The frenetic pace of modern life leaves many of us running on empty; lacking vital vitamins and minerals inevitably leads to a whole heap of health issues. Eating a well –balanced diet, keeping well hydrated and getting plenty of rest are viable solutions. While the introduction of effective intravenous hydration therapies and booster shots are a great way of maintaining and optimising health. Clinics and spas offering the aforementioned have begun to enter the mainstream; REVIV Wellness is a brand that is synonymous with these therapies – once the preserve of celebrities and the social elite, REVIV’s ethos is to bring IV wellness to the masses.
Founded by four accident and emergency doctors with over 40 years’ experience in treating dehydration and restoring energy levels, REVIV currently, have three flagship clinics: in London, Cheshire and Leeds, in addition to, over 28 express clinics dotted around the UK. As well as worldwide flagship locations in Las Vegas, Miami, Johannesburg and Hong Kong, along with express salons in New York, Ibiza, Ireland, Dominican Republic and the Netherlands.
I had the pleasure of meeting Julia Couzens, Managing Director at REVIV UK, during a press event. Julia was happy to answer my questions and provided valuable insight into what it is like to be at the helm of this thriving wellness business.
1. Firstly, congratulations on your (newish) role with REVIV, how did you find the transition from a large corporate environment into the wellness industry?
Thank you! Moving from regulated business with 300,000 people to a wellness business with a core leadership team of five has definitely taken some adjusting to but I’m absolutely loving the freedom.
2. What initially attracted you to REVIV?
The fact that I get to work everyday with a team who inspire me but who I also class as friends, a team who all have the goal of creating a strong work life balance and making work both exciting and fun coupled with the opportunity to bring out my entrepreneurial spirit.
3. What are your key responsibilities?
My current role is predominantly the leadership and expansion of our business in the UK, creating a robust infrastructure to both support our current franchisees and to expedite the development of new partnerships and franchise expansion, plus I take the lead on all UK PR and media. In addition to this I also support our Global President on key strategic projects. The three I am working on currently are; the creation and launch of our REVIV Intranet (a first for our industry), the development and implementation of a global CRM with fully electronic medical disclaimers and prescriptions to enable ‘paperless clinics’ and our Christmas/New Year promotional campaigns.
4. What are the key challenges of your role?
We are essentially still a start up business and resources are scarce so I have to be able to switch from having discussions about significant investment opportunities in one breath to printing training plans and sealing envelopes in another! There are not enough hours in the day to keep up with the pace of our growth so time management and being able to fulfil our growth plans with limited support is currently my biggest challenge.
5. Various celebrities have been open about using intravenous vitamins. Celebrities aside, who do you identify as REVIV’s core demographic?
To be perfectly honest our demographic is proving to be so wide that it is difficult to define a core! To describe just a fraction of our client base and prove how diverse it can be; we have successful business people who simply can’t afford to be ill, we have individuals who travel extensively either for business or pleasure and want to mitigate downtime or jet lag, we have clients looking for anti-aging solutions, clients heavily into their fitness and clients with ailments such as chronic fatigue or new mums who just need a boost! I think what has probably surprised me the most, especially from our UK clinics is that we see a higher percentage of male vs female clients and the percentage of clients opting for ‘recovery’ treatments is heavily outweighed by those seeking general wellness and preventative health.
6. The UK supplement market has been valued at £385 million,* what sets REVIV apart from your competitors?
Well its worth pointing out here that, as the only Global IV hydration brand, we actually don’t have any true competitors but in terms of what sets us apart locally from alternate IV therapy providers then, in my view, there are two key differences; firstly many of our competitors target the hangover market whereas REVIV are primarily a wellness brand focused on preventative health and reducing dehydration. Second is that we are not simply seeking partners to sell treatments under the REVIV brand, we are building a well supported network of high end clinic partners and doctors through whom we can establish a global distribution network for a multitude of future wellness related products or services.
7. The benefits of IV vitamin infusions have been dismissed** by some members of the medical establishment who insist that a well –balanced diet is enough to provide essential vitamins. How do you counter such criticism?
Firstly, I don’t doubt that if the entire population ate a well balanced diet and drank multiple litres of water each day then the need for IV therapy would be limited. Unfortunately however, with the speed of life today and people seeking convenience vs effort at every opportunity, this just isn’t the case. The current scale and recent growth of the supplements market clearly evidences that people just don’t regularly eat a diet balanced enough to keep the vitamins and nutrients that their body needs to run at an optimum level and, with a reported two thirds of the population dehydrated, we clearly don’t have time to drink the required amounts of water. Whilst there may still be scepticism around the benefits of IV vitamin therapy there is no doubt that the efficacy of taking vitamins either intramuscular or intravascular far outweighs the benefits of simply taking oral vitamins and the growth we are now seeing in IV therapy globally proves that there is a market need for the treatments and therapies that REVIV can deliver so why not give people a choice and let them make their own decision as to what is best for them?!
8. What impact do social media have on your business?
As a business providing a treatment that is still relatively unknown (especially in the UK) and word of mouth/customer recommendation being the driver for the majority of our new clients, social media is absolutely critical and is fast becoming the most influential PR tool that we have at our disposal.
9. REVIV has expanded into Hong Kong with the opening of a flagship clinic, how has business been?
Business in Hong Kong is going really well, we always knew that our business there could appeal to so many different demographics and just five months in, the clinic is surpassing our expectations, despite the fact that we have really only scratched the surface with proactive promotion and marketing.
10. Are there further plans to expand into the Far East?
Yes absolutely, we see all of Asia and Australia as fantastically attractive markets for REVIV.
11. If you did not work for REVIV, would you have still made the transition into wellness?
To be honest I’m not sure, I definitely knew I wanted to move away from corporate finance but I could easily have seen myself going into a more retail focussed business or even travel/hospitality as these are both of great interest to me. I guess with REVIV I get the best of all worlds and feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity.
12. Where do you see REVIV in three to five years time?
I see us being the ‘Dyson’ of IV therapy and having a significant presence right across all seven continents. I also see us having a far more diverse product range although still heavily weighted towards health and wellbeing.
13. What advice would you give to anyone seeking to launch a REVIV franchise?
By taking a franchise now when knowledge of IV therapy is limited you are stealing a march on the rest of the market but being the first at anything is not without challenges, so to reap the rewards (which you absolutely will) you need to believe in IV therapy 100% and be both prepared and committed to pro-actively promote and educate your local market.
14. If you could work with any entrepreneur who would it be and why?
Entrepreneur is a really broad title, when I was younger I only associated entrepreneurs with success and money. Now, as I’ve progressed through my career, I’ve met many inspirational people who have taken significant risks through a desire and passion to follow their dreams. Some have experienced great success whilst many others may have not been successful, but, to me, that lack of success (or money) doesn’t make them any less the entrepreneur!
Today, whilst I still take inspiration from others, some entrepreneurs and some not, I try to focus more on values than a title. It’s definitely most important to me to work with individuals who have an incredible work ethic, passion, integrity, a creative vision and a strong plan as I know that whether or not this brings success it will still bring me a great sense of personal achievement.
15. How do you relax?
I love to travel, visit nice restaurants and regularly socialise with friends although it has to be said my guilty pleasure and the one I turn to when I truly want to switch off is trash TV!!
For further information please visit: revivme.com