Why they are remarkable: they didn’t start a business, they launched a movement.
Kings make vegan male grooming products. I have a bottle of their Gorilla-emblazoned ‘Evolution’ Eau de Toilette on my bathroom shelf. It’s good, with a unique fragrance. But so are thousands of other vegan perfumes, aftershaves and sprays that I could also buy. Additionally, because most people receive aftershaves and perfumes purchased as presents, most vegans are going to end up with whatever vegan options are available in Boots or a local supermarket.
So, how can you create something remarkable in such an over-saturated and over-invested marketplace? Kings did this not by creating a business, but by launching a movement. King’s founder, Blué O’Connor, is very open about where the company came from. It was born from his own struggles with mental health and initially feeling that reaching out and asking for help would be seen as weak and unmanly by others in today’s society. So, Kings co-launched a social enterprise called Talk Club alongside the grooming company.
Talk Club is funded from the profits of Kings and supports locally-run groups for men to meet, talk and listen in order to prevent themselves getting mentally overwhelmed. Each meet-up starts with a simple question: “How are you, out of 10?”
This mission to help men talk about their problems completely changes the relationship that you have as a consumer with Kings. Again, the product that Kings actually sell is secondary to what you get out of it as a consumer. You are not only supporting a really good vegan product, you are helping to fund a mission. Even if you find a scent that you like better or that is cheaper, as an ethical vegan customer where are you going to want to put your money? Are you going to spend it with a big brand when you have no idea what their profit is going to fund, or are you going to spend it with a company that you know is actively positively changing people’s lives?
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