Maxime Deguine and Nicolas Simon launch La Marque en Moins

Published on 05/06/2019
Share with :

Maxime Deguine and Nicolas Simon (EDHEC GE, 2016) both worked in the agri-food industry, where they made a simple observation: organic produce doesn’t necessarily cost more. 

Why? How? Read on to find out!

 

 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROJECT. HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?

Three years ago now, we began to change our consumption habits, choosing healthier and more environmentally friendly products. The problem was that it quickly started to cost us a lot of money, and as we had just started working we couldn’t always afford organic products!

At the time, we were both working for food production plants and we discovered a well-kept secret: organic products don’t cost much more to make; it’s all the intermediaries who cause the prices to spike.

For a difference of €0.50 in the production cost between a traditional product and an organic one, the gap moves up to €1 when the brand sells to the wholesaler, then €2 when the wholesaler sells to the store, and finally €4 by the time you take the product to the till.

The result is that 83% of French consumers feel that price is the main impediment to consuming organic products.

 

  

So we decided to launch La Marque en Moins.

It’s a platform that allows you to purchase organic products directly without any intermediary. Comparing like-for-like products, our prices are 30% lower than in store. We selected the best French laboratories and we only stock the finest certified products. We have adopted a minimalistic approach: extremely simple designs and a preference for refills because of their ecological and economical aspect. In short, we have got rid of everything superfluous and focus on the essential: quality, price and solidarity. For every order placed, a meal is donated to LeSecours Populaire.

 

 

 

WHAT DRIVES YOUR MOTIVATION IN THIS ENTREPRENEURIAL ADVENTURE 

The trust our community has placed on us! When we launched our campaign a few days ago, we didn’t know whether we were the only ones who believed in it. We felt that if we sold 300 packs in 30 days, it would be a sign that there was interest and we could launch the business fully. We actually sold 300 packs in just 24 hours. Now, 15 days into the campaign, we have already sold 6,000 products! We were especially blown away by all the messages of support we received: people offering advice and even willing to help out free of charge to move the project forward! Every day we do our best to earn the trust our contributors have placed in us and fulfil our mission as well as we can: making organic products accessible to all

 

We are also very proud to be able to support Le Secours Populaire. Its thousands of volunteers do amazing thankless work and they deserve to be supported. The fact that we are donating thousands of meals gives us added motivation each day!

 

 

HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AT EDHEC OR WITH THE NETWORK OF GRADUATES HELPED YOU ACHIEVE THIS PROJECT 

La Marque en Moins is first and foremost the story of two EDHEC classmates. We worked together on the Course Croisière EDHEC and so, even before we went into entrepreneurship, we each knew how the other worked and what his strengths and weaknesses were.

Then, before launching La Marque en Moins, we started working with O2 CARE SERVICE. The group, which is the market leader in France for human services, was founded by Guillaume Richard, another EDHEC graduate. Guillaume was the first to put his trust in us when he asked us to develop his own brand of household products, O2 Essentiel, a range of detergents that finally achieve the right balance between respect for the user’s health and professional results.

Lastly, the network of graduates was a great help when launching the campaign. Our video was widely shared and we have received a lot of support from people at EDHEC.

 

WHAT IS YOUR INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF THIS ENTREPRENEURIAL ADVENTURE? DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHERS FROM EDHEC LOOKING TO BECOME ENTREPRENEURS?

We are still only at the beginning of our adventure and there is a great deal yet to accomplish. But over the first 12 months, the best decision we made was to form a duo. It’s very important for us to be able to share both successes and more difficult times. It’s a bit like a marriage, and yes, we do spend a lot of time together, so choosing the right associate is really important!

 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOUR BUSINESS? WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FROM THE COMMUNITY OF EDHEC GRADUATES?

We’re still running our crowdfunding campaign! Although it has got off to a great start, we’re continuing to focus on this phase as the orders are still coming in fast. The next stage will be to raise funds and recruit a staff team. Naturally, we will be paying particular attention to EDHEC profiles ;)

 

MORE INFO ABOUT LA MARQUE EN MOINS

Feel free to check out and contribute to the Ulule campaign for La Marque en Moins.

 

You can also follow the adventure via social networks:

Facebook   

Instagram

 

 

Career change? Moving house?