Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Commercial: King of Shaves Shaving Bond

This could be a genius idea. Or it might not.

King of Shaves, that upstart provider of lather, razors and the like, has a nifty new wheeze: issuing bonds to customers, to pay for its marketing.

It appears to be legit; the press ad (in ShortList this morning) and the website have the relevant FSA disclaimers.

This is an interesting move for all manner of reasons, the most salient being:

1) Can an FMCG brand credibly become a provider of financial services?
2) Can an FMCG brand really expect loyalty and small-scale purchases to translate into £5,000 investments?
3) Has our trust in traditional financial services brands fallen so much that we're willing to trust our cash to, effectively, our barbers?

I see that this makes perfect sense for KoS, and will no doubt appeal to their customer base, who generally are upscale gentlemen earning enough to be willing to take a punt on this (even though, strictly speaking, a bond should be a lot safer than a punt.) I'm also not sure exactly how one can hold KoS founder Will King to his promise that this cash won't be spent on helipads or pensions.

The reaction in the financial press has been lukewarm, shall we say. Which could just be old-fashioned thinking. Or sensible.

So how long can it be until the Lynx Starter Mortgage comes to market? Or The L'Oreal This Is How Much You're Worth Account?

Like I said, could be a genius idea. Or not.



Blogger Will King said...

Hi, interested to read your post - I have blogged about our 'Shaving Bond' issue here - why we did it, etc. and taking into account press coverage of it.

4:44 pm  
Blogger BetaRish said...

Hi Will

Delighted that you've swung by this humble parish.

As I say above, the idea's great - and if it works, it'll be a great demonstration of brand loyalty. And open up some new areas. It'll put you in some interesting company too - financial innovators like Zopa. Which I think is a good space to be in.

It's whether people can make the leap to trust you with their cash, as well as their faces. It'll be intriguing to see whether they do.

Link to Will's blog is:

BTW, in interests of disclosure, I only use KoS products indirectly, as that's what my barber uses when I have my weekly Turkish shave.

5:26 pm  
Blogger Will King said...

thanks - i'm always interested to read what people think about the innovations we bring to market - shaving, saving money shaving, saving... :-) i've had a lot of +ve feedback from people who know KoS, like the bond idea - plenty of applications - but it has been somewhat 'dissed' by 'serious' financial journo's, who think a 'lil company like us shouldn't maybe be doing it. bond issue closes 31st july, we'll then assess overall project, and take from there! best, wk

6:45 pm  
Blogger BetaRish said...

Good stuff; good luck with the issue - sure it'll be fully subscribed. And keep us posted as to how it goes.

7:54 pm  

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