The Menswear Style Podcast

David Cran, Vice President UK, Ireland & Iberia at SmileDirectClub

May 13, 2021 Menswear Style Episode 124
The Menswear Style Podcast
David Cran, Vice President UK, Ireland & Iberia at SmileDirectClub
Chapters
The Menswear Style Podcast
David Cran, Vice President UK, Ireland & Iberia at SmileDirectClub
May 13, 2021 Episode 124
Menswear Style

SmileDirectClub is an oral care company that exists to help more people realise the life-changing potential of their smiles. They're the creators of the first teledentistry platform for teeth straightening, and now also offered directly via dentists’ and orthodontists’ offices. With their cutting-edge technology and vertically integrated model, they are revolutionising the oral care industry, from clear aligner therapy to affordable, premium oral care product line.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview David Cran, Vice President UK, Ireland & Iberia at SmileDirectClub about the story and mission of the company which has an aim to give people a more affordable option for premium oral care to straighten teeth and improve confidence. Customers can start their journey entirely online or visit a physical store. Everyone is assigned a dental professional and given a 3D impression of how their new smile will look in 4-6 months. Our host Peter Brooker and David also talk about how clear aligners work, the brand's smile guarantee,  and working with influencers.

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Show Notes Transcript

SmileDirectClub is an oral care company that exists to help more people realise the life-changing potential of their smiles. They're the creators of the first teledentistry platform for teeth straightening, and now also offered directly via dentists’ and orthodontists’ offices. With their cutting-edge technology and vertically integrated model, they are revolutionising the oral care industry, from clear aligner therapy to affordable, premium oral care product line.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview David Cran, Vice President UK, Ireland & Iberia at SmileDirectClub about the story and mission of the company which has an aim to give people a more affordable option for premium oral care to straighten teeth and improve confidence. Customers can start their journey entirely online or visit a physical store. Everyone is assigned a dental professional and given a 3D impression of how their new smile will look in 4-6 months. Our host Peter Brooker and David also talk about how clear aligners work, the brand's smile guarantee,  and working with influencers.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Unknown:

Hello, welcome back to another episode of The menswear style podcast. I'm your host Pete Brooker. On this episode I'm going to talk to David kram, Vice President of UK, Ireland and Iberia at smile direct club, thinking about getting your teeth straightened and sorted out. Don't know what's involved or where to go then this is the episode for you have a little bit of science A study by smile direct club, the oral care leader with the first med tech platform for tea straightening also revealed that one in four Brits have brought up with their partner, enhancing their appearance with the biggest bugbear being teeth and oral hygiene. A quarter of Brits said they would like to have their partner's teeth straightened or whitened 17% they have have said they've fallen out of love due to bad breath and 47 admitted breath would be an absolute relationship turnoff. So let's get into it. Here's David in his own words to talk about smile direct club. So yeah, I've been with smile direct club known for around two years and was part of the journey here setting up the business in the UK in Ireland. So it's been a really, really exciting couple of years and, you know, maybe for take you on a bit of a journey right with smile direct club and, and you know what we're about? Yeah, so we, yeah, we set out on a mission. It was around seven, seven years ago to democratise a small business. That was by providing you know, premium, affordable care. Helping people realise that life changing potential rate of their smile. And we do this through our telehealth platform, we're actually pioneering telehealth platform which connects our customers with dentists treating dentists and orthodontists who remotely prescribe and manage clear aligner therapy. Okay, so our treatment lasts between four and six months. And, you know, really is a very kind of safe, convenient, affordable option for so many people when considering you know, we do this for around 60% less than the traditional routes and taking out all those kind of costly and inconvenient dental visits that you would have, you know, in the traditional traditional route, or route to it straightening to someone that is just looking to getting their teeth straightened there. They've been thinking about it for some time. Maybe they smiled for a photograph, and the girlfriends just said, No, it's time. I've had enough. What are the initial steps? Where do they go? And what do you what do you do for the first initial steps? Yeah, well, yeah, good question. So um, so our customers kind of start their journey, their small journey on a website, that would be the first step that some small direct club.co.uk and they can their book a book in for a 3d scan that's in one of our small shops, with a with a smile guide, and that's a registered dental professional, located in the UK. And we have a few 100 shops actually small shops around the world. So yeah, that's one route starting. The other one is through the at home impression kits. So customer can order their impressions at home. And, you know, they'll get trays with party, and they take their own impressions, and then send them back to us uploading some some photos as well. Right. So those scans, whether it's done in the shop, or the impressions, you know, are then reviewed by our dental team, and, you know, gathering the route the necessary information, the dental team will then make the call as to whether or not that patient that customer can then start the treatment with us, right. So um, you know, within within a few weeks of kind of agreeing to their