Hilary Coles

Hims is making waves in the wellness industry by tapping into a market that has otherwise been largely neglected: men.

“We launched Hims to address and normalize conversations that have been too often stigmatized and educate men that it’s OK to take care of themselves and actually, it’s kind of weird not to,” said Hilary Coles, Hims’ brand leader. “We help men take care of themselves through a telemedicine platform. What that means is that we offer men access to over-the-counter and prescription medicine via an easy-to-use online consultation that pairs them with doctors licensed in their states and from a network of pharmacies across the country.”

Launched 18 months ago, Hims now has “hundreds of thousands” of men using its platform, said Coles, which gives them access to FDA-approved, medical-grade products, educational tools and medical expertise.

“In health care, there’s a debilitating stigma attached to really important issues for men. It’s largely caused by a vacuum and a lack of conversation because men are unfortunately afraid to approach these hard conversations and they’re afraid to approach them with doctors, with their closest friends and even with their partners,” Coles said.

To combat this stigma, Coles and her team place extra emphasis on packaging and marketing.

“We needed to have an experience that focused on packaging and branding and made guys feel good — something that you would be proud to have in your bathroom and on top of your nightside drawer,” she said.

The company’s marketing efforts include placing ads where men show up — New York City subway stations, the San Francisco Giants arena and local gyms, for example. Instagram is also a successful tool. After noticing hundreds of Hims users sharing videos in which they can be seen singing into their shampoo bottles in the shower, the company made a commercial featuring the videos.

“This direct and bold approach has been really critical to our marketing to connect us with new customers,” Coles said. “To serve every man, we plan to grow into new product and service categories to ensure that the brand is continuously addressing and solving the pain points men experience when it comes to their health, personal grooming and wellness.”