While many brands are putting their manpower behind digital activations, digital-first brand Paula’s Choice is getting ready for a brick-and-mortar push.
Chief marketing officer Erika Kussmann credited growing brand awareness online as the impetus to move offline. “We have the largest d-to-c skin care brand in the U.S. We’re at the perfect point where we have this growing awareness,” she said. “There’s going to be this really exciting dynamic between the d-to-c channel and the retail where it can explode because we’re available to our customers.”
The brand, whose credibility is built on the discerning eye for ingredients of its namesake founder, has had to rethink how it disseminates information over the course of its existence. Adapting has been key to not just surviving — but thriving. “We went from books, to long-form [content] on our site, to really having multiple formats of content, or multiple channels,” Kussmann said. “That’s important to us because we want to be a part of the conversation.”
The brand’s digital touchpoints with prospective consumers are wide-ranging, ranging from educational videos on YouTube to influencer content on other social media platforms. “As we think about digital, we want to get scale. So, we have reached the kind of growth and ability to reach as many customers as possible,” she said.
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Part of that is tailoring content to each type of media, with deep dives on ingredients living on platforms like YouTube and more bite-sized formats going on TikTok or Instagram Reels. “We can be targeted and tailor a campaign, a message, a piece of content to a specific audience, and reach them with that targeted message,” Kussmann said.
One of the advantages to being so present, Kussmann added, is having a robust dialogue with customers. “We can have a two-way conversation on our digital channels. On social, we constantly do surveys and really engage our customers. If you look at our Instagram feed, for instance, our customers are at the center of our story. Customers are a big part of it,” she said.
The brand, is popular among the TikTok set, where ingredient stories and technical education perform well. “It’s all got to go back to that same information, that same research, that same knowledge. But TikTok is a very different format with different content types and a different audience,” Kussmann said. “For us, our opportunity there? We’re just at the tip of the iceberg,” she said.
Paula’s Choice is adapting its education tools to be used in brick-and-mortar, given its recent partnership with Sephora. “How do you bring this amazing, rich online experience and education into an in-store environment and make it seamless?” Kussmann said. “As a brand, we look to educate everywhere. Our goal is for people to make the best decisions for their skin, and so the opportunity for us is to be able to have this new, live brand experience that we currently don’t have at all.”
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