Issues such as hair loss and erectile dysfunction have long been difficult topics for men. For this reason, e-commerce has become a leading way to address these problems. Andrew Dodom (pictured below), founder and CEO of Hims, began his work to enable secret access to treatment for such sensitive problems, but also to promote conversation on topics such as ED and hair loss. Here, he talks to DTC Daily about the goals of Hims, the DTC brand model, and the creation of the sister brand of the company – Hers.
DTC Daily: Hims seeks to help men with problems they don't face, such as hair loss and erectile dysfunction. How do Hims' brands and messages help facilitate this conversation?
Andrew Dodom: The lack of conversation about caring for men has caused chaos and hesitation; men are embarrassed to have these conversations with doctors, friends or partners. We want to make it easier for people to get the care they need and more easily – create frank conversations to eliminate existing community taboos about these conditions. To this end, S.Ur The direct but bold approach to brands and tone has allowed us to break the ice and illuminate these serious topics. We have found that Hims users are open to humor and provocation, which are two preferred ways to start a conversation about topics that are often stigmatized. In general, we want to build a proud brand of men to display on their bathroom table, not hidden in a drawer. In addition to providing access to medically subsidized products that are already operational, we are building a consumer-centric brand that puts people's care first.
How does the fact that Hims is a direct business to consumers, not over-the-counter medicine, help men deal with products and face these embarrassing problems?
The Hims business model allows men to look after their own health on their own terms. Our The platform connects patients directly to doctors, creating a critical first point of contact for people who have been excluded from the current healthcare system due to stigma, high pricing, insurance or geographic location. We provide easy access to a network of over 200 physicians, who benefit from our online consultation to evaluate the most appropriate course of treatment. We are also in the process of providing customers with our prices and services; this form removes uncertainty and usually confronts patients with trouble when trying to figure out how much a particular procedure or service costs. We negotiate in advance with third-party pharmacies at cash prices on behalf of patients to alleviate insurance hassles, and there is a convenience and additional cost that is provided by not having to travel to the doctor or pharmacy.
Since these are still problems men talk about, are referrals and referrals still important to customer acquisition? What other effective channels for word output?
Hims users – especially on Instagram – are excited to share their experience, tips and advice. Immediately after the launch, we were surprised and excited when we saw the posting of non-square videos of their Hims bundles on social media and even videos that sing while showering with Hims Shampoo. We now call these videos "Hims Shower Parties" and even made a commercial with some videos. We've given priority to showing where we are – whether it's the New York City subway, the Giants Stadium in San Francisco or the street gym.
How do you use to ensure that your marketing, customization and product development are improved?
We spent more than two years before testing the ingredients and formulations behind our over-the-counter products and understanding the telehealth space from a medical and regulatory perspective. During the development of the Hims product line, we saw that many of those who were presenting counter-offers boasted results that men did not see. We wanted to create science-backed shows that proved successful. We are able to communicate directly with our customers through our platform and build our offerings based on their needs. For example, we started receiving daily requests from users who wanted Hims conditioner to pair with shampoo. Thanks to these comments, we launched this offer last spring.
Hims has already established sister branded Hers. What's next for you guys?
Exactly one year after the launch of Hims, we provided it to help women Understand their choices when it comes to preventive care and guide them to the most efficient operation. Since the launch of Hers in late 2018, we have had over 50,000 interactions on the platform, and we are happy to see the excitement and constant openness of customers across both systems. The continued evolution of the telehealth landscape will increase access to quality care, and we are committed to expanding the categories in which the needs of men and women remain unmet. Ultimately, we want to improve the way consumers deal with the healthcare system, resulting in a culture of care that gives priority to the patient and is accessible to all.
If you want to learn more about Hims, you can find links to Facebook, Instagram and twitter Pages here!