Since it launched 15 years ago, Australian haircare brand Evo has been on a mission to bring the hair industry back to its glory days, when gimmick-free products were created for people who loved hair, by people who loved hair. American Salon sat down with Lauren McCowan, Evo’s global creative director, to talk about the brand’s mission, its secret to client retention and what it's doing to stand out.
How did the concept for Evo begin?
Our founder, Garth Gauvin, comes from a family of hairdressers, and after years of working in their haircare distribution company, he found himself fed up with the well-worn marketing path led by big corporations. With a mission to "save ordinary humans from themselves," Evo was born.
How has the concept developed over the years?
Almost 15 years later, Evo is still providing simple products that respect people and the planet. Our offerings may have multiplied, but we continue to shake up the hair industry in our own way. Last year, we launched a campaign called Don’t Buy It, which asked consumers to question, think and talk about society’s seemingly impossible pressures and unrealistic standards of beauty. This message is now more relevant than ever with big brands, media and society creating false standards of beauty, leaving consumers pressured to conform. In reality, these ideals of perfection are unattainable, because perfection simply doesn’t exist. At Evo, we don’t sell ideals of perfection. We’re here to give anyone and everyone good hair, and we’re firm believers that beauty is abundant, not something that can be found in a bottle. Our core concept will always remain the same: to challenge the status quo, creating change for the common good. We’re here to give you good hair, and make you think and smile along the way!
How are you working to emphasize the client/stylist relationship? Why is this so important to you?
The client/stylist relationship is what makes our industry so spectacular. It’s something no one can take away from us. As hairdressers, we’re always connecting back to this relationship, and in the digital age, industries built on human connection are becoming more important. Celebrating and understanding this is a key way to grow and protect the industry. By looking after your clients, you’re offering better services, increasing client satisfaction and ultimately growing your business.
From Product Knowledge classes to Advanced Hair Craft, we weave this understanding into the way we educate. Connecting your service as a stylist into your client’s life is essential to maintaining long-term clients.
One of Evo's goals is to change the way we think of the modern hairdresser. How are you doing this?
I spend a lot of my life traveling and connecting with hairdressers across the globe, and I’ve been fortunate enough to discover what really makes creatives tick. I use it to shape education content that allows hairdressers to be themselves while growing technically. For me, changing the way we think of the modern hairdresser is linked to the challenge of keeping young creatives in the industry. I’m working on some exciting initiatives that connect hairdresser profiles to consumer-facing platforms, as well as educating schools and creative colleges on the versatility of a hairdressing career. I’m passionate about providing young stylists with the clear pathways and transparency needed to see how they can get from where they are to where we are.
Each one of the Evo products has a memorable, funny message. Why go this route?
We’re a serious brand with a serious mission, but we don’t take ourselves seriously. We aren’t promising the answer to love, life and other woes—we just want people to have fun while having fun with their hair, so why not let this shine through wherever we can?
Hairdressers are fun, creative people that bring joy and positive experiences. Our humorous messaging is designed to connect people, create conversations and allow the professional to introduce their client to an Evo product without feeling like they have to sell it. Our aim is to get people thinking and smiling, and I think our packaging does just that.
Can you give a teaser about what’s next for Evo?
I can’t say too much, but we have some big things coming—think salon-exclusive experiences and range extensions. The Evo offering is growing, and our 2020 additions will help demonstrate we are an all-inclusive haircare brand with something for anyone and everyone. Keep an eye out for some exciting launches!