How a cricketer launched a grooming range, focused on sustainability and grew its brand to a global scale
on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 10:44
Nurture Change 2019 speaker and former international cricketer Dion Nash went from playing for New Zealand to developing a grooming brand that has reached a global scale. Launched in 2011, Triumph & Disaster was created out of a love for skincare after he braved the elements during his athletic career and Nash enlisted a crew of chemists and staff to help see his vision through. The name, which is derived from a framed Rudyard Kipling poem given to him by his father has been the foundation of the brand ethos.
“We started in 2011, at which time they weren't a lot of really independent skincare brands on the market,” said Dion Nash. "My intention at that point was to make it core range that I could be proud of. Both from an aesthetic and a branding point of view, but also from a product of integrity, and a natural, base that I wanted to create. It has become a lot more competitive since we started. There's a lot of other brands who see that opportunity now and the space has become more crowded.”
Nash said that he has seen huge growth and means with barbershop style brands which he notes as “the urban lumberjack apocalypse” and believes that the space continues to evolve. “For us it's about and maintaining our integrity, and our performance,” said Nash. "And I think if anything, we've got a renewed energy into the quality and really establishing ourselves as the leader in the space for natural means, skincare products and high-performing products. So, I think the challenge for us is more about establishing ourselves, having a clear voice as a brand, and finding ways to evolve and grow with our audience.”
For Nash, it’s always been about product service and integrity. "For us, that's about incorporating green, clean science in combination with unique New Zealand, Pacific-based ingredient combinations," said Nash. "And finding real effectiveness in the performance out of those combinations that are leaving the smallest footprint as possible. We are in the process of polluting the earth and we need to reduce the behaviours that are propagating it. There are also other things we can be doing. Just ensuring recyclability, ensuring absolute, traceability of ingredients and that those farms and those suppliers are sustainable, and using sustainable practices."
He believes that being at the forefront and being earnest and really trying to set goals on being a leader in the category. "I think that sets us apart," said Nash. "I think trying to put a stake in the ground for a sustainable and ethical business, that cares about performance and cares still how a brand looks and appeals on a brand basis and on an emotional level. So, these are the things we're working on. We hope that they will continue to resonate with our consumers and our fans.”
The brand, which focused on doing the right thing for their consumer aimed to maintain a level of quality and earnestness. "I think we appeal really well on brand and I think we still do," said Nash. "I think we have maintained a level of quality and we've set an expectation. They should expect really high performing natural products. We're always trying and striving as men and, and humans to, um, to balance these challenges. I think that's something we, you know, we're as, even as a business, we're still doing. The job's not done. It's a crowded marketplace and we're always trying to find ways to find and attract new people to the brand. We never rest on our laurels.”
Hailing from New Zealand, distance is a challenge for Nash as approximately 80 percent of the business is done via exporting. "That means a lot of traveling," said Nash. "We've got a small market down here for premium means skincare, be it, male or female. So we have to travel, we have to have an international business. Uh, and you know, that's very much the case. So that means a lot of time on the road, a lot of relying on other people to help do your bidding, which is always challenging because you have to equip those people but also trust them that they're doing a great job.”
Bestsellers for the brand include its game face moisturiser and ritual cleanser. Its key markets include New Zealand, China, and Australia. The UK and Europe are two markets that Nash noted that are growing as the company is making investments to focus on those markets. "We've got some amazing accounts across both the UK and Europe," said Nash. "They continue to grow nicely. So each market is growing the brands in good growth mode. We have strong goals to grow year on year and we're reaching those goals. But it's about doing that while maintaining quality and maintaining our performance."
Nash’s focus now is to keep evolving the range. "We've got a core range, which we really believe sells through. But we do always look to the future and I want to continue to evolve and get better in each category. So, you can expect from us some new hair care products this year to sort of, um, uh, help our barber side of the business that will launch late this year.
The company plans to delve into fragrances. "So we've got a huge new product development push at the moment, where we evolve and develop who we are and what we want to do with the brand," said Nash. " But it always is about making sure our core is strong, so making sure we're still performing at their core with those core products.”
Article written by Lorelei Marfil.
As featured in forbes.com