Mine insights and tell stories across channels
We’ve taken insight around how she shops to quickly move from servicing our consumer by expanding our ecommerce footprint with focus on the top 5 online beauty retailers. With this, we’ve also brought forward merchandising and promotional strategies that speak uniquely to her in each channel. We’ve expanded beyond a direct-to-consumer ecommerce business to include an online presence with merchants including Amazon, Walmart, Jet, iHerb.com and many others in our pipeline. We’ve done this quickly by building internal capabilities including a new studio and content marketing talent that allows us to tell our brand’s story within these new channels. Content development is critical to a brand’s success with winning in market with online retailers.
Understanding her online behavior
Our strategy is fueled by tremendous insight we are bringing to our ecommerce partners around the changing competitive landscape and how beauty shoppers are navigating online. We have a solution first mentality which is very different than thinking brand first. Our core consumer shops for ingredients, how-to information and is looking for feedback. She may not have a brand in mind and it’s important to curate an experience for her that allows our brand to be discoverable along her shopping journey. This impacts everything we do around our brand experience. As we transition into new channels, it’s a more curated experience. Content needs to be around the brand and elevates how we’re differentiated.
Building a lasting brand experience
As you can expect there have been many shifts as we’ve quickly expanded to be an omnichannel business this year. One of the biggest adjustments has been our brand’s transformation and assortment. With our channel expansion, we introduced a cleaner and fresher package experience that told a more cohesive story. It features a bird of paradise flower representing magnificence, excellence, success and optimism. Our brand architecture has been simplified to support a more intuitive shopping experience. In addition, as we move into new channels we must offer a stronger assortment. We’ve improved our formulations and have launched into new categories including at-home professional grade skincare treatments.
Experiment and fail quickly
We are still building. Some challenges experienced have mostly been around new capabilities and developing teams. Be bold with talent and take bets on people. Much of what’s driving online retail today is so new for everyone. Find smart people, motivate them and give them runway. Next, take risks with social media and content. We all recognize the importance of these channels for engaging our audiences, customer servicing and loyalty. Experiment and pilot as much as possible with new marketing technologies. Quickly learn what’s working for you and cut that rest. We’ve personally had a lot of fun exploring live video format for online consultations as well as leveraging personalization tools to actively engage our online shopper.
About the Expert
Ethelbert Williams has more than 16 years of global commercial leadership experience in consumer and B2B sectors. He currently champions global marketing, brand development and sales strategy for InstaNatural, a leading ecommerce consumer products company. He previously drove go-to-market and channel expansion for the personal and facial cleansing category at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. He has held leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal and Unilever. Ethelbert is also an active investor and advisor to exceptional entrepreneurs. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.