treatment plan. And they will get they'll get some visuals of of their, of their teeth moving, straightening and sent to them. So if they're in agreement with that plan, then you know, they'll sign up and join the club. So within about, you know, four weeks they'll then received from Mr. chuckles box. So that's a famous, famous Vertical Box. With all the clear line of therapy, which has been created and created you're prescribed by that registered dental professional, right, they're treating dentist so the treatment last then four to six months and it's kind of closely monitored throughout that period with the customer kind of logging into their their portal regularly not loading progress photos right as their smile slowly changes and improves. And you know if there's any, any what we call touch ups that need to be done through and through that period, then you know, the customer had the chance to come into the small shop again, get another scan or another impression kit sent to them. So yeah, so it's a really convenient, right? convenient way to, to strip teeth. It's so safe because it's it's remotely kind of monitored by those treating dentists and orthodontists. And, you know, like I said, we take out all those costly dental visits along the way. So the convenience factor, you know, is so, so great compared to the traditional routes. And the other piece that we have is that 24 seven Customer Care helpline, which gives the customer access to our care team and dental professionals if that's needed. And not often is that needed, but it's there, right? Should should a customer need to talk to anyone throughout the course of treatment, and then we can put them in contact directly with a dentist through a platform. So yeah, so that's, that's the journey, right? That that our customers go on? Fascinating. And so with these, do you call them braces, when they when they're given the travel kit? They put the braces in? Are these just one set of braces that last over six months? Or do they kind of go from it? Yeah. So this is this is what we call clear aligner therapy. Yes. So um, so that it's a series of it's a treatment plan. So there's a series of aligners clear aligners in that box, and, you know, the customer will have a date on each one in terms of when they should change them, and move on. So, so you've got a gradual shifting rate of the teeth over the course of those kind of four to six months. But yeah, it's all kind of all directed and, and monitored throughout. As I said, there's, there's, there's regular check ins, for the customer to kind of upload the progress as well. Right. Interesting. Yeah, the other piece for sorry, yeah, the other piece for STC which kind of sets us apart a bit is our, you know, our technology and innovation that we have, and, you know, I think, I think, you know, there's there's actually night 10 clear aligners as well, for people. So if they didn't want to do the kind of daytime treatment, and if there were suitable for nighttime aligners, then they could actually, you know, use the aligners just at night in their sleep. So I think that's a, that's a really great, a really great, you know, offer for from us as well. And the other part is our comfort sense technology, right. So we have this, this new technology we've just introduced, which is kind of all about moving the teeth more gradually at the beginning. So so the aligners, the plastic liners will be, will be kind of thinner at the beginning of the journey. And so it will move the teeth, you know, a bit slower at the beginning, and also the kind of cut laser cut to kind of match the gum line, right? So you don't get that nasty abrasion when you're wearing them. Right. Interesting. And how many, how aware of people would you say, David, this is probably a bit of a generic overall form, maybe you can help help me with it. But like, Guys, especially when it comes to teeth and their appearance, are they kind of in tune in aware of how important it is? With regards to either their own confidence or with regards to how other people perceive them? I mean, like, I've got friends who are CEOs and quite high positions. And, you know, it's quite strange to me that they seem to have gone throughout large parts of their life and have neglected certain things with their teeth. I don't tell that to their face, obviously. But it's, you know, I mean, is it? Is it something that people are becoming more aware of now, have you seen more of a trajectory in that way? Yeah, I wouldn't necessarily say it's kind of more aware. I think it's the fact that you know, we're a company that seems to offer the treatment you know, you look at look at around the world right around 85 right percent of the of the population around the world right need to need some kind of teeth straightening and yet less than 1% are able to access it. Yeah. So if you look at a company like us and which is doing really well you know, offering offering that product, that T streaming product for so much less right than the than the traditional means and so much more convenient. And, you know, I think it's it's opened up or you know, a whole new a whole new route and Avenue into entity straightening and I think the other room Yeah, the other thing which which it brings about or to the, to that consumer to that person is that is the added health benefits, right? So whether that be the, the, you know, the the improved oral care because you're able to kind of floss and clean your teeth, you know, more effectively through having you know, straight teeth, there's that the mental health benefits as well, you know, people who have been kind of bothered about it, you know, during the course of their life, and in you know, able to able to kind of fix that thing, you know, which is always kind of bothered them, you know, when they do look in the mirror, you know, look at their pictures. So, you know, there's a huge huge piece here as well, just about, you know, people's confidence and how we're able to, to improve that and I think that's one of One of the fantastic things right about working for the company is, is that, you know, every day when we come to work, when the team come to work, where we're changing lives, right, we're changing