Olaplex has had incredible growth since its inception. Starting as a salon-focused haircare brand, the company has since expanded into retail and DTC, seeing 112% annual growth in the last year. During her keynote fireside chat at CommerceNext 2022, Olaplex CEO JuE Wong shared that with their growth strategy driven by technology, customer data and insights, she believes this success into a big brand is just the beginning.
Read on to learn some of the tips Olaplex shared at #CN2022 regarding how to build the next big brand: from disruptor to power player, or watch the full session recording here.
1. Hunt For The Future For Your Big Brand
In order to build a big brand in today’s advancing and ever-changing world, Wong expressed the importance of focusing on the future of technology. At Olaplex, they have a team dedicated to researching the trends and projected technological advancements for the years to come. They call themselves the “future hunters.”
Olaplex emphasizes using technology as the enabler that propels your business forward to a big brand. “Future hunters” play a significant role in this ideal and their research could lead to future success for any retail or DTC brand. For example, a few years ago when the future hunters concluded AI was going to be the next disruptor in tech, Olaplex began creating Kai, the brand’s new virtual team member (shown below). Just recently, they introduced Kai to their community. She is a synthesis of all 240 Olaplex team members, bringing unique, brand-specific human interaction and personal engagement to customers’ virtual shopping experience.
Kai is just one example of how Olaplex is defining itself as a power player in the DTC industry, but there are smaller advancements your brand can implement to stay relevant. Putting more focus, effort and money into technology can help ensure your brand will grow with society and meet your audience where they are online.
2. Collect Meaningful Data & Put it to Good Use
Olaplex clearly invests heavily in technology, but Wong explained that the most impactful tech investment is data. Collecting and analyzing customer data can change the way you understand the desired user experience, but you need to know what information is going to be most beneficial for your business to grow into a big brand.
Olaplex focuses on data regarding regional attributes and customer attitudes, and they suggest other brands do the same. If you can understand where your consumers are regionally, you can better understand their lifestyles, attitudes, needs and wants. In addition, knowing the consumers’ attitude toward your products, brand, website and overall image improves your understanding of what they want and need to become loyal customers.
The brand stays away from collecting demographic information, however, because the company believes it gives customers the wrong impression. For example, age does not define thoughts, feelings, personalities or attitudes. Grouping customers together based on age or other demographic segments can make them feel misunderstood. Collecting attitude and regional data, however, lets the customer know the brand they are engaging with is truly understanding who they are and what they need.
Although all of this data is very important for your company to collect, it is also crucial to protect all user data. We know customers want everything quicker and more efficient today, but they also want their information to be private. With some corporations’ lack of privacy regulations coming to the forefront, building solid trust with your audience will come from reinforcing how their data will be protected and ultimately lead to building a big brand.
3. Build A Long-Lasting