Exclusive Interview: Founder Brandon Truaxe Shares the Secrets of Deciem's Success
It’s difficult to stand out in a market as crowded as beauty but Deciem is achieving just that.
The Deciem concept was devised by Founder, Brandon Truaxe, who previously worked for Indeed Labs and wanted to take on the big boys with fast-moving premium beauty products, that meet a genuine consumer need.
Let’s find out how he does it.
What gave you the idea for creating Deciem?
When we started our hands were tied because I had exited Indeed Labs with a non-competition agreement preventing me to do anything in the area of facial anti-aging, which was all I had done most of my life, what I knew well and what is by far the most interesting part of this industry. I had to decide what to do.In between airports, rivers, mountains and crowded cities, the advice everyone gave we was the same: you can't do 10 things at once.
And so I formed DECIEM (from the latin word for 10 in a row, "decima") to do exactly that.
It's the wrong thing to do. But it definitely was right for us.
By being involved in so may categories, our brands can afford to have a dedicated lab, design team, factory and a dedicated everything really, and we keep our team very excited all the time. In reality, by doing more brands, we are doing more for each brand.
Do you create all your brands or are any acquisitions?
We create all of our brands and have recently opened a stunning new facility in Toronto, which makes up the DECIEM head office, lab and factory. We do everything in house to ensure the product is treated with the utmost love, from conception to delivery.
Where do you get your ideas?
Largely from the frustration of seeing repetition of everything in the industry.
The beauty business is dominated by a few conglomerates that own everything. Their success is fantastic and they are incredible business machines––but they are very slow innovation machines.
Seeing repetition is almost like seeing clutter.We marry what is not in the clutter with advances in technology to create narrow categories.
We almost never look to consumer trends for ideas.
Trends are not created by consumers––they are forced upon them. The world doesn't become better because of trends and we largely ignore them.
Which are the strongest in your portfolio and why?
Currently, Fountain is our best selling brand overall. However our best selling product is the Grow Gorgeous Hair Growth Serum.
These positions are largely as a result of the fact that these brands have been operating for longer periods than some of the recent innovations we have launched since my non-competition agreement ended last month.
If you disregard overall numbers, our fastest rate of growth is for our skincare brands Hylamide and NIOD.
How hard is it to create innovative beauty products in a highly competitive marketplace?
I believe the beauty industry is highly populated but not highly competitive. It's like a small town with hundreds of restaurants that all serve pizza. As soon as you serve sushi, you stand out and make the town a more interesting place.
The beauty industry is made up of about 10 large elephants who do everything but they all do the same things.
We are a small rabbit––fragile comparatively but we can run through tiny rocks and gaps that elephants don't even see.
What are your plans for the brand in terms of retail and international expansion?
Being about 2 years old, many things are still opportunistic––the nature of any innovative start-up. There is no concrete plan in place.
We know we will continue to innovate with a high focus on skincare and haircare.Our focus toward more premium categories will become stronger.
In terms of markets, we have just launched in the US and this effort will continue to grow. Asia has started and it's definitely a large next effort.
Which gaps in the market do you still want to go after?
Skin whitening and tanning––both equally important and equally outdated and severely underserved.
What is your digital strategy with regard to communicating and educating the consumer?
Education is all encompassing.
Media, opinions, reviews, trends and, of course, our own communication all play a role in education.Starbucks never educated anyone on the benefits of green tea before launching Green Tea Latte––the world did the education through a very encompassing, un-orchestrated effort.
For some messages, we can educate directly.
For others, we work with the element of time to allow consumers to observe, learn and appreciate innovation.