Have you seen a toothbrush that’s always showing up in Facebook ads? If you don’t have one already, it might surprise you that quip, the company that invented it, currently has a net worth of over $1.14 billion.
How did they get there? Unlike most consumer product companies, quip didn’t start with a product first. They focused on a problem first: People weren’t brushing, changing brush heads, or flossing nearly enough. Using those shortcomings as a starting point, they began to revolutionize the dental product industry.
Inventing a New Design
After seeing the sleek, modern design of a quip toothbrush, it won’t surprise you that two industrial designers invented it. Co-founder and CEO Simon Enever got the idea for quip toothbrushes in 2012 after a visit to the dentist in Queens, New York. His dentist mentioned that, despite electric toothbrushes working so well, people still didn’t use them enough.
That day, Enever called Bill May — who’d worked for Lifetime Brands like Farberware and KitchenAid — and they started working on the company and product idea.
But how do you break into a market dominated by two corporate brands? Existing electric toothbrushes worked great. But Enever, like most Americans, just couldn’t find one he wanted to use. The toothbrushes were heavy, the charging stands were clumsy, and the brush itself often felt too big, too small, or too oddly shaped.
From there, Enever and May stripped down many expensive, unnecessary features that toothbrushes had while keeping the most useful features, like a buzzing timer. That led to the signature, simplistic, and familiar quip toothbrush design we know today.
Creating a Worldwide Trend
With a competitive, affordable price ($25) and subscription service, quip makes it easy for users to stay on top of their oral health. Quip also works directly with dentists, who offer patients free quip subscriptions if they come in for six-month checkups. With quip’s sleek, light, and convenient design, and even a Bluetooth app for tracking and rewarding customers with healthy brushing habits, it’s no wonder quip toothbrushes are a worldwide success.
Enever and May’s innovation wasn’t really in the toothbrush itself, but the way they envisioned how a toothbrush can encourage people to keep brushing. We think it’s safe to assume that many other dental brands, even other health-focused brands, will take inspiration from this approach.