Starting as a health and fitness passion project for Melbourne-based Co-Founders Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw, Keep it Cleaner (KIC) has transformed the digital fitness and wellbeing space. The inclusive platform offers a sustainable program of workouts, healthy recipes, and wellbeing content to its community of like-minded subscribers.
Last month, as part of Honan’s Wellbeing offering, KIC partnered with us to provide all staff with free access to its app. To mark the occasion, Laura joined our company-wide launch and took us through a high–intensity home workout. After we’d cooled down, we caught up with Laura to learn a little more about the brand and its whirlwind evolution to date.
THE CRUX OF KIC?
To inspire people to embrace a healthier lifestyle through a supportive community.
YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH HONAN COMMENCED IN 2018! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT HOW KIC HAS GROWN AND EVOLVED OVER THESE FIRST FEW YEARS?
We have had some incredible growth since we first partnered with Honan in 2018 – our business has evolved so much. We started as a team of three, which has grown into a team of 15 awesome individuals and the best team we could ask for. It is really important to us at KIC to continue improving our value offering for our community – the product is ever-evolving. We now have an in-house development team and have had some really great product launches this year. We introduced KICBUMP, a pre and postnatal offering on the app and we have just launched, KICRUN, a 0-5km guided run program to help our users build up their running fitness.
HIT US WITH YOUR TOP 5 MILESTONES TO DATE.
- January 2015 – launched the ‘Keep it Clean’ e-book
- October 2018 – launched the KIC App
- September 2020 – reached over 250k KIC members
- June 2021 – provided over 500 recipes in the KIC App
- September 2021 – achieved 5 million KIC POD downloads.
WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 TRENDS IMPACTING YOUR BUSINESS/INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW?
- Online fitness has really boomed through lockdowns over the last 18 months. The online health industry has seen a huge shift in people being more open to moving in the comfort of their living rooms. It has changed the way people approach their health/fitness, and this is a really exciting opportunity.
- Mental health has become a big focus in both the health industry and in workplaces as we manage working from home and the stress of lockdowns. This is a really important shift, and something we focus on at KIC is a holistic approach to health. We offer guided meditations in the app, which we add to continuously. Through lockdown in talking to our users, we found that people were really struggling with sleep and feeling anxious, and so we focused on increasing our meditation offering in these areas.
- The health and fitness industry is moving towards a more holistic and wellness approach to health, and away from a sole focus on the physical transformation. This has been so great to see because at KIC a big part of our mission is to help people make sustainable, long-term positive changes with their health, it isn’t about a quick fix or a fad diet.
AT HONAN, WE’RE ALWAYS INSPIRED BY BUSINESSES WHO ARE BRAVE ENOUGH TO DO THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. TELL US SOMETHING UNEXPECTED OR TRULY DIFFERENT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.
We are community-led, and while a lot of organisations say that they operate this way, at KIC we are proud that we truly do. We have a private Facebook community with over 44,000 members who we connect with every day. Our community really helps to lead our innovation, and we connect with them often to ensure the product is delivering on objectives. You can never underestimate the power of really listening to your users or consumers – they have incredible insights and perspective that is sometimes hard to gauge when you are working in the business day–to–day.
INNOVATIVE CULTURES AND A COMMITMENT TO ONGOING EVOLUTION ARE COMMON HALLMARKS OF SOME OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ORGANISATIONS TODAY. WHAT DOES INNOVATION LOOK LIKE / MEAN TO YOUR BUSINESS?
We are a hybrid business, existing in health/tech, and subscription, and while the industry is growing, we believe it is so important at KIC that we are always innovating and really leading in the space. Tech is ever-evolving, and in the app industry, you absolutely cannot release an app and then rely on it for a long period without constant updates and innovation. You can’t stop innovating or you will be left behind.
RECENTLY, AS PART OF HONAN’S WELLBEING OFFERING, KIC PARTNERED WITH HONAN TO OFFER ALL STAFF ACCESS TO THE APP AND YOU’VE ALSO BEEN WORKING WITH HONAN’S GLOBAL EMPLOYEE BENEFITS TEAM, PROVIDING EXCLUSIVE CONTENT TO SUPPORT THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF THEIR ORGANISATIONS’ EMPLOYEES. WHAT ROLE DO YOU BELIEVE HEALTH AND WELLNESS PLAY IN PRODUCTIVITY/PERFORMANCE/ENGAGEMENT AT WORK?
This was such an amazing initiative from Honan, and we are really honoured at KIC to be able to support the Honan employees on their health journeys. Focusing on our health and wellness is essential, and something that makes such a big difference to how we can show up in every area of our lives, including at work. We spend so many hours at work each week, and so it is essential we are really looking after ourselves within and outside of these hours. Making healthy choices can help clear and de-stress our minds, enable us to focus more, to be more energised, and generally feel more positive.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE BUSINESS OVER THE NEXT 6-12 MONTHS?
We have so much in the works for KIC in the next year, and we are so excited to share it. There is so much new value coming to our product, including new workouts, recipes, and plenty more.
WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE OR QUOTE THE KIC TEAM CAN SHARE WITH AUSSIE START-UPS CURRENTLY WRANGLING THEIR FORMATIVE YEARS?
Be clear on who you are and your ‘why’ as a business. This seems like such a simple piece of advice but so many businesses lose sight of this, and it is really costly and time-consuming to navigate back from. It is important to be continually innovating as a business, but don’t let that take you away from remembering why your customers connect with your product or offering in the first place. As a business we do not need to do it all and appeal to everyone, we just need to do what we do, really well.
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