Any founder will tell you that launching a new product during a worldwide pandemic is no easy feat. But, as we know, entrepreneurs love a challenge, and launching MONDAY Haircare during the 2020 Covid-19 crisis is precisely what Jaimee Lupton did, achieving never-before-seen results in haircare retail.
After launching into supermarkets New Zealand-wide, MONDAY struggled to keep up with demand, exceeding their forecast 49 times over which is unprecedented in the supermarket scene. In the first three months, MONDAY sold two million bottles, and co-founder Jaimee says they “greatly underestimated the demand”, although I’m not sure if even the best of optimists could have foreseen the extent of MONDAY mania.
In true MONDAY spirit, Jaimee and her team have continued to problem-solve to keep up with demand. They’re working hard with manufacturers to adjust to higher quantities, and Jaimee is confident they’ll be up to speed by early 2021 at the very latest. That’s good news for MONDAY’s loyal community, whose new year resolution will likely be good hair days all year round.
If you haven’t seen MONDAY products on the supermarket shelves, it’s either because it’s out of stock, or you’ve never visited the haircare aisle to witness the mania in action. And MONDAY’s products stand out on the supermarket shelves from a mile away, attributed to the distinctive pink packaging.
The bottles are square with curved edges, which is not only distinctive but means that more units can fit into shipping containers. Coupled with the packaging made out of recycled plastic and screen-printing in favour of adhesive labels, this helps to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint.
“The beauty industry’s waste problem was at the forefront of a lot of my decision-making when I started creating the brand (an estimated 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the beauty industry, most of which are not recyclable). Couple that with the fact that Millennials and Gen X’ers might be the most sustainable and ethically-minded consumers in modern history”, says Jaimee.
Extensive consumer research was conducted before MONDAY’s launch, resulting in an overwhelming preference to a pump as opposed to a detachable cap. Why? Jaimee explains that “consumers want their hair-washing experience to be as quick and easy as possible”. Sounds about right to me.
With packaging that's both functional and aesthetically-pleasing, this is a big tick for MONDAY’s target market: shop-savvy and millennial customers. Further, marketing MONDAY Haircare from the outset as a luxury product with an accessible price point helped establish the brand’s positioning. This is why MONDAY Haircare is also ranged in fashion retailer Superette, known for its modern & elevated style.
Excitingly, for customers of both MONDAY and Superette, a cute M-embroidered bucket hat is being sold through Superette come November. A clever product initiative, it’s an ode to bringing MONDAY out from the bathroom and onto the beach as we move into a warmer season.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and with any new product launch comes the tall poppy critics. Wisely, Jaimee says, “not everyone will be happy about your success, but the secret is to not focus on the critics who are not in the arena with you but to focus on the future of the business. Your focus and your energy is your superpower, and you need to harness that in the right place and direction.”
It’s safe to say that Jaimee has faced many retail challenges in just under a year, and she credits MONDAY’s success to having the right people in her corner.
“It’s not just about having people who love you and support your dreams, it’s also about having people who love you enough to give you the tough feedback when it’s needed, to push you towards your potential, and steer you in the direction of personal and professional growth. I’ve been fortunate to have a really solid foundation of those kinds of people, especially my partner Nick, since day one.”
Presently, MONDAY Haircare is available for purchase in PAK'nSAVE and New World supermarkets throughout New Zealand, as well as via high-end retail partners Superette and Kristin Fisher Eyebrows. It’s also in Australia in Coles supermarkets (cue MONDAY retail mania part two), and Jaimee is planning a United States launch in 2021. We’ll be watching this space to see how MONDAY mania part three unfolds.