Bringing any brand to market is a major undertaking, but bringing a brand like GO2 to market, a brand which is so personal to me, especially as the products have literally changed my life, is even more of an undertaking. Each step of the process has been about detail. Sourcing the right ingredients for the highest quality of oils. Formulating the perfect blends can completely change if you over-blend with as little as 0.04ml of a particular oil. Then there is the actual branding and packaging, where we worked tirelessly to ensure that it’s as eco-friendly as possible, with the smallest carbon footprint possible, knowing that there is always room for improvement. The detail is mind-boggling and the journey has been exhausting, humbling, exciting and has completely enriched my life.

However, in the later part of the process, the joy was soon accompanied by complete fear. Here is the reality. I know that I love the GO2 sticks and that they have benefited me. I also know that I really can’t live without them. But, what if that’s just me and the group of amazing people which have joined me so far in the first leg of the journey? I can without reservation share that the scariest part of this entire process has been the part where we stopped only sharing GO2 with family and friends, and instead started to share it with complete strangers. Strangers who were asked to look at the GO2 brand and its performance, and to do so with a critical eye. Yes, it was the judgement process of focus groups. Knowing that this large group of people was designed to judge, prod, impart their opinions, critique and to simply tell us if we were nuts for being this passionate about GO2 and the small sticks containing mood changing essential oil blends, was somewhat nerve-racking.

The focus group was put together by an external company and consisted of 200 people, all given four GO2 sticks, one of each blend. They were asked to live with them for a period and then share their opinion anonymously, using an online survey system. The survey covered everything from brand, packaging, price point and of course the most important area, performance. GO2 was now out there for the world to judge.

I was given access to the backend dashboard to review incoming survey results, which meant that the days and weeks to follow brought on a new obsession for me, the-hitting-of-the-refresh-button. The first two weeks were slow, no responses were coming through. No feedback, no comments. My thought was that they must have hated it, and this being a good idea must have been in my head. However, by week three the first responses started to come through, and oh my, they didn’t hate it, in fact, the opposite. It was scoring incredibly high with comments like “It’s fab. Fresh & conceptually spot on!” and “Often I can be working on multiple projects or have a number of conflicting priorities that sometimes can result in feeling overwhelmed. The focus stick allowed me to focus my energies on working through my priorities in a more structured manner”. More and more testers were giving their feedback and by the end of week four, it was hitting straight 4 and 5s (out of 5) across the questions. At the end of it all, the overall score of the brand received a whopping 93% score. Yes, celebrations were had!!!

In addition to positive feedback and high scores, we also received some constructive comments, many subjective, but it showed us how involved and invested the testers really were. One tester felt that the ENERGY stick colour could maybe be green instead of red, another felt that when it came to product performance claims, the messaging should be even more ‘forceful’ i.e “tackles anxiety” and “makes you focused”. All feedback given was insightful and helpful, and we really appreciate the time the testers took to help us.

Love it! Helps me go off to sleep – something I struggle with normally. When I wake in the night I use it straight away and it helps me go back to sleep.

After years of living with the idea of the GO2 brand and working so hard for it to become a reality, I now feel complete excitement. Prior to the focus group experience, I knew what I believed to be true; the brand and the product performance was brilliant. However, to have that fact confirmed by so many others has completely eliminated that annoying voice in my head which sometimes appeared, trying its hardest to plant small seeds of doubt. What an incredible start.

We are now gearing up for an August launch, website going live in a few days and open for preorders. I can with complete confidence and backing of a large focus group say, get yours and become #abetteryou, it’s a mood changer.

About Marc Shipman

Marc is the founder of the GO2 brand and visionary force who brought the brand architects together. He has been an entrepreneur since a young age, owning brands in both the beauty and professional hair care market. Marc is also an active property developer. He is a father of three and lives a very busy lifestyle, which partly includes wrestling and Schutzhund dog training. The GO2 brand came about as a result of this very busy lifestyle.

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