lives for the better. And I think that's a really lovely thing to be able to see that we do, right, we're not just selling any product, you know, we're selling something which gives that, you know, people confidence of that kind of life changing, you know, thing for them to improve their smile. So I think that's, that's, that's a really lovely thing, you know, that we do. And, yeah, and I think, you know, we can go back, there's a really nice thing which DK so David Katzman, our founder does. She was his son Jordan and his friend, Alex Frankel that came up with this idea, right. And it was a simple email that Jordan sent his dad. You know, and and, you know, we just about how can we disrupt you know, the orthodontics industry and provide the safe, affordable care, right. And it was simply me always DK chairs with a seat here. And I think it's a really nice thing for us to, to when we read it, right, you can smile, because it's like, that's, that's where this business, you know, came from that simple email, and all that we do, you know, we've changed the lives of one and a half million people during the course of seven years. So I think it's just a really lovely thing. Right? within the organisation. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, definitely. And you say the plans kind of stretch between four to six months. So are there plans that go longer lead treatments that go longer for people that perhaps have slightly more deteriorated T for a more complex operation? Yeah. Okay. Good question. I think, yeah, average is four to six months, and we'll be some treatment plants, which will last a bit longer. Yeah. But the average is four to six months. The other thing about smile direct club, is that we treat those mild to moderate malocclusion so mild to moderate, you know, teeth straightening issues. So we're not we're not currently doing those really severe cases. Okay. Which, which would, you know, may need that in, in it to visit the dentist. Right. And that's the, that's, that's the other thing about our treatment, you know, allowing us to achieve that four to six months. And you have payment plans as well. So it's not something that people have to kind of swallow in one go? Well, yeah, we do. Yeah, so we have a small pair, which, which allows our customers to pay to run 70 pounds a month, right over the course of 24 months. So there's the the payment plan smart pay. Otherwise, it's Yeah, 151539 for the whole course of the treatment. And I think the other thing, which, which we do, which is, which is great, we've just recently launched it is the lifetime smile guarantee. So that allows customers, you know, at no additional cost for the rest of their life to you know, get a touch up if they need it, because your teeth have memory. So unless you were your kind of retainers, after the treatment stops, your teeth may move back right to where they were previously. So providing you you're using those retainers we do, we do also offer a kind of touch up, which is the lifetime smile guarantee. And that's something I think which none of our competitors are doing. That's interesting. And would you recommend people could wear these, if they're comfortable wearing their retainers at night Anyway, after the procedure just to stop their teeth from grinding? I know my girlfriend does. I mean, she has these and she wears them at night because, you know, grinding your teeth just kind of really knackered. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's got all these added benefits. I mean, I've, I've recently got some myself and I've found out that I don't really snack, like during the day anymore, because it's you. You take them out, and then you have to put them into a little box to get it filled with banana or coffee. Alright, so I'll find that normally. I mean, yes, sir. So many of our customers actually, you know, they say that to us that that not only did their teeth, did their teeth, straightened, you know, but they've also also lost some weight along the way. Right. So because it's exactly that because they're not snacking, or it's, it's kind of inconvenient to snack, right. So um, so yeah, that's another benefit. Well, I don't want to get all political here. But I've had this argument my girlfriend where I felt like this sort of procedure should be mandatory by the government because a you're sorting out obesity, which will save like 50 billion a year, and people will get more confident with their teeth and you know, it will be a win win for everyone. And that's a really good point particularly raised during the course of this pandemic is people's ability to access right dental care, and, you know, it wasn't there, right, the dentist close. So, you know, for a big part of the pandemic period there people just weren't able to access, access care at all. And I think that's another great thing to, you know, to plug it in here. But it's another great thing which came out of pandemic for us, you know, that we were able to provide that service to people right during the course. When all the dentists were were, were closed and the other thing is that the the NHS in the UK here, they wouldn't treat those mild to moderate cases. Right? They only do the severe cases. So yeah, so I think we kind of fit in there to provide that. completely forgot about the dentist being closed during lockdown. Yeah, especially at the start because I think it was like day two of lockdown. I broke off half a tooth. It was a dead tooth anyway, I had root canal work, but it was right. So I had like half a tooth that was just going on for about six months. And then that gradual process of going back to the dentist, you know, there was, you know, obviously a huge backlog, but the only resolution to that would have you know, people were in real agony. Luckily, I wasn't in any kind of place people were in real pain was to go to the NHS and they'd have the teeth pulled right. