Jonathan Durden founded and ran one of Britain’s most successful ad firms, PHD. Now, with Below the Belt Grooming, he’s trying to change men’s grooming habits.
How did you come up the idea of men’s grooming products? I realised we are paying more attention to our bodies than ten years ago. My son is 26, and men his age shave their chests, they go to the gym, they get tattoos, they are gorgeous, fit, proper iconic-looking chaps who are in touch with their feminine side. It occurred to me that men are not catered for specifically. The products men are sold are women’s products with MEN written on them. Yet we are built differently, specifically downstairs, where God clearly had an off day. Men put antiperspirant under their arms but don’t consider what going on in their underpants. The contents of their boxer shorts are trapped in the dark chafing and flapping about, and just having a shower in the morning is not enough. It’s about time someone tried to answer modern men’s dilemmas and it starts with BOLLOCKS. It used to be talcum powder [that we used] but when black underpants and aerosols arrived it died out. We have come up with a gentle and natural solution.
Why the name Below the Belt? Along with being a boxing term and the line of what is acceptable behaviour, this name sums up what we do.My suggestion of ‘The Loin King’ for a name seemed hilarious for a moment but was a short-lived joke.
What is it like starting up in your fifties? You don’t start where you left off. There aren’t 3,000 people hanging on your every word. You start again and you are in the hands of people whose job it is to decide whether your product is good or bad. There is no ego. It doesn’t matter who you know, who you are, what you’ve done. The fact of the matter is, you are nobody with a product. I don’t regret a second but I don’t sleep a lot.
Jonathan’s top three tips for starting a business in your fifties 1. Choose a partner that you first met in business, not your best friend, your sister, your brother or your wife. Start with respect and then build friendship. 2. Focus on your place in the world. Make sure you believe in it in order to sell it. 3. Don’t be a control freak, and embrace talent. Find out what makes your employees happy. It’s not about you. Read the full article here: high50.com