From its tongue in cheek branding to a recent $1 billion valuation, Hims has been anything but understated since it entered the market in 2017.
The US startup’s bold attempt at tapping into the men’s wellness category has attracted $97 million in three rounds of funding in the past year alone. And secured its status as one of the wellness world’s rare unicorns.
The lifestyle brand, which aims to address problems most men are too embarrassed to talk about — including male pattern baldness, erectile dysfunction and acne — has found a spot so sweet that its sales, which hit $1 million in their first week, have been steadily rising ever since.
By giving consumers access to credible healthcare solutions in an affordable and convenient format, Founder Andrew Dudum has cut out the middle-man and cultivated consumer trust in an era of scepticism and hard-won loyalty.
Now the entrepreneur is taking on the women’s market, in a bid to become a one-stop-shop for health and wellness. And expanding globally, with a recent UK launch under his belt. His vision is to grow both Hims and Hers into a 10-20 billion dollar business over the next few years.
Here, Dudum reflects on his original vision for the brand, how he’s breaking down barriers to connect with men and why building a sustainable business goes beyond funding……..
On simplifying an existing process…….
I went out for dinner with my sister one night and about halfway through the evening she commented on my appearance and said that I should be taking better care of my skin.
I remember her saying “I’m going to buy you some skincare products and you’re going to look a lot better”. After spending $300 dollars on my credit card for several products (that were all women’s) I thought this was way too much for a normal guy to be spending.
It’s also a very confusing process for men to go into Sephora only to be overwhelmed by various items all with the promise to help their appearance. I wanted to simplify this process and create a cost-effective, trusted place for men to get everyday products that they might need.
On destigmatising men’s health & wellness problems…….
The original idea behind Hims was to create a gateway for men to receive solutions for rather common issues via telemedicine, eliminating any embarrassment they face from going to their physician, and cutting out the middle-man.
Our aim is to speak to guys in a straightforward way with a dose of humour to reassure them that they’re not alone in their problems and really break down the stigma associated with these issues.
What we’ve seen along the way is amazing – so many guys are taking to social media to share pictures of themselves with their Hims products, which is inspiring and can encourage other men to share their stories and realise that they are not alone.
On the advantage of selling straight to consumers……..
I think that a lot of people see us as a direct to consumer brand because of how fun and accessible we are, but in reality, we’re making healthcare more accessible, affordable, and convenient.
We take away embarrassing physician visits and pharmacy waiting times and instead, utilise telemedicine to work with doctors around the clock to bring guys what they need through our platform.
On the power of resonating with your audience………
We really want to be a brand that targets guys of all generations. We did a tonne of research to build a brand that men could associate with when it comes to their overall health and wellness and not feel ashamed to do so.
Our products resonate with men because they feel and look good, and they really work. When men feel comfortable enough to share their love of our product, we know we’re doing something right.
On differentiation through design……..
We love our limp cacti. We really wanted to speak to guys directly but with wit and humour. In doing this, we are normalising the conversation, which helps to reassure guys that there are solutions to their problems and that it’s totally cool to be dealing with this.
We also really wanted to differentiate ourselves from other brands and create cool looking products, in a simple aesthetic, not overly masculine and that would look good on guys’ bathroom shelves. We wanted to be something that they would be proud to display and also something that wouldn’t intimidate them.
On building a sustainable brand that thrives beyond investment…….
The one thing it comes down to is: You need to build a really good company and the rest comes with it. It’s all well and good raising a lot of money but inevitably you need to think about what’s going to be best for a long-lasting business. Spending money on marketing gets you customers and you can build really fast, but it doesn’t always last.
For us, one key factor has been that the majority of our leadership team is comprised of brilliant women. 50% of our customer service representatives are women, and 75% of the operations team is women –– I am extremely proud of these statistics, but I also know the women who help lead our company are a major factor in why we’ve been so successful.
We’re grateful to be in the position that we’re in with our financials and to have a loyal customer base, which will enable us to launch further products and scale upwards.
On expanding into the women’s market……..
Ever since Hims’ conception, we knew that there was a big opportunity with the female audience.
We found that women are more educated and knowledgeable about what they want and need. It’s less of a call to action and educational process and more about making the process easy and convenient for our female customers – cutting out the processes that they have to go through for things they know they need.
We wanted to create the opportunity to be equal and if not bigger than Hims. It’s the same with our messaging, we’re here for our customers and we’re going to make it easier for them to get what they need.
On adding value to the customer journey through content…….
The content we feature on our Savoir Faire blog is extremely important to us, and a huge part of our mission at Hims.
We like to educate men about issues via the blog. We regularly post engaging and informative content for our readers, educating them of these common conditions and helping them make better decisions around their health.
We want to give men a trusted source to find information that they would be Googling from their phones late at night, otherwise. The blog and content we produce supplements the work we do with our large network of doctors. Our medical advisory board and Dr.Adrian Rawlinson who is our Vice President of Medical Affairs, contribute regularly.
On the importance of innovation……..
Innovation is very important to us. We want to continue creating product categories that can continue to help men across all walks of life. We really do want to be the one place that guys can come and get everything they need, be it Hims finasteride medication for hair loss to our everyday moisturiser to other products we have in the pipeline.
On the future of men’s wellness…….
Our mission is to further the conversation around men’s wellness and remove the stigma attached to common men’s problems – we understand that this will take time.
We’re really excited to see the engagement from men online and I think that we are in a position where we are seeing more and more men invest in their wellness.
We want to continue to listen to our customer feedback and ensure that we expand out into areas that people really need.