An Interview with Allison Moss, Founder & CEO at Type:A Brands
This week we sat down with Allison Moss, the Founder of Type:A Brands, to learn about her early marketing background, advice for operating in a hyper-competitive beauty category, and the importance of sophisticated forecasting.
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What was the driving force behind starting Type:A Brands?
I started Type:A because I knew that a better deodorant that was 100% clean and safe with zero tradeoffs in performance or user experience was absolutely possible. And there was nothing in the market that fit that bill.
My background is in marketing in the beauty industry, and I have brought dozens of products to market in other categories for brands big and small like L’Oreal, Jurlique and Beautycounter. I’d seen exceptional product experiences, and those in the natural deodorant market at the time were all disappointing. So I leveraged my network to find a green formulator and took a leap of faith to go after this product concept and then bring it to market.
She knew that creating a product with long-lasting performance and a user experience that ticked all the boxes was absolutely possible. But more important and motivating was that this could really help people, especially mainstream America, to make the switch to aluminum-free without having to sacrifice any aspect of the product experience.
What should a founder be aware of before launching a brand?
The most rewarding times have been in achieving some lofty goals we set for ourselves at the start of this adventure. In 2018 we had an exclusive retail launch with Credo Beauty, the retailer who sets the gold standard for clean beauty. That was a huge moment for our brand, business and product.
Being featured on The Today show with Credo Beauty in early 2019 was another incredible moment. We’ve has amazing reviews by press, celebrities, influencers, and customers from the start, setting our clean deodorant product apart from ‘natural deodorants’.
We became a certified B Corp in 2019. And we’ve worked to fulfilling our mission of bringing this no-sacrifice deodorant to the mainstream with our Target launch (1500 doors) in January 2020, less than 2 years after our initial launch.
Our biggest pain points have been managing through the scale-up of producing our product, which included several external consultants and switching manufacturing partners mid-stream. We’ve also entered a category that has become hyper-competitive, which puts added pressure on the business in various ways.
What are the three software tools you can’t live without?
We started reviewing a 13-week cash management model on a weekly basis in January and it’s been game-changing.
I wish we had been doing this from Day 1.
We’ve also recently built a more sophisticated forecasting model for DTC — it went through many iterations from 2018 to present, and this current model is by far the most useful. Also wish we’d had this from Day 1.
Lastly, we’re on Shopify and on the whole, that has afforded us great flexibility for our DTC business from the start.
What macro trend is Type:A riding?
There’s absolutely a macro trend Type:A is riding. The shift toward health and wellness products in virtually every consumer goods category has been growing rapidly for the last few years. And now with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing an even greater shift toward brands that are authentic and transparent about offering clean, safe, healthy products.
In the Deodorant category, consumers have been seeking aluminum-free deodorants (vs antiperspirants) for decades, and in the last 5 years, this demand has skyrocketed.
But at the same time, consumers expect long-lasting odor protection and are disappointed when they find current offerings don’t deliver.
The gap between demand and performance is where Type:A comes in to fill the void, with a patent-pending Sweat Activated formula that offers long-lasting odor protection, and comes in a unique squeeze tube with an applicator, which swipes on just like a stick, and faster, cleaner, and more hygienic than a stick.
What companies in the modern brand ecosystem do you look up to?
We have a ton of respect for brands who are committed to doing good by their business, and through that can drive positive change, who stick to core values, are transparent, and put customers first.
All values central to us here at Type:A. Credo Beauty is not only a retail partner of ours but a brand for whom we have tremendous respect and who delivers on all of the above in spades.
Another brand we really respect is Third Love. They’re truly committed to exceptional product experiences and doing right by others. Inclusivity and empowerment are core values they bring to life in everything they do.