While getting his degree in neuroscience, Dr. Michael Jiang noticed that a lot of his friends — especially fellow students — were struggling with the stresses of everyday life, and looking for a solution to their anxiety. But with no solution at hand, and a desire to help the people around him, Jiang decided to leverage his scientific background to create an easily accessible product that could help relieve stress. Joining forces with CEO & Co-founder Holly Ash and Co-COO & Co-founder Graeme Warring, Jiang created Nerv. Learn how this RangeMe Verified™ brand was able to expand their presence in the retail market while shaking up the wellness supplement and lifestyle space.
As a neuroscience student, Jiang noticed that rarely did his peers veer from science; few branched out to pursue careers in business or entrepreneurship. Jiang, however, decided to take a different path.
“I was getting my degree and I thought, ‘Hey, I could use this knowledge to try and create something that could help the people around me,’” he explains.
He decided to create a consumer product that could help people de-stress and focus, and would be easily accessible over the counter without a prescription. Knowing there was no other beverage like Nerv in the marketplace, Jiang was confident that his product would be popular and well-received.
“When I looked at the market, I saw a lot of energy drinks, and I saw a lot of homeopathic medication,” Jiang says, “but I didn’t see anything that was specifically for anxiety and stress relief to help people with conditions ranging from a fear of flying to social anxiety that had been created with deep research and understanding of neuroscience.”
Using his scientific knowledge, Jiang made what he considers to be an “anti-energy drink.” With its unique “Pherelax™ blend, a mix of ingredients designed to tame overactive neurons, Nerv is intended to relieve stress, improve focus and — a wink to its name — help calm nerves.
When something works, it spreads like wildfire
When Jiang and his team began testing out and distributing Nerv to his family and friends, it was an instant hit. “I started getting a lot of feedback from people who said it was exactly what they’d been looking for,” Jiang says, “and that there wasn’t anything else like it at the time.”
Knowing he’d created a stellar product, Jiang posted Nerv on Indiegogo, a popular crowdsourcing platform, to generate funds and interest. Within six days, Nerv was funded, and the team was able to start manufacturing the product with the goal of landing in retail stores.
Nerv appeals to a wide range of consumers–a major selling point for a new-to-market product. “Mothers like me, who are trying to balance home and career, have found a lot of relief in Nerv,” explains Co-founder and CEO Ash. Additionally, she continues, “busy students have found relief in Nerv, stressed out business people have found relief in Nerv — it’s a wide-ranging product.”
Picked up by buyers with their finger on the pulse of consumer trends
Nerv had success landing in a number of retailers on their own, but they wanted to pursue all options available to ensure they had as much visibility as possible. To increase that visibility, they signed up for RangeMe and took the extra step to get Verified.
“We chose RangeMe because it seemed like a powerful platform that would give us wider exposure to many buyers at once,” Jiang explains. And that’s exactly what happened for Nerv.
The brand had only been on RangeMe for a month and a half when their unique offering caught the eye of a buyer. The anti-anxiety-relieving beverage was the perfect fit for a new fixture, now in a number of CVS Pharmacy stores, focused on stress relief, aromatherapy, and relaxation. “We chose RangeMe because it seemed like a powerful platform that would give us wider exposure.”
Nerv is currently stocked in more than 80 CVS Pharmacy locations, and they are also working on doing promotions with CVS to further boost sales. The team hopes to expand upon this partnership in the future.
Committed to serving retailers’ and customers’ growing need to manage stress
The Nerv team is excited to keep landing new retailer placements while expanding upon their sales strategy and gaining new customers in creative ways. Because Nerv started out on a college campus, the team focuses a lot of their sales and marketing efforts on student brand ambassadors. This approach has offered a lot of organic growth potential for Nerv, and the team is excited to keep growing to new campuses to spread the word about Nerv and continue their mission of helping people — especially busy students — manage their stress.
“Our goal was to create something for anxiety relief that would be affordable and accessible,” Jiang explains. “We’re in a place where we’re ready to move to those larger-scale accounts and distribute this product that we know people love — and RangeMe has helped us make our product accessible to more people.”