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Well done is better than well said.

Consumers are increasingly looking for brands that do more than just sell something. They seek out brands that stand for something. Brands need to do more than just delivering tangible value, they must embody an undeniable sense of purpose that transcends mere products and ingredients, features and functions, and do something positive in the world. Most of us have a soft spot for purposeful brands, but none do so more passionately than those described as Gen Z and Y. In a recent study by Accenture, they identified this group as Generation P, as in, Generation Purpose. This particular study cited that 75% of the groups will exclusively choose a brand that puts a purpose at the center of everything they do and whose value set aligns with those values they possess. In other words, more people, especially Gen Y and Zs choose to associate with brands they believe in based on the impact they’re trying to create in the world.

20nine identifies itself as a premier purpose first consultancy designed expressly to help organizations, entrepreneurs, global companies find their purpose and articulate it to the world with power and grace. And, perhaps more importantly, act on it – execute their purpose with rigor and determination, knowing that they’re creating positive impact in the world.

20nine Ventures is our stand-alone brand incubator that enables 20nine to energize positive change in the world directly. The goal is to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, inventors, and innovators under a unified platform that allows us to deliver purposeful products with the ability to impact positive change baked right into the brand from inception. 

20nine Ventures allows us to give a tangible answer to the question, “What happens when we know ourselves, and we’re unified by what we believe in from the beginning; what’s possible when we start with purpose first, and build exceptional things that live up to our wildest ambitions?”

Over the course of the last 3 years we’ve been working behind the scenes to realize the promise of 20nine Ventures and with that, we are very excited to announce that our new platform has introduced its first purpose first brand into the world. Fend Wellness. It’s an entirely new approach to living large — as in living life to the fullest — and being safe and protected as you do in the world outside.

In the past year, we’ve seen a huge amount of upheaval. A global pandemic forced everyone, companies and individuals alike, to face rapid change. “Survival for the past 12 months has been about resilience and responsiveness in the face of sudden and sweeping change.“ (you can read an excellent article by Gred Ricciardi, 20nine CEO, about forced vs. focused evolution here)

Taking our own health, wellness and safety into our own hands and getting on with our lives are ideas that live at the heart of Fend Wellness. 

Fend Wellness emerged from the midst of the global pandemic. Life changed rapidly all around the world. Suddenly, things we always took for granted felt unsafe and uncertain. Somehow we all were forced to retreat which while being smart also started to diminish the way we looked at living our lives.

As humans,  we have an incredible capacity for hope in challenging moments. It’s in our DNA as people. We have a drive to move forward and get back by finding ways to take back what we’ve lost. One person, Troy Vlahos (Co-Founder/Partner Fend Wellness), had a practical idea to make things a little bit better, and help everyone at the same time.

As Troy tells it: “Shortly after the stay-at-home orders were lifted, I was driving from Philadelphia to Maryland and pulled over to get gas at the Delaware Welcome Center.  Armed with a disinfectant wipe to grab the fuel pump, I realized that my hand wasn’t fully protected. Thinking about contact with a compromised surface, what was needed was a sanitizing wipe that covered the entire hand and offered optimum protection.”

Fend is a wipe you can wear. They’re antibacterial and saturated on the outside with 75% alcohol solution. On the inside is a waterproof blue liner, so you’re never in contact. They’re also reusable and one-size-fits-all so the mitts are low impact on the environment. Fend keeps you protected responsibly.

It’s a simple idea on the surface, a small, easy thing that keeps you safer in the face of an uncertain world. But more importantly, this small thing can give a renewed sense of confidence to a lot of people. Confidence that we can keep ourselves safe, but also confidence that we can do our part keeping others safe as well.

We hope that people see Fend mitts on someone else’s hands and feel inspired to get back out there — because helping each other feel safe seems, to us, like a good thing to do.

It speaks to the positive change we sought out to energize with Fend. Starting by protecting ourselves, staying safe, then connecting with others. It’s the comfort to go back into a still uncertain world with safety and confidence in our hands. The last year certainly forced us to reign things in, resulting in our worlds getting even smaller. Now with Fend, people can live large, go back into the world and take back the freedom we all treasure. 

Fend Wellness officially launched this week (visit Fend Wellness), but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’re also primed to launch two more purpose-led brands in the very near future. The world has never been more ready for conscious, purposeful ventures. We’re here, and we have much more coming…visit 20nine Ventures on LinkedIn to follow our progress.

By Greg Ricciardi

Greg founded the company in 2002. He’s a graphic designer by trade, as well as a seasoned strategist.

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The Purpose First Virtual Workshop helps you and your company’s leadership team align your brand’s core purpose, vision, mission and values with the needs of your core customers to help your brand lean into uncertainty with greater confidence, and advance the business forward even in these unprecedented times.

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