Where did the idea come from?
After our founder Rob van Gorp read an article about prebiotic food supplements. Prebiotic food supplements are known for the fact that they alter the way we use vitamins, trace elements, and minerals in our bodies. Rob started digging and came into contact with a known bio scientist that used prebiotic substances made out of brown algae to strengthen patients in private clinics that were rehabilitating from various deceases. From that moment and on, him and Rob, started to call almost every day, discussing the possibilities of this prebiotic product and they clicked tremendously. The scientist then stated that he used the prebiotic when he went to do business in Balkan countries, where it’s a custom to take your business partners to a club. So accompanied by lots of alcohol, you try to make a connection. BUT the next morning, they like to schedule meetings at 8:00AM to see what kind of a man you are. He used to take the prebiotics before and after, and it helped him everytime.
Rob was intrigued by this story and decided to order a small batch of this product. After some limit testing, and some normal testing, he concluded that it worked for him. He ordered some more, organized a randomized trial with placebo test on 242 people to check the results. Eventually it came down to a 88% success rate. So Rob started to plan the next steps.
Realisation of the idea
The next steps were really exciting because there were already some anti hangover products around. These didn’t seem very successful in effectiveness AND businesswise.
So what would we do different? By a mutual friend Rob came into contact with De Creatieve Afdeling. Which was a creative branding firm, based in Boxtel. After pitching the product to the owner Erwin, we had a great feeling. We all had the feeling that this would be a huge success. So we made a deal: we became partners.
The first step was a name. We have worked on a name for 6 weeks. Every time we found something suitable it was taken. By the weirdest companies, that didn’t even have anything to do with hangovers. The initial name of Magic Hangover was “happy hangover”. This would communicate our identity better than anything else. Happy hangover was taken by a Austrian based company producing some kind of orange juice. Can you believe it?! What do they need that name for anyway!? After a week Edwin called Rob in the middle of the night, and he screamed Rob, I know the name: “Magic Hangover”. And then, in october 2019, Magic Hangover was born.
What happened next was the branding process. Which is crucial and really, really hard to do. The target group for our product, we thought, were rebels. Rebels who would show off Magic Hangover everywhere they went. So we wouldn’t make it white with light grey or green. This would be too medical or cosmetic. Did we ever see purple designs before? Neither one of us saw any of those, so we tried different shades of purple. The purple designs that De Creatieve Afdeling came up with really caught Rob’s eye.
Obviously we needed a logo. An avatar, a mascotte. A mascotte should be an animal. And what kind of animal communicates hangovers? We came up with a lot of funny things. A male cat in Dutch is called a “kater”, a hangover is also called a “kater”. If we would stay in the Netherlands, then this would be funny. Anywhere else would not get our joke. We would also have a rabbit, because magicians conjure rabbits out of their hats, hence “magic”. But if we did that, we couldn’t let it seem like a rebel brand. But what animal is more of a rebel than a rooster? A rooster is an aggressive, cool, rebel animal. But besides that, a rooster wakes people up in the very early morning. So what communicates a hangover free morning more than a rooster? So De Creatieve Afdeling started to design a rooster logo. They nailed it in a few days. No revisions. It was spot on.
THE FIRST BATCH & more
With the branding done, we started on the website. Which was done 2 weeks after the branding process. Initially we wanted to do a pre sale, so we wouldn’t have to buy the product up front. We encountered several problems IT wise, so Rob decided to invest his money into the first batch. So we gave green light for the production of 30.000 Magic Hangover duopacks. And the rest is history.
CUSTOMER RESPONSES & more
Initially we went the first full year without any social media presence or advertising. A lot of our customers came from word to mouth. We did some promo’s here and there, but we managed to sell respectable amounts just by the quality of our product. 95% of the customers came back for more. What surprised us the most was our customers demographics. When we started out we thought we would sell our product to people in between 20 and 35 years old. But as it turned out most of our customers were in between 30 and 45.
A year later, we started seeing orders coming in from Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Kosovo, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, the UK, Mexico, The USA and even Kazachstan. We never expected Magic Hangover to grow internationally so quick.
We were even invited to have a stand to promote our product at Festivak, which is one of the biggest festival fairs in Europe. We met so many awesome people there that were intrigued by our product!
What is our vision?
Our vision has always been the same:
We want to make drinking alcohol more bearable for everyone. We know drinking is a big thing in most countries. Everyone also knows that drinking is not healthy. This is a fact. But it is fun, it’s a lot of fun. Our kind of product provokes a lot of ethical discussions. Does it make you drink more? Isn’t it dangerous that you feel less hungover the next day?
Our answer is NO. Our product is something you can use to be more productive the next day. Go to the gym, see your parents, enjoy time with your children/wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/dog/cat, do whatever feels good. Our product makes your time more valuable. So we deliver value to people, what is dangerous about that?