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, there was just like a few emergency clinics right at the beginning there. So it was Yeah, it was. And now you know, the waiting lists that were there before and I even worse, you know, I I actually called up to join a to join an NHS practice. Yeah. Not just I think was two months ago, right. And I was told I would have to wait like 12 months, right before I could get on the list. Yeah. Wow. That's that's here, you know, in and around London is crazy. I mean, it I think it should at least renew people's. If they take them for granted, then certainly when they're in agony, or, you know, in they can't get to see anyone I mean, just over Easter, my girlfriend had a an abscess going under. Sounds like that the Shop of Horrors here at my flat, I mean, but, like, over four days of Easter, there wasn't anyone that was open for just seeing her. And you know, it's just like that little window where you just can't get to a dentist, but it can mean everything. So yeah. David, maybe you can just touch upon the social media element. I'm curious. I'm always curious about the social media side to people's businesses. If you can just tell us how you strategize that, how do you leverage that to get people to your site? If at all mean? Yeah, quite a following. So yeah, well, you know, what, we're, we're very much a technology company and digitally enabled. So, you know, a lot of our customers, all of them probably are consuming, you know, that information through social media platforms. So yeah, we do. We do advertise throughout, you know, on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, tik tok, all the all the key players you'd expect, right, so we engage that way we we have also influencers? So we've got an influencer programme. And, yeah, I think, I think that's a great way where influencers can actually kind of inspire people, right? To go through treatment as well. And these are not just influencers kind of paid to talk about the product, these are, these are influences that have gone through the treatment. So I think that's an important point. Right? These are real people who have who have gone through the small direct club treatment. And, yeah, I think it's just a great way to connect and, and to show to show everyone you know, that this is achievable. Right. And and that is affordable. With the prices, you know, that I've already said that we're offering, you know, it's it's an achievable and affordable thing for people to be able to do to change their life. So yeah, we are I'm very much a marketing organisation. Yeah. And, you know, in that respect, and yeah, we spend, we spend big budgets on marketing and engaging consumers. Yeah, through through platforms. And yeah, I was about to say, it must be a quite a process to find the right influencer, that's not already there with the six pack in the gleaming right teeth, because they don't need to go through that process. But to find the kind of person that's just right, that does need something, or some kind of correcting through, right, yeah. And we have Yeah, yeah, PR agency we work with here in the UK, that helps us kind of go through that. Yeah. So yeah, good news. And lots of what about teeth whitening? David, do you offer that as well? Or is that something completely separate? Okay, so Yeah, good question. So I think in the, in the, in the business, we do actually have a range of oral care products now. So these are, these are in the US at the moment. So all throughout the US and Walmart, CVS pharmacies, and you know, in the course of you know, just the last year, we've become the kind of category leader in electric toothbrushes, in the teeth whitening products, toothpaste, we do water flossers, and then the kind of hygiene spas for the aligners as well to clean them each day. And so yeah, we have we have a really great range of products, which is rolled out throughout the US and, you know, maybe something that we'll look forward to having here in the UK at some point. Okay. Yeah, I hope so. I mean, could you order that online for your website if you're based in the UK? Yeah. So whitening products No, because they are heavily regulated here in the UK. Right. So And the and the other, you know, the Auto Care range isn't available at the moment to order. But yeah, we're looking into that and because, you know, you need to go through the necessary registrations right within each territory, so within the UK within EU and so on, so that process needs to take place. Okay, so things to come for the future. Is there anything else that you're working on right now that but what sorry, one thing about the waning though is that when people do start their their journey, they they are prescribed some whitening pens right with or which come in their blurple box. Yeah, I should have said that when they're in the midst of chocolate box. So that have, you know, white white in their smile as their as their teeth are moving? Yeah. So So there are some whitening pens here, which we which we prescribing and give to give to our consumers. Yeah. That's interesting. That's good to know. Oh, David, thanks so much for taking time out. And walking us through the journey. And people can find out more through the website. It's smiledirectclub.co. UK, we'll put all the links over on on the blog and in the show notes where people can find you and where to go and and agree more. Yeah, and I think Yeah, keep an eye on that on the website, because there's some exciting plans coming out coming coming soon. Right to the UK. And you'll see some Yeah, you'll see us popping up here there and everywhere during the course of the next six months occurring. See More than that, but it's quite an exciting project. Yeah, that we're launching over, you know, and some other international markets as well. coming online soon. So yeah. David, thanks again for your time. Thank you, Peter. I hope I was able to meet you smile today. Well, thank you David. Once more, you can check out all the information and get in touch with the guys over there at smile direct club, Koto, UK. We'll leave all the details and links over on the show notes at menswear. style.co. UK and we're on the social at men's wear style. Drop us a comment. Tell us what's going on in your world main. Thank you for tuning in. If you like Why not leave us a review. It does help my ego and if you want to be a guest on the show, tell us about your brand. Tell us about how you got here. You can email us at info at menswear styled or coda UK until next time