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A lot of companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on brand image, naming and messaging. At Hanz de Fuko, they’re a little more instinctive. According to CEO David Alfonso, when the LA-based men’s hair care brand wanted to craft an international, diverse and unique name it thought “a German man marries a Hispanic woman and they have a child of Japanese decent.”

David_Beckham_Hairstyle_Hanz_de_Fuko_QuicksandThere you have it. The brand is one to watch for more reasons than its name as it has signed an international sports and fashion icon, innovated social media marketing and increased its global distribution.

“This brand is about opening a line of communication between us, our retailers and our customers,” says Alfonso. “I don’t see a lot out there that inspires men to be stylish. I don’t see anything that shows them how to get a personal style they can take beyond the salon.”

It is the brainchild of three childhood friends Alfonso, Christopher Zent and Jarrett Winfield. Though not hairstylists, they saw a disconnect in the men’s grooming business between salon products and “regular guy” products. Winfield had been working in London as a model and on a visit back to San Francisco in 2008 tried the only product the fledgling company had – “Scheme Cream.” Then he found a lab sample of a product in development that was thick and easy to work with. Enter a new product called “Quicksand.” Enter success for Hans de Fuko and enter David Beckham. Beckham tried the product, loved it and is now the brand ambassador for Hans de Fuko.

“We’ve had a relationship with David Beckham for quite some time,” says Winfield, now VP. My best friend in London (Ben Cooke) is a celebrity stylist and was David and Victoria’s personal hair stylist for about 10 years. David had been using our product for some time, but obviously, we couldn’t afford an actual endorsement from him. GQ put our Quicksand product in their coveted “Style Bible” as the only hair product; with the title ‘The Secret Goop Behind David Beckham’s hair.’ Not too shabby.”

Nope. Other brand ambassadors in include Mark Foster (Foster the People) and Hugh Jackman. But the real social innovation came from the brand’s use of YouTube. Want that Ryan Gosling look? Hans de Fuko has created that video to show rather than tell how its products can be used and achieve style in the meantime. How-To Video Tutorials, and “Styling Tips & Tricks” have taken it to 50 Million + YouTube Views featuring their products and north of 100k views per day. Alfonso says it has maintained a re-order/customer retention rate of 87% a social media conversion sales rate of 33% and increased sales inquiries and social interaction by 2,000+% over 4 years.

For the future the brand is just starting to get beyond its ecommerce and salon based network in the US. It has opened Western Europe, Latin America and Australasia. Alfonso wants the brand to lead the product, following the brad ambassador and social media formula.

“We’re creating a lifestyle brand,” he says. “We don’t want to have the most customers but we do want the right customers and we will go beyond hair.”

 

 

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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