Medusa was started by Frost (Azfar Hisyam) in early 2015. His first creations were Pink diamond (pomegranate) and pure gold (pears). He started Medusa as a solo founder and brewed juices by himself from a diy facility. Shortly after, Afif came on-board and Medusa began recruiting. After supplying to the local market for about a year, he immediately went to UK/Europe to seek for orders. Although the local Malaysian market was vibrant and receptive towards Medusa, he felt that he wanted to market his juices in Europe that would have a greater appreciation for the types of flavors he was producing and also the Medusa brand. Right now we have a staff size of about 20 people but we’re looking for more people to fill in key positions of leadership. It’s been a rocky road with plenty of ups and downs.
What’s the concept of Medusa ?
Medusa’s vision is to be a consumer lifestyle brand. Sure, our roots are definitely in vaping culture and we are passionate brewers ourselves. But the concept of Medusa has always been to be a brand that is directed towards a variety of lifestyle related culture. Aside from vaping, we ourselves are very much into fashion, skater culture, BMX’s, music and entertainment. So we see Medusa as a type of umbrella brand for these different aspects of lifestyle culture where it can come together. It’s a no-brainer that we will continue to produce e-liquids but we are also looking to expand into fashion and other projects. If you look at all our products, we have much more than just e-liquids and that’s an area that we are looking to expand on. We are taking small steps into these other categories and learning as much as we can along the way.
Since day one, we have a vision for the Medusa brand to attract people that may not be into vaping. So for instance, we are fine with a skaters using our decks and not knowing a single thing about vaping. We have people asking for our backpacks and accessories who don’t even vape but like our overall style. That person may look to Medusa brand and associate it with fashion or streetwear instead. So another example is when we create merchandise, it’s never been the case for us to use all our merchandise to support our e-liquid brand (although we also do some of that). Rather, we see it as a separate division with separate customers with a separate identity and thought process.
What’s the story behind the logo and how did it come about?
Well our logo has always been the classic lady with the snake head. Since childhood, Asfa was obsessed with it and always thought that the name and logo was suited to his outgoing character and what he was trying to achieve with the ‘platform’ of Medusa. A funny story early on in 2015 was when we received a warning from a fashion giant to change the logo. When we first started, we didn’t think that the brand or logo would get that much attention; let alone from a fashion giant like them or that it was infringing on their copyright. Of course, we duly complied and apologised.
It was a good opportunity for us to revisit the logo and incorporate different elements that better represented us. We went through several versions of it to make it look just right - it was a long process. For example, the snakes are brightly coloured to represent the product line-up we had and the several flavors we offered. It also represents the different aspects of the Medusa brand and the ambitions we have in exploring different lifestyle segments. Then, we placed a bandana to cover the face of the lady which makes it be kind of faceless (only the eyes are showing) which we feel is ideal, as we want the Medusa brand to be present in other areas and not just in the vaping community.
And needless to say, we have registered it for trademark and so there shouldn’t be any problems in the future!
How do u conceptualise products at Medusa?
For example for our latest nicotine salt products which took us about 1 year to conceptualise, we took a long look at the customer psychology behind these type of products. We observed that for one reason or another, nicotine salts were mainly marketed as a cure and remedy from stopping smoking. It probably has something to do with the popularity of pod devices and how these brands are marketing the advantages of the pod systems as a whole. So it became gradually clearer that we should pursue a ‘medical’ type concept for the packaging. We knew that we had our top flavors and it made sense for us to carry these flavors over because we knew that our fans who are also using pod devices would appreciate it. From a brewing perspective, we also knew if was safer for us to stick to the flavors we know so well. So what you see now with our nicotine salt line-up, we use lots of white and negative spaces and also the arrangement of the fonts..it came together perfectly and in harmony.
What’s the culture like at Medusa and what are your values?
We see Medusa as a platform for individuals to express their creative talents. Aside from brewers and the production team, we also have the creative side like graphic designers and people who do video production and also social media. So for the brand, we think that Medusa is the perfect place for them to express their talents. Asfa, as the leader that he is, pushes us to perform and do our best every single day. He sets the targets and the team follows. We are all here to work together and achieve more than what we can achieve on our own. And creatively, we are expanding our talents by getting involved in many things. So as a unit, we move quite quickly and aggressively. Typically, we like to compare ourselves to other overseas brands from US and Japan in a variety of categories - they serve not only as an inspiration to us but we also observe what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. We have our own sense of taste and style and so we incorporate those elements in whatever we execute.
As we undertake our projects, sometimes we stumble, but by god’s will, we rise again.
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