Meet the Executives Driving Innovation at Top Beauty Companies
You know the names Ulta, Sephora and Glossier, but do you know the executives driving the innovations that have made these brands so important in the beauty industry?
Below, some of our favorite innovators, and the lessons they offer for those looking for executive roles in the beauty industry.
Creating a Model of Customer Experience
The story of Glossier is well-known within the cosmetics industry as a brand that grew steadily based on customer affinity and much of that is thanks to founder Emily Weiss. Weiss worked at fashion magazines earlier in her career, and started a blog with a large following which was focused on beauty products and their formulations. From that foundation, Weiss started Glossier with a tight product line and an obsession with making sure that customers were engaged and providing feedback for their experiences.
In the present day, the company has translated that hyperfocus on customer experience into flagship retail locations that resemble Apple stores and encourage experimentation, a model that has quickly become de rigueur in the industry.
The lesson for job seekers in beauty: be ready to envision opportunities for customers to sample the product, whether in store or virtually, and look for ways to incorporate their feedback.
Leveraging Loyalty into Data
Ulta Beauty’s chief digital officer Prama Bhatt has established a best-in-class loyalty program for the company that has fed executives a sophisticated set of data about customer preferences and habits that has been particularly useful in navigating the post-pandemic landscape as consumer preferences change. The flexible program uses points across all purchases in the store or online, and offers customers a strong incentive to engage with the brand.
The lesson for job seekers: there’s a goldmine in data, and ensure you have the skills and wherewithal to leverage it.
Transforming Product Line-ups at Sephora
Priya Venkatesh has served as Sephora’s Senior Vice President of Merchandising for Skincare and Hair for more than a decade, and her tenure has seen a complete transformation in those years. Venkatesh leadership has led to a growth in those two categories, as well as a new focus on clean and natural beauty through such products as Algenist, Boscia, Bumble and bumble, Dr. Jart, Drunk Elephant, Dyson, Farmacy, Glam Glow, Living Proof, Olaplex, Summer Fridays and Sunday Riley. She spearheaded the “Clean at Sephora” initiative, which spotlighted natural formulations free of fragrances and harsh chemicals.
The lesson for job seekers: the clean and natural categories in beauty continue to be hot and a vital part of any major brand’s portfolio. Be educated on formulations and the top-sellers among consumers.
Using the Lessons of Amazon to Scale
Amazon veteran Kara Trousdale joined Beautycounter as its chief commercial officer in March with the hope of helping the brand to further scale. In the role, Trousdale will have omnichannel responsibilities, but will likely use lessons learned from Amazon to use data to learn about customers and drive further purchases.
The lesson for job seekers: Amazon-related skills are increasingly important for all beauty companies, even luxury ones. As a major destination for most consumers, it belong in any beauty marketer’s strategic considerations.
Looking for a beauty executive? Contact us to discuss your specific needs.