In each episode, we dive into our guest’s background, as they walk us through the unique—and often unexpected—journey that led them to landing their dream role. We discuss their tried-and-true marketing philosophies and unpack the evolution of brand-consumer relationships in the social media era—and of course, we talk about influencers, sharing insights into the most authentic and effective ways for brands to cultivate impactful influencer communities. Each guest also lends advice to young professionals starting out in the industry, and reveals a few of the key marketing strategies behind their brand’s coveted success, online and off—so be sure to tune in, and take notes!
In Episode 21 of Earned, Conor sits down with Sasha Plavsic, founder of ILIA Beauty—the clean beauty brand that grew its revenue by a staggering 400% (that's no typo!) amidst the whirlwind of 2020. Tune in to learn some key takeaways from the marketing playbook that powered the brand's breakout year. Plus, Sasha explains why transparency is one of ILIA Beauty's core values, and shares her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to build their own brands.
In our 20th episode of Earned, Conor sits down with the man behind some of the biggest beauty deals in recent years (think Drunk Elephant and Shiseido, Charlotte Tilbury and Puig, NYX Cosmetics and L'Oreal—to name just a few): Shaun Westfall, Managing Director of the Consumer & Retail Group at Jefferies. Tune in to the episode to hear how COVID-19 impacted the beauty M&A market, Shaun's advice for founders looking to sell, and the KPIs that investors and acquirers actually care about.
In Episode 19 of Earned, Conor chats with entertainment titan turned makeup mogul Scott Sassa. Scott’s previous roles include President of Turner Entertainment, CEO of Marvel, and President of NBC Entertainment—to name a few—but he currently serves as chairman of influencer-favorite beauty brand Milk Makeup. Tune in to learn how Scott leveraged his vast experience in the entertainment industry to help skyrocket the beauty brand to cult-favorite status.
In our first Earned episode of 2021, Conor sits down with Kevin Gould, entrepreneur, brand builder, and co-founder of digitally native lifestyle brands Insert Name Here, Glamnetic, and Wakeheart. Tune in to learn the key strategies that skyrocketed Kevin's powerhouse brands from $4 million in combined revenue to $75 million last year.
In Episode 17 of Earned (our last episode of 2020!), Conor sits down with Julia Straus, CEO of popular British activewear brand Sweaty Betty, and former CEO of probiotic-powered skincare line Tula. Tune in to learn the early influencer marketing strategies that helped power Tula's success, how Sweaty Betty stands out among the competition, and best practices for approaching the influencer space (and driving conversion!) as an apparel brand.
In our fifteenth episode of Earned, Conor sits down with Toto Haba, SVP of global marketing & communications at Benefit Cosmetics. Check it out to learn what a typical day in Toto's role looks like, how he thinks the influencer space has evolved, and why Benefit Cosmetics is focusing on rising Gen Z content creators!
In Episode 14 of Earned, Conor chats with Amanda Baldwin, president of influencer-favorite sunscreen brand Supergoop! We learn how Amanda, who won “most likely to become a Fortune 500 CEO” at Wharton, went from being an investor on Wall Street to falling in love with the beauty world—an industry she admires for being driven by evolution and innovation. Conor and Amanda also discuss Supergoop!’s marketing strategies and Amanda divulges why she prioritizes the brand’s internal culture as much as external brand operations.Finally, the pair talk influencer marketing, and Amanda shares how Supergoop!’s team values human-to-human relationship building, while also compensating influencers for their work.
In Episode 13 of Earned, Conor sits down with Michael McNeil, VP of Integrated Marketing at Huda Beauty. We learn how Michael, who majored in political science and pre-med at LMU, took a hard left turn after college to get his “PhD in beauty” by joining a then-small cosmetics brand known as Anastasia Beverly Hills. We dive into how Michael and ABH “invented what beauty marketing looks like today,” and learn Michael’s philosophy behind fostering a community of genuine, long-term brand fans. Michael emphasizes the power of embracing your competitors and communicating to consumers in “the language they already speak.” We also hear about Michael’s experience transitioning to (and powering growth for) Huda Beauty, working with brand founder and mega-influencer Huda Kattan, and creating a global brand—with influencers at the forefront.
In Episode 12 of Earned, Conor sits down with the esteemed Riccardo Pozzoli. Once deemed “the man who monetized blogging,” Riccardo co-founded the mega-popular fashion blog The Blonde Salad with fashion icon Chiara Ferragni back in 2009, and has since become an established entrepreneur, investor, marketing adviser, and influencer in his own right.
In Episode 11 of Earned, Conor chats with David Benayoun and Adam Bohbot, co-founders of fast-growing, carbon neutral jewelry brand Ana Luisa. In the episode, Adam and David reveal their fateful meeting sharing a cab to a nightclub in Shanghai while both attending business school at EMLYON. After pursuing different career paths post-graduation, we learn why the two decided to leverage their complementary skill sets and create Ana Luisa in 2018. They then give insight into Ana Luisa’s unique weekly product drop strategy, and divulge their product co-creation process with influencers—a pillar of the brand’s DNA. We learn more about how the brand’s YouTube strategy powered hyper growth, the inventory planning challenges that resulted, and why Adam and David prioritize influencer partners’ “value fit” over follower count.
