Interview Cristina Pateșan (Good Routine, Secom)

January 16, 2022
Interview Cristina Pateșan
Customer Stories
About Us
Valerica Motoc

From transactional decisions to long-term relationships

The pursuit of profit doesn't exist in Secom's mentality. We are talking about an entrepreneurial company that has grown tremendously in 17 years - from the first order of $ 50 to over 30 million euros turnover growth. One year after launching Good Routine, the first private food supplement brand in Secom's portfolio, Cristina Pateșan, Business Unit Director, tells us everything on business ethics and brand-customer relationships that last beyond promotions and the pursuit of shopping.

I'm 41, and I spent half of my life in Orange. I know it sounds shocking – I got the job when I was 20 and spent my college days in the call center, talking to clients.

portrait of cristina patesan secom
Cristina Pateșan, Business Unit Director @ Good Routine, Secom

Then, I just exchanged various positions: from devices, accessories, care-center, marketing, digital. Time passed quickly and intensely. During those years, I gave birth to two boys and started a small family business with my husband - although none of them had experience in that specific field. I went in a sabbatical year - but it was not all like "Eat, Pray, Love" – I worked a lot instead of watching movies in a loop and practicing yoga poses. Then came the pandemic, and everything changed. I wanted to try something new, and Secom appeared in my life at the right time - I was ready to step out of my comfort zone, to test my limits.

That's how I started to learn more about an entirely new field for me. I liked what I found here - from the company's DNA to the fact that I had the opportunity to meet my colleagues and interact with them, right from the interview phase. I had never experienced a group interview before.

The Secom experience: how did it all start?

Before working here, I heard about Secom when buying vitamins for my children. But I didn't even know it was a Romanian entrepreneurial business, actually grown from scratch - they started from a small room – the first order counted only ten supplements. Today, Secom is a business worth over 30 million euros. After 17 years of activity, it decided to use its experience to build its brand. We started with the idea - the market has some needs nobody attends to.

That's how Good Routine stepped into the light, a brand with international DNA.

We wanted to do things differently from the rest of the market. A few authentic brands want to talk with the consumer directly and understand modern life's meaning and challenges. That's when we decided: we're going to be more than just a supplement brand; we're going to be a lifestyle brand that inspires and helps people live healthier lives. In addition to our products, we will bring valuable tools, information, and models to help people organize their lives. And the language our brand speaks is international because it addresses universal needs.

Step by step, we become our habits.

It's simple - Good Routine means healthy routines. The things we consciously repeat become habits, afterward becoming a part of us. That's why, at Secom, we actively focus on personalised experiences. We don't cut prices off the shelf and fill your bag with promotions. We're talking about the things you need in your life. Because it's essential for us to understand better how our mind works when installing new habits - - from mobilisation, motivation, and giving up, we decided to collaborate with various specialists in the field.

On customer loyalty, as a way to staying close. Or, instead, where is the challenge in maintaining a stable brand-customer commitment?

The challenge is to maintain these habits when a barely internalised rhythm disturbance occurs. When you are tired, when you have a hard day, you get the flu, when you go somewhere. When breaking the known pattern, it's a struggle to keep your habits. If we talk about brands, it is equivalent to the slightest deviation from promises, and you have lost the connection, the whole relationship, the tempo. The most important thing is defining your real motivation before you start doing these things and why it is essential. Why do they matter to you? Do you want them? What's in it for you? If so, then you will prioritize them. We aim to walk step by step with people on this journey and provide the tools they need to stay on the chosen path.

We do not sell products. We build a lifestyle.

We work in a field that goes along regularity, things that go on repeatedly in our lives and do us good, give us stability. Supplements are effective for longer, rarely taken in the critical area. That's why we have the chance to build a relationship, to learn more and more about our earnings.

That's an omnichannel approach - the feeling people get when visiting Secom stores and our website. In that sense, we have consulting and guidance areas, treatment programs adapted to their needs, created live by our colleagues. We also offer on-site quizzes digital tools for personalising the experience. Recently, we launched the Good Routines Plan - a free program developed with Mind Architect that helps you understand how to install routines; it also supports you for 42 days in a row for installing them. Customer feedback means a simple thing for us. People often come back and tell us what worked or didn't work. For Good Routine products, we get great feedback. And when a small part of what you have created comes back to you in this original form, you realize that things are going in the right direction.

This business is not about money.

It's a lot about ethics. ‍

In internal meetings and discussions - the notion of ethics exists constantly. We have not tried and are not trying to "strike." It is a business built in 17 years, focused on the desire to grow healthy. We keep asking ourselves:

“What is our impact?”

“What is OK for the market?”

“What brings value to the consumer?”

“How can we educate? What can we do better for the society around us? ”

We believe in the power of data and contextualization. We have a strong innovation team and scientific support - we follow international trends and real issues our society is facing. Direct customer experience is just as necessary. It is an industry that is only now opening its eyes, and you understand that you can have a natural, 1-to-1 relationship with the consumer, in the long run, not just transactional. As a brand, I can say: "I am constantly by your side, I understand your needs, I'm not showing up  only when it hurts."

What did Good Routine mean last year? Are we more open to talking about supplements and therapy, physical and mental health support?

Last year, it made us realize, more than ever, how important the routine of a healthy life is. Then, the first area consumers tackled was food supplements. Unfortunately, the prevention area is relatively low in our mentality as a people. We think of it in the short term - "we'll see what we do if it happens." If we manage to change this mentality, it becomes a considerable gain on our side - personally and for the health system struggling to cope, not only during the Covid period. Covid came as a problem tackling this sensitive area - not prevention. It also came with challenges for Secom - stock management, market turnover, tracking flows and orders with tools like Postis, most ethically and responsibly possible.

The industry is growing; there is great potential, especially in Western countries. In Romania, we are talking about a 20-30% increase, and we are glad to see that, slowly but surely, people are becoming more and more aware of the importance of good habits for a healthy life.

On working with Postis :)

For us, time is an essential resource. As long as we can offer predictability, personalization, pleasant experience both in the purchase and in the post-purchase part, we know that we have the right tools at hand. Together with you, we carefully balance the area of ​​predictability with that of agility and openness. Although our activity links to a global trend, locally, we are pioneers. We want to get as close as possible to our consumers and improve the click-to-door experience through digital tools and more. With the Postis team, everything comes naturally.

portrait of man with glasses smiling

Transform your logistics and delivery through data science and state of the art digital tech.