Problem: Normalizing Men’s Skin Care and Health
As the founder and CEO of a men’s skincare company, Kelley acknowledges that his company (Tiege Hanley) is just a part of the conversation about what it means to be a guy today. The world has entered into a new era where placing importance on your health, skincare, and your appearance isn’t a feminine quality but a human one.
It’s okay to want to take care of yourself. It’s okay to not want to look like some old-timer guy who eats hotdogs every day.
Kelley Thornton is the founder and CEO of Tiege Hanley LLC, Uncomplicated Skin Care for Men®. Tiege Hanley is a direct-to-consumer, high growth men’s skincare company based out of Chicago, Illinois. They sell and ship their product all around the world and their specialty is to make skincare systems which (at the bare minimum) include a personalized face wash and moisturizer with SPF protection.
Kelley believes that men were marketed to poorly. He says that women lean more to parroting and that they compare themselves to the models in skincare ads (“I want to look like that.”) while men aren’t wired that way. They’re more focused. They’re hunters. They’re more simple. So he created a brand that would speak to that.
Within a few minutes, we teach you what women have known for a long time. We just started giving ourselves permission to start taking care of ourselves.
How has COVID affected Tiege Hanley
Commerce companies that have been able to pivot to online sales have seen that COVID has actually had a positive impact on their sales and business in general. Kelley looks to see how he can help his company and his team members in challenging times like this.
It has driven an extensive amount of uncertainty in business. The veil of uncertainty has been difficult for business owners.
Are Tiege Hanley team members working remotely or going back to the office?
Kelley says they have a hybrid model. They have a Tuesday/Thursday crowd and a Monday/Wednesday crowd, with Friday for team members who are at higher risk than others. But no matter when they come in, the office is always hypervigilant about social distancing, wearing masks, and taking care of each other.
We have a hybrid system right now and it’s very fluid. We have an app where people check in every morning to tell us what their health condition is like.
This is a really challenging time for people and for businesses. On one hand you want to protect your employees and so you say, ‘We’re not even bringing people into the office until next July.’ On the other hand, there are physical and mental health limitations.
Using YouTube as a tool
For Teige Hanley, YouTube has been a great way to spread their word about normalizing men’s skincare and to educate the population on what it means to take care of your skin.
YouTube is a great platform for us to talk about education, to help guys understand that other guys are doing it, how they’re doing it, and why they’re doing it.
Being influenced by the causes you support
For Teige Hanley, Kelley and his partners started the business without even knowing they had a cause. In the beginning, they just wanted to help protect against skin cancer. But the further along they came along in their business journey, the more they realized that their cause really affected what they wanted to do and that they had another cause: to educate and normalize skincare for men.
It’s very important [for a business to be influenced by the causes they support], but I wouldn’t do it just to have a cause.
You can’t be half-pregnant, as they say. You either are or you aren’t. Consumers are really smart. They can sniff that out right away. You’re either taking it seriously or you’re not.
How is customer support translated at Tiege Hanley?
Customer support is so important for Kelley and everyone else at Tiege Hanley that they have tried to train and touch on that subject in every part of their process. It’s a little different with their customers since the customers have a one-on-one relationship with Tiege Hanley. There is not third-party middleman.
We’ve got to understand that we live in an Amazon/Alibaba economy so if we want to compete at that level we need to provide an excellent customer experience.
Resources Kelley recommends, which have helped shape Tiege:
PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT(S):
- Creativity, honesty, and transparency.
- It’s all about our people.
- Focus on data.