Entrepreneur

Despite Major Competition, This M’sian Sonic Toothbrush Brand Acquired 2k Users In 1 Year

Author’s Blurb: When thinking about sonic or electric toothbrushes, I would just brush off the idea seeing as it is more of a luxury in oral hygiene than a necessity. On top of that, making a run to the store every few months just to change heads is much more of a hassle than purchasing a bundle of manual toothbrushes on the get-go.  

All too aware of this issue amongst Malaysians, local startup Brudee took it upon themselves to offer a cheaper product with quality that was still on par with popular brands in the market.

They officially launched on September 13, 2019 with the objective of providing an affordable range of oral care products to Malaysians, starting with sonic toothbrushes. 

Dictionary Time: Sonic toothbrushes are not the same as electric toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes rotate at a rate of about 2,500 to 7,500 strokes per minute whereas sonic toothbrushes vibrate at about 30,000 brushes per minute. Its higher brush speed agitates fluids in your mouth and turns them into cleaning agents to reach between teeth and below the gum line that the brush cannot.

Blue Back Dental

For instance, the array of Oral-B’s electric toothbrushes function similarly to a sonic toothbrush like Brudee’s but will not vibrate as much nor agitate fluids in your mouth.

Is Brudee Truly The Most Affordable Out There?

Part of their goal of accessibility means conveniently delivering new brush heads to your doorstep via a subscription plan.

Their sonic toothbrush alone costs RM139 for a one-time purchase, whereas opting for their subscription plan would cost you RM129 for the toothbrush and RM25 every 3 months for a new brush head.

A year’s subscription on the other hand would cost RM179 for the toothbrush and brush head refills which will be delivered 3 times a year.

As of now, about 50% of their users have signed up for the subscription plan.

In terms of rechargeable sonic toothbrushes, Brudee fares the best pricing wise as compared to Zenyum, Philips, and XiaoMi

Zenyum offers a similar 3-month subscription plan of RM25 for brush head refills, but costs RM50 more than Brudee for the brush itself in the package. 

Philips and XiaoMi on the other hand do not have a subscription model and their sonic toothbrushes are more expensive than both Brudee’s and Zenyum’s. 

Moreover, Philips and XiaoMi’s head replacement costs almost 2 times and 4 times more respectively. 

On the other hand, even cheaper sonic toothbrush options are battery-operated ones from brands like Darlie and Systema.

Darlie and Systema’s sonic toothbrushes cost only RM60 and RM90, and they both include two brush head refills in each pack for about RM40. 

Hence, if your main concern is the cost, battery-operated sonic toothbrushes would be ideal.

Of course, that would mean foregoing the convenience of Brudee’s subscription based brush head refills delivered straight to your door. It’s all about what you’re prioritising.

Brudee’s sonic toothbrushes / Image Credit: Brudee

Braving The Competition

With so much competition around them, we asked Jeremy if this worried him, to which he replied no.

“We want the team to keep on improving. If we are the only ones, then I believe the company will fail to keep on improving because there’s no competition at all.”

“Secondly, when more people are creating brands like Brudee, they are also creating an awareness to the public about the importance of sonic toothbrushes,” he said. 

They may be the new kid on the block surrounded by more established brands in the oral healthcare industry, but Brudee’s high quality and lower prices already set them apart.

This is possible thanks to a lean business model that cuts out middleman costs.

Despite welcoming competition, Jeremy still intends to establish Brudee as a household name, which is their current biggest challenge.

They’ve only done small-scale campaigns with the help of some Instagram influencers to increase their brand awareness on social media.

In the future, however, they plan on joining dental expos to promote their products in the coming year as part of their on-ground campaigning efforts.

Meeting Millennial Demands

When they started out, they set a goal of attaining 5,000 users by the end of 2020, and have acquired about 2,000 as of now. 

While they’ve not quite hit their goal, Jeremy believes that Brudee has nonetheless established a solid foundation over the course of a year’s time.

The Brudee team / Image Credit: Brudee

So long as they continue to target the right audience, he’s confident they’ve got what it takes to make it.

Brudee’s target audience is made up of millennials for 2 reasons:

  • They’re more health conscious and open to improving oral hygiene with modern innovations;
  • They have more familiarity with subscription models.

Once they’re a household name in Malaysia, Jeremy wants to expand.

For them to take the next step towards building their brand across SEA, Brudee is seeking Series B funding.

With it, the company can build a bigger and stronger team as well as provide better services and quality in their products.

Bottom line: After some research on the value of sonic toothbrushes, I wouldn’t mind giving it a go. While typically pricey, dental care is definitely worth investing in, so a startup like Brudee that’s offering a more affordable option is one to look out for.

  • You can learn more about Brudee here.
  • You can read about other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Jeremy Liew, Director of Brudee

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