Taking a homegrown brand international: The Koh story

How eco-friendly cleaning solution, Koh, earned a loyal fan base on social media and is now building its international market.

Visual Audio

A tall man stands in a stylish open plan office. A range of white containers labelled 'Koh' are displayed on a desk. 

Text: Adam Lindsay, Koh-Founder.

ADAM LINDSAY: Hi there. My name's Adam. I'm the co-founder of Koh. We're a home eco-cleaning system.
Photos show Adam and a bearded man posing near piles of labelled boxes and holding Koh bottles. A toddler sits in Adam's car. Holding a baby, Adam vacuums and cleans a mirror. He sprays and cleans a range hood.
ADAM LINDSAY: Koh was born in Bondi. I was a work-from-home dad that was also looking after a number of the domestic duties, which included the cleaning, so I kind of had a very strong motivation to want to find something that was effective and safe for us in the family.

The green 'Koh' logo is emblazoned on an office window. People work in the open plan office. The bearded man sits talking with Adam. He's interviewed. 

Text: Justin Alexander, Koh-Founder.

JUSTIN ALEXANDER: I'm Justin Alexander, co-founder of Koh. I've known Adam for many years. He showed me this product and I was suitably wowed by it and I was very keen to come on board and join him on his mission. As the formulation was finalised, we launched the business from there.
Adam is interviewed in the office. In a market stall, he demonstrates a cleaning product. Adam and Justin talk to customers.
ADAM LINDSAY: We started off in a very traditional environment, which were the farmers' markets. And that was, for us... was really a critical thing, was just to be able to look people in the eye and ask them about the product, what was important to them, you know, and also having our customers coming back and feeding back to us what they liked, what they didn't like.
Phone video of Koh products plays on a computer screen. Justin and a woman discuss the video.
JUSTIN ALEXANDER: The transition from the farmers' markets to online was quite a seamless one for us, really, because we basically took those learnings and that kind of presentation that we were doing at the farmers' markets and created a video and took that onto social media.
On a Facebook page videos show Adam cleaning, checking his phone, and showing a woman a box of products. Many videos are listed on the page.
ADAM LINDSAY: Facebook has provided us with the medium of video to be able to explain our story and to be able to tell our, you know, customers around the product, how-to videos and the whole thing. The other thing that Facebook has given us is the ability to communicate directly with our customers in a very real-time manner.
A video of Adam demonstrating the product is edited. Justin works with the editor.
JUSTIN ALEXANDER: Presenting our online demonstrations, with Adam at front of camera there, it's really all about showing the efficacy of the product and the authenticity of it.
The open plan office where Adam is interviewed is decorated with large pot plants.
ADAM LINDSAY: Just the fact that we were just using the resources that we had to hand, and not to worry too much, I guess, about, you know, getting it absolutely right and it being perfect.
In a kitchen, Adam is filmed holding a cleaning product. The video appears on a Facebook page.

ADAM LINDSAY: Three and two, um...one. 

Hi, everyone. It's Adam here from Koh.

Justin talks with a colleague while staff members work on videos.
JUSTIN ALEXANDER: We obviously track all of our marketing content and actually, for us, the longer-form content performs much better than the shorter-form content. And that goes against everything you'll hear from any advertiser or marketing agency or Facebook themselves. But that's where you've got to just understand your own product and your own market and your own customers.
Around the office staff work at computers. Adam works with a young man.
ADAM LINDSAY: We've launched into the UK. We've taken, I guess, a lot of what we've learnt here in Australia and been able to deploy that into the UK.
In a lounge area, Justin has a meeting with three people. Marketing images are adjusted on a computer.
JUSTIN ALEXANDER: As we expand into new markets, our marketing needs to ensure that we're able to target those new countries. We actually approach it differently. We have a centralised marketing team here in Australia that produces the marketing content for, you know, all of the markets.

Adam works in the office. 

Adam and his family eat with Justin and others at an outdoor burger restaurant.

ADAM LINDSAY: The business is very demanding. I like to say I have two kids at home plus I've got this one here, which is the business. And it is like another child. So I'm always very conscious that, you know, family needs time. You've just got to keep a balance on all these things, or at least try.
Justin and staff enter the open plan office. Staff work at standing and sitting desks. Adam and Justin talk together.
ADAM LINDSAY: I kind of liken the business to a rocket ship. And when, you know, the rocket ship launches, it requires an extra amount of energy. You know, and once you sort of start to get momentum, you start to get more staff, you start to get more resources, then, you know, it starts to ease off. We have a couple of new products in the pipeline. The big one would be the launch into a...into a third country. There's plenty of work to be done.

The red Australia Post logo appears on a white background. 

Text: auspost.com.au/business

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It all started when Koh’s fo