While the condom category is dominated by a few large players, really just about a handful if you count, a German start up is trying to squeeze into the mix. They go by the name of “Einhorn,” which translates to “One Horn,” or in their case a Unicorn – the brand identity (probably based on the internet meme Charlie the Unicorn). But why a Unicorn?
I suspect the Unicorn-based brand is done tongue-in-cheek, in that they hope to bring about a never before seen way of doing business. Their business model is one that is completely transparent, whereby they will divulge their entire process online, with every decision made, to ensure there is 100% visibility on their supply chain to show that their product is truly sustainable. In fact, they coined a term for this mission: “fairstainable.”
“Right now, we’re 10% sustainable. Our goal is to have an 80-90% sustainable product in five years. Every time we improve, we’ll put it online and you can see what has changed. Even if people say something isn’t possible, we’ll aim for the best-case scenario and if we don’t make our target, we’ll get close and say so. But we won’t go round saying its 100% Fairtrade or whatever … this is all bullshit and people need to realize that.”
The brand hopes to bring about a revolution in the condom world, producing the first ethical, sustainable, and fun condoms ever. The packaging is also something new, reminiscent of what we have seen with Jeito, the package comes in the form of a chip-bag (see below).
Above: While still in the design phase, Einhorn’s packaging is playful and highly targeted to a sophisticated, Generation Y target audience (25-35 years old).
The condoms themselves will come in two basic sizes, 54mm and 56mm, are transparent, and come with a slightly wider top to enhance the feel. Since one of their observations is that buying condoms is embarrassing, they will offer them for sale through mail order – with a weekly (7 units) or a yearly option (52 units, which seems kind of low for a year!). The target audience (25-35 year old Gen Y’ers) are likely to get a kick out of the brand identity online, and initial responses are very strong: Einhorn has launched a crowdfunding site and have raised €50,000 within 48 hours.
The team, led by a capitalist-turned social entrepreneur Waldemar Zeiler, started out this effort with basically no knowledge of condoms:
“We had no clue what we were doing,” he says. “But we worked together with a university in Germany [who are] experts on sustainable rubber production. We’ll go to Malaysia with German scientists and go through our plantations. Then we’ll test the soil and stay over there analysing stuff and make things better. This includes making sure the minimum wage is paid to workers and knowing what’s in the condoms.”
The entrepreneurs have started a scheme called the Entrepreneur’s Pledge based on the philanthropists’ equivalent, the Giving Pledge. They’re asking “serious entrepreneurs” and “kick ass CEOs” to fund at least one social business and give 50% of the profits to a good cause, as they are. Zeiler argues that charity giving isn’t an efficient way to spend money and suggests that a social business dollar has more impact. “If our business grows, the more revenue we make. And the more we can give back.”
Check out their teaser film below:
Check out their website here.