In Earned’s 10th episode, Conor sits down with Joe Cloyes, co-founder and CEO of sustainable superfood skincare brand Youth To The People. Inspired by his grandmother, who started her own skincare line as a mother of seven in 1963, Joe and his cousin Greg Gonzalez founded Youth To The People in 2015, and the brand has seen explosive growth since. Joe shares how COVID-19 has shifted the brand’s focus to be “completely digital,” and talks about how YTTP uses its growing social platform to share its voice on all things from skincare to social justice.
In Episode 9 of Earned, Conor chats with Aurelian Lis, CEO of influencer-favorite skincare brand Dermalogica. Aurelian shares the post-COVID pivots that Dermalogica has made, including the brand’s new Clean Touch Certification program. Aurelian talks about why he believes product along with service leads to consumer loyalty, and finally, we discuss the brand’s education-focused approach to influencer marketing.
Savannah Sachs, CEO of rapidly growing, probiotic-powered skincare line Tula, joins Conor for our eighth episode of Earned. We dive into Savannah’s leadership philosophy, and she reveals why cultivating a “happy, high-performing team” is the key to business success—and her first priority at Tula. We also learn how Tula adapted its marketing and retail strategies in response to COVID-19 to power record sales in April and May. Savannah gives generous insight into Tula’s influencer program, and emphasizes the importance of “high-touch” relationships between brand teams and their influencer partners.
For Episode 7 of Earned, Conor sits down with Jamie Starr, Global Director of Sports Marketing at The North Face. Jamie starts off by sharing where his love of the outdoors originated, growing up in Crested Butte, a small, close-knit community in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. We learn more about Jamie’s role at The North Face, and how the brand is staying connected with, and supportive of, its team of athlete ambassadors in the face of a pandemic and cultural revolution. To end the episode, Jamie emphasizes how The North Face is using its platform to fight for racial justice and promote more diversity in mountain sports.
In our sixth Earned episode and second virtual interview, Conor chats with Divya Gugnani, co-founder and CEO of Wander Beauty, a digitally native beauty brand launched in 2015. Divya earned a B.S. at Cornell and an M.B.A. at Harvard, but claims her “hardest degree” was from the French Culinary Institute—though these reflect just a few of the serial entrepreneur’s many impressive endeavors. We dive into Divya’s “accidental” journey to entrepreneurship and the valuable lessons she’s learned along the way, before hearing how a chance encounter with Lindsay Ellingson (Wander Beauty’s co-founder and creative director) at a party led to the brand’s conception. Divya reveals how COVID-19 has forced a shake-up in the Wander Beauty’s “on-the-go” messaging and marketing strategies, and emphasizes the importance of listening to your community in difficult times. And of course, we also get to hear Wander Beauty’s approach to building long-lasting influencer relationships.
In Earned’s first remote episode, Conor (virtually) sits down with Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, co-founders of cult-favorite skincare brand Glow Recipe. We dive into Sarah and Christine’s unique backgrounds, as they unpack what they learned growing up across different countries and cultures. Christine and Sarah detail their close-knit co-founder dynamic, and share their 360-degree approach to brand marketing, their personalized and authentic influencer outreach strategy, and their journey to building the Real Glow Gang, a passionate and highly engaged community of skincare—and Glow Recipe—enthusiasts.
In Earned Episode 4, Conor interviews Mehdi Mehdi, chief digital officer at Selena Gomez’s highly anticipated beauty line Rare Beauty, and former VP of Digital at NYX Professional Makeup. Mehdi talks about the importance of understanding your consumer’s perspective and leveraging your influencer community, and shares his most-used marketing strategies, including a thoughtful approach to building long-term influencer relationships.
In episode 3 of Earned, Conor sits down with Evelyn Wang, CMO of cult-favorite masstige cosmetics brand Milani. We dive into Evelyn’s unexpected path to the beauty industry, beginning with a degree in Psychoanalytic Thought from a Toronto university, to a business degree at USC (with her sights set on the entertainment industry), before an internship at L'Oréal Paris eventually led her to senior leadership positions at major beauty corporations like Estée Lauder and Johnson & Johnson. Evelyn unpacks the transition from working at these large, publicly traded companies, to leading the marketing departments of smaller, independent brands like Wet n Wild, and, since 2018, Milani. We find out her core marketing philosophies, including the importance of a compelling brand story and the necessity of details, plus her thoughts on the influencer marketing space and Milani’s personalized approach to working with content creators.
In Episode 2 of Earned, Tribe Dynamics co-founder Conor Begley chats with Jordynn Wynn, co-founder of rising hair extensions brand Insert Name Here (yes, that’s the name!) and marketing director at ColourPop. Raised in a small Montana town, Jordynn reveals how she wound up becoming the first official hire at ColourPop at age 21, and pulls back the curtain on the brand’s humble beginnings. Jordynn also shares why she, alongside former Pepperdine classmate and ColourPop colleague Sharon Pak and entrepreneur Kevin Gould, decided to enter the hair space and found wig, ponytail, and extensions brand Insert Name Here. We unpack how Jordynn’s learnings from ColourPop inform INH’s marketing strategy, and discuss the active role social media influencers have played in the hair brand’s initial success.
In Episode 1 of Earned, Tribe Dynamics co-founder Conor Begley sits down with Ashton Wall, director of performance marketing at ColourPop, one of today’s hottest beauty brands in earned media. Ashton shares how she landed her “dream job” at ColourPop, revealing her career role models and ride-or-die marketing philosophies. Conor and Ashton also dive into the evolution of brand-consumer relationships in the social media era and the importance of social listening, before Ashton divulges a few of the strategies that rocketed ColourPop to stardom.
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