Will Kennedy Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sons tells IIBN that his business is a men’s health brand that helps guys make informed decisions about health issues they often don’t talk about – like how to keep their hair – and delivers clinically proven, safe and reasonably priced products to their doors. Initially focused on hair loss and aiming to help the 8 million men across the UK and Ireland losing their hair. We offer free online consultations with physicians and clinically proven products that are delivered directly to our customers door on a monthly subscription.
You can visit Sons website here
How has your business strategy been adapted in the context of the Covid-19 crisis?
Our business model is fully online and subscription based, so we have been fortunate in that regard.
Our medical team and pharmacy have remained operational, so our service has been relatively uninterrupted. During Covid a lot of clinics and GPs have closed unless for emergency services and it became harder for people to get prescription based treatments, we have been able to offer a convenient alternative for customers which has worked well. From a marketing and sales perspective, our strategy has always been digitally led but we were able to adapt to a fully online focus to match consumer behaviour. We do, however have a number of exciting offline partnerships in channels such as barbers, sports teams and health clinics which have been put on pause, we are looking forward to them starting back up from July.
How do you keep your team/staff motivated?
We try to keep a structure and level of normality within the team and wider business partners. People do strive off face to face interaction so it’s challenging to replicate the same office environment and culture. Having said that video technology allows for more engaged remote meetings. Our purpose, objectives and targets haven’t changed so it’s a case of reviewing and discussing these via video calls on regular basis. We have virtual drinks every couple of weeks to keep up the social side of things which has been good fun. I think one big benefit for myself and the wider team has been the amount of time you get back from not having to travel etc. its a nice motivator to finish work and have your evening.
What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
I strongly believe education and awareness within specific areas of men’s health is a challenge. There is a lot of snake oil and costly treatment plans out there. It can be a minefield for guys as they research products, advice and medical words that many won’t understand. This is the reason my friend and business partner Dr. Adrian Gilbane, set up Sons. We both were experiencing frustration with the advice and costly options available and realised that there needed to be a business model that was simplified and gave men free access to medics and treatments that actually work without the alarming price tag. At Sons, we give men access to doctors online and products that are proven to work in over 94% of men and it’s sent to your door.
What new trends are emerging in your industry?
I think it is becoming more normal for guys to speak about or seek treatment for issues that may be affecting them be that related to mental or physical health. I believe being proactive about these things is a positive and can help guys get on with what’s important which is living their life.
This is important to Sons and we donate a percentage of our sales to CALM, the charity who help young men, as young men are at a greatest rick of suicide. Hair loss isn’t just the physical aspect, it can affect men mentally as well, knocking confidence and causing men stress and anxiety. It’s important that hair loss brands tackle this, the physical and mental side effects of losing hair.
Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?
We’d like to see more regulation around treatments such as hair transplants and more advice being given around this. Our Medical Director, Dr Knut Moe, who has specialized in hair for the past 5 years regularly gives advice and insights into this topic, within the media. We’d also like it to be less costly for treatment across the board. Hair loss affects a lot of men and we think all men should be able to talk to someone, understand the options and trial treatment. We have purposely created a subscription model to allow men to have continuous treatment without any fuss.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
Understand your customer and don’t ask someone to do something you’re not willing to do.
What have been your highlights in business over the past year?
Launching a business with one of my closest friends.
What’s next for your company?
After just 6 months of trading we are treating thousands of men across the UK and Ireland, we want to continue on that same trajectory and become market leader in male hair loss.
In early 21 we plan to expand into other categories in Men’s health and also look at wider European countries.