Before the product formulation, there was the brand creation. We’ve told a bit about how the idea for Hero Clean was born, but not the details of how we came to specifically be “Hero” Clean. It began innocently enough after Founder Mike Eaton tried in vain to find a laundry detergent that actually worked on odor and harsher stains, while not smelling offensively sweet or floral. It dawned on him that nothing in the cleaning products aisle was created with guys in mind — their harsher odors, stains and messes. Nobody else seemed interested in creating it, so a few of us decided to build it ourselves.
When formulating our cleaning products, we knew we wanted the line to be super technologically advanced to accomplish three things — eliminate the worst of the worst odor, remove any type of stain, and bring a new scent to the marketplace. Beyond the formulation of the product, we wanted our brand to accomplish two more things — make it easy to clean and give back to a group of people that is often overlooked… veterans.
While the question of our products’ effectiveness was answered in the lab, the purpose of our business was traced back to the supermarket. It seemed a bit ridiculous that guys have their own deodorants, shampoos, razors, even diet colas, but for cleaning their gear and homes? Nothing. Moms don’t even have any great solutions for their husband’s and son’s gear. Major cleaning product companies market to women as though they should be doing all of the household chores, which seems a little retro to us. Nothing against the traditional lifestyle, but things have changed around here.
So we set out to create a line of cleaning products that is effective in handling normal household messes and the infamous stinky boy syndrome that plagues many households. We wanted our products to be so effective, that they would offer a solution to those who bring a new definition to dirty. And who knows more about extreme sweat, odor, stains, and messes than our military? They go days without washing their uniform and are rarely able to properly clean all of the gear that comes with the job.
When a mutual friend introduced Mike to Paul Rieckhoff, the Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the partnership made sense. We were both in our beginning phases and intended to disrupt our respective industries. Since its inception, the IAVA has grown to become the nation’s largest and most inclusive community of post-9/11 veterans. The organization welcomes all veterans, families, and civilian allies. In our partnership with IAVA, we are not only able to contribute financially to their mission to ensure veterans and their families are supported, protected, empowered and never forgotten, but we’ve also been able to form a relationship with this community of military members. To this day, our products are tested at a top-secret Delta Force training facility to ensure that we are continuing to roll out military-grade products. And trust us, they would let us know if we failed to remove the worst of the worst odor.