Entrepreneur

Hims Scored Big With Male Consumers. Can It Repeat The Trick With Women?

The year-old startup got men to comfortably talk about uncomfortable issues. Now, the launch of Hers will test its ability to reach women with the same level of finesse.
Source: J.M. Navarro
J.M. Navarro

Andrew Dudum, the 30-year-old founder and CEO of the men’s wellness startup Hims, could easily double as a stand-in for one of the millennial male models featured in his company’s Instagram ads and TV commercials. His hair is immaculate; his skin looks great. His warm, engaging manner is an invitation to confide. In college, he says, he was the one other guys trusted enough to ask for advice about acne cream. 

With his back to the windows of a conference room overlooking a gorgeous view of San Francisco’s Presidio National Park, just a few blocks from where the Bay Area native went to middle school, Dudum is explaining how his comfort with delicate subjects ended up making him the perfect choice to build a company predicated on catering to and consoling two of men’s deepest insecurities -- their fears of hair loss and erectile dysfunction. 

You’ve almost certainly seen ads for Hims in the past year. They’ve been everywhere, from Instagram to Monday Night Football, often featuring gorgeously handsome young men glowing with health but also executing a set of themes -- a slumping cactus, a saggy eggplant, phrases like “hard made easy” -- that make you wonder, Are they suggesting what I think they are suggesting? 

The answer is yes. Hims’ basic business is providing access to cheap, generic versions of drugs like Rogaine and Viagra online. Doing so is a little complicated: Hims routes shoppers to a network of doctors and pharmacies that can prescribe these products, and the drugs then arrive at consumers’ doors in beautiful Hims packaging. But its genius is in its pitch, a message delivered with style, panache, and most important, a wink-and-a-nod sense of humor rarely associated with the worlds of male-pattern baldness or performance anxiety.

The isn’t just a trick to move product; it’s a clue

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