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Thankyou unveils new products, revamped global expansion plan

Jul 16, 2023

Thankyou co-founder and general manager Daniel Flynn. Source: supplied.

Social enterprise Thankyou will soon launch its first new products in almost two years and reveal plans for international expansion, after initially asking the world's biggest consumer brands to distribute its products worldwide — for free.

Founded in 2008, Thankyou diverts the profits from its personal care products to charitable organisations combating extreme poverty around the world.

Thankyou launched its No Small Plan campaign in 2020, in which the social enterprise asked global consumer goods leaders Unilever and P&G to manufacture and distribute its products outside of Australia and New Zealand.

Unilever and P&G both turned down the proposition, hampering Thankyou's hopes of radically upscaling its profits and charitable contributions.

With those plans in stasis, the brand also stopped short of bringing new products to supermarkets across Australia and New Zealand.

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Daniel Flynn, co-founder and managing director of Thankyou, says new products are imminent. So, too, is the company's reworked international expansion roadmap, its No Small Plan B.

Speaking to SmartCompany, Flynn said Thankyou is preparing to expand its offerings in the personal care category beyond hand washes, shampoos, and lotions.

Those new products will land on Australian supermarket shelves this month.

It will also "expand to new categories in the short term", he said.

Thankyou's public profiles already point to the launch of deodorants, cleaning products, and even a reimagined version of the Thankyou water bottle — the brand's first-ever consumer product.

The Thankyou website teases a new launch. Source: Thankyou

Going further, Flynn said Thankyou would introduce a major innovation in the retail product sector.

Flynn was tight-lipped about what the product actually is but used language suggesting something more grandiose than a new shower gel.

"When you see it come out, hopefully that gives us all a sense of, ‘Wow, this is not just Thankyou reimagined, it could be consumerism reimagined, and even categories themselves,'" he said.

With new products imminent for the domestic market, Flynn also provided an update on Thankyou's global expansion plans, claiming the enterprise has signed a number of deals that will take the line worldwide.

Instead of relying on one or two big names like Unilever or P&G to take on manufacturing and distribution duties, Thankyou is now working with a cluster of "manufacturers, distributors, innovation houses" and retailers to expand internationally.

Those partnerships will see Thankyou products roll out in Asia, India, Europe, and the United Arab Emirates over the next three years, Flynn said, with the enterprise targeting the United States afterwards.

Flynn claims the enterprise walked away from prior distribution offers due to disputes over equity, which became a "sticking point" for the brand.

"We walked away saying ‘This doesn't feel right for us,'" he said.

"We may get scale, but not in the way that we think is right for the brand and authentic to our mission."

A coalition of global partners emerged as a more viable option, he added.

"We thought, ‘This is remarkable.’ There are people and partners, a network… it's a little more difficult for us to run, but ultimately they want to help us get Thankyou to the world without owning it, controlling it, and changing its fundamentals."

Thankyou is expected to share more details about those partnerships in the days to come.