new legislation passed to erase the stigma of addiction and get help to the people who need it.