THE Tauranga team behind the Roholm Inverse Conditioning System has reached an agreement with Brand Developers, the biggest direct response marketing (DRM) company in Australasia.
A DRM TV campaign for the innovative hair conditioning product will be launched this month, said Timothy Allan, managing director of product development and innovation company Locus Research, which is also an equity investor in Roholm.
Brand Developers developed, manufactures and distributes the Thin Lizzy women's beauty line, among other products.
Roholm was close to signing a deal for distribution into professional hair care companies in the UK and was also in advanced discussions for distribution in the Middle East, said Mr Allan.
"I think the potential of Inverse is substantial. It represents a paradigm change in women's hair conditioning. Inverse is probably the first significant new product category since the advent of hair straighteners."
The concept was the brainchild of Tauranga hairdresser David Roe, who was inspired by his wife using an ice-rinse on her hair.
The system uses sub-zero temperature to induce a natural conditioning effect, using removable ice cores that are frozen to set the sub-zero temperature. When run through the hair like a traditional hot tool, the cold temperatures lock in moisture.
Members of Bay of Plenty startup funding group Enterprise Angels invested in and set up Roholm to develop the concept and Locus has worked closely with the company to refine the design, develop the manufacturing process and bring the product to market.
The Inverse system will be assembled in New Zealand and most of the product is also made in New Zealand.
Mr Allen praised the contribution of Hamilton-based Millennium Plastics, which has evolved from providing components to leading the supply chain process.
Tony Rutz, Millenium Plastics general manager, said his company had helped refine the product for manufacturing.
"We deal with a lot of brand owners who compete on the international stage," said Mr Rutz. "So we work pretty hard to make sure we can drive out wasteful costs and remain competitive."
Brand Developers director Wendy Nowell-Usticke said the company was in the business of creating brands.
"We are always looking for something which is innovative. Inverse is a great concept. It's a chemical free way of improving hair - all you need is a freezer."
Ms Nowell-Usticke said Brand Developers had done its own testing with a sample group of users and was very satisfied with the results.
She said the company expected to follow its usual model, beginning with DRM television marketing, and would then move the product into retail outlets.
Roholm's Inverse Conditioning System
Gold pin winner (concept/environmental)
- Designer's Institute of New Zealand, Best Design Awards.
Finalist - New Zealand Innovation Awards.