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Brand Strategy DTC Health & Wellness

Why viral razor brand Estrid needed a chief brand officer to grow beyond DTC


By Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter

October 5, 2023 | 7 min read

The Swedish shaving company is at a pivotal moment in its trajectory, opening a London HQ and bringing in beauty industry veteran Nico Morga Alden to run it. We sit down with her to hear about her plans.


The Estrid brand launched in Sweden in 2019

Estrid has seen its revenue grow by more than 60% this past year and has expanded beyond its direct-to-consumer (DTC) roots, now taking up shelf space in British health and beauty retailer Boots as well as in German drugstores DM and Rossmann. As it enters its next phase of scaling, it is looking to the UK as it goes about recruiting “world-class” marketing and design talent.

Responsible for filling its new London HQ is Nico Morga Alden (pictured below), the new chief brand officer brought in to take Estrid above the line. A month into the new role, she says her appointment was probably “a little overdue“ and that “even the CEO would admit that.”

Prior to her hiring, much of the creative direction came from Estrid’s three founders, Alan Aygun, Ben Eliass and Amanda Westerbom, with Morga Alden explaining: “It wasn’t a vacuum – there were people doing this job before – but I think we’ve reached a scale now where we need to commercialize in a way that requires a significant amount of experience.”

Nico Morga Alden

It is a pivotal moment for the brand’s growth trajectory, says Morga Alden, with it scaling beyond DTC into B2B and expanding beyond the Nordics. “You can grow in DTC exponentially forever without a chief brand officer, but in B2B it requires a specific touch.”

Morga Alden has spent her entire career in the beauty industry. Most recently she served as vice-president of brand at Makeup by Mario and before that spent three years rising up the ranks at LVMH, as well as a stint at Estée Lauder.

Having worked in larger organizations, Morga Alden says she can “bring a level of process that has been tested over time.” She has however also worked for some “scrappy” startups that have gone on to achieve global scale. “Trying to be very efficient with the marketing dollars is a big priority for me,” she says.

“There’s a lot of commercial know-how that I’m going to bring to the business in transforming from a DTC to an omni business. It is a very different way to approach essentially every single consumer touchpoint in the business.”

David to Gillette’s Goliath

The Estrid brand launched in Sweden in 2019 as a direct-to-consumer and subscription-based product before striking up a partnership with Swedish retailer H&M. In the summer of 2023, Estrid made an aggressive push into retail and the brand is now on track to be in 10,000 stores by the end of 2023.

Having made a name for itself on TikTok with its pastel colors, sleek design and vegan credentials, Estrid initially thought its core demographic was Gen Z but it has since found its audience to be much broader, with Millennials, Gen X and even Baby Boomers adopting the brand.

Estrid’s marketing strategy to date has been entirely geared towards DTC, using a blend of conversion-focused influencer marketing and performance. Now though, Morga Alden wants to make a “healthier” marketing funnel.

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In March, Estrid made its first above-the-line play with a bold TV ad featuring author Florence Given, activist and model Munroe Bergdorf, trans visibility activist Gialu Mx and queer body positivity influencer Enam Asiama, among others. Morga Alden hints that there is more TV to come, as well as out-of-home, PR and influencer events. She also has a personal love for building brands organically with earned media.

“It’s all a part of telling the brand’s story and it doesn’t necessarily have to do with one campaign. Now that we’re becoming a much larger company, it’s important that we make that marketing next much healthier.”

Breaking into a UK market that Proctor & Gamble’s Gillette owns 73% of is no small task; US brand Dollar Shave Club has already felt this pain as it struggles for profitability. “Gillette has owned the market for a century, so how do we bring something new and innovative and different? We see ourselves as the David to Gillette’s Goliath.” There are also a number of new alternative razor brands, such as FFS, The Perfect Razor and Nuddy, all trying to gain market share.

A big part of Morga Alden’s plans is to develop a brand voice for Estrid that will resonate with retailers and consumers.

“Within Europe, we are one of the only brands saying something different and we want to make sure that we catapult this category into the 21st century. A big part of me entering this company is to futureproof it. It’s not just about building the brand; it’s about building the brand and having it stay there.”

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