Modern Retail spoke with oral care challenger brand, Ordo, about the process of designing a product and getting it to market. Having launched into Sainsbury’s with a stand-out point-of-display, Barty Walsh, Co-Founder of the brand, gives his top tips on visual merchandising, price points, subscription services, utilising blogs and much more.
1. How did Ordo begin and how far has it come between then and now?
Ordo was founded in 2017 as a D2C business, after gaps in the market for modern, fairly priced and convenient oral care were discovered. Our first launch focused on the original Ordo Starter Pack, which incorporated our Portable Toothbrush and the earliest version of our toothpaste. Since then, we’ve launched the Sonic+ Toothbrush and a full line of oral care, including our new and improved Complete Care Toothpaste, with its fully recyclable tube. As well as continuing our D2C offering, we’re now available in Boots, Sainsbury’s and Argos, and are readying ourselves for expansion into further high street stores and supermarkets.
2. What is the process of designing and creating a product that can outperform existing options on the market?
It might seem clichéd, but listening to customers is key. This is especially true in mature, dominated markets such as oral care. Generic “market research” just won’t do, you’ve got to be specific, precise and alert to changing needs. By truly listening to customers you get to see into the blind spots of big businesses and catch paradigm shifts in the making. Thereafter the hard work begins, searching for innovative and elegant solutions to the problems you’ve discovered. Utilising your dexterity as a start-up is also key; stay flexible and responsive to feedback and changes in demand as you refine products and concepts.
3. How important is it to combine high quality with an affordable price point for customers?
Making high-quality products affordable makes great oral hygiene more accessible. Shoppers have grown savvy to the inflated RRPs of electrical dental products – we believe EDLP presents a more convenient and much less frustrating experience for customers. Searching for a good deal is one thing, but shoppers are too often faced with a veritable obstacle course in their bid to find a fair price. We hope to cut through the noise, offering a great brush, at a great price, all year round.
4. Subscription services are becoming more popular in retail – what are the benefits for customers and how have you implemented a subscription service?
Great oral care is about forming healthy habits that last. Achieving this amidst a busy lifestyle can be tricky – on average people replace their brush head every 9 months, yet dentists recommend doing so every 3 months. The consequences of this can be serious, with gum disease and tooth decay all too common, as well the impact poor oral health can have on people’s confidence. This is where the strengths of our subscription products shine: they take the hassle out of making sure you have everything you need, when you need it. Customers choose a subscription bundle and frequency that suits their needs and we deliver straight to their door. There’s nothing like a fresh brush head arriving at your door to remind you it’s time to change. What’s more, customers can cancel and resubscribe anytime.
5. You use your blog section on your website to educate and engage visitors. Tell us more about how you have found this and the benefits of providing valuable information to potential customers. What impact does this have on growing trust and loyalty?
We want to help consumers become more knowledgeable about what makes for great oral care, as well as give them the tools they need to make informed decisions about future purchases. The blog section on our website has been invaluable in helping us achieve this. By focusing on well researched and unbiased content, we hope to help everyone improve their oral hygiene routine, irrespective of the brands and products they use to get there. Our blogs reach global traffic, including the USA, India, and Australia. As a result, we’re able to offer valuable information to a large audience. Our blogs have allowed us to form a trustworthy platform from which we can cultivate better brand loyalty.
6. What would your top tips be to launch into a supermarket in the way that you have?
As a growing business, we know that it can be challenging for supermarkets to switch from well-known brands to new and emerging brands. For this reason, we believe it’s essential to form a strong relationship with the buyer. Be efficient and empirical with your communication and put yourself in their shoes as you formulate plans to maximise the success of your products. Creating a strong brand image is also crucial, and although it can feel like an unknown quantity at times, it’s a fantastic way to build a personal connection with the customer. In addition, establishing and highlighting strong competitive advantages is vital – it’s really important that you distill what customers value about your products. For example, we know that our customers value convenience and sustainability in their oral care products.
7. How useful has social media been to grow awareness of the Ordo brand and what have you found to be most successful?
Social media has played a pivotal role in raising brand awareness, especially as a small business. In particular, Facebook and Instagram have provided significant results via paid social advertising. We have experimented with a diverse range of ad creative and copy to engage our customers and draw attention to the key features our products offer: our innovative sonic pulse technology that produces 40,000 pulses per minute, a silicone polishing element that gently whitens teeth, our Reusable Mouthwash Bottle and Mouthwash Concentrate that use 96% less plastic than traditional mouthwash, and our Complete Care Toothpaste that is recommended by dentists and comes in a recyclable tube – these are just some examples of how Ordo differentiates from competitors. Moving forward, we want to produce more organic content for our Facebook and Instagram pages to increase our brand following. Diversifying our use of social media platforms is also a consideration for our marketing department, to increase our audience pool and target different demographics.
8. The design of Ordo looks fantastic and would merchandise fantastically in any store – talk us through what retailers and customers can expect to see.
Customers can expect to see a modern approach to oral care, one in which aesthetics and efficacy are expertly balanced. The personal tech sector has done a fantastic job of refining this balance and we believe it’s about time oral care got the same treatment. After all, we should be using our toothbrush every day, why shouldn’t it look beautiful in our bathrooms as well as helping us achieve healthy and happy smiles. More and more, we want to bring a lifestyle component to oral care – we think this is key to changing people’s habits for the better. The way we merchandise our products is integral to this objective and we’ve got some exciting plans for the future.
9. What is next for Ordo?
We’ve only just started a significant growth phase for the business. We’ll be working closely with our partners in retail to maximise the amazing opportunities we already have, as well as continue our expansion into the UK and Europe. Whilst we have to keep tight-lipped about new product development, we can say we’re incredibly excited for what the future holds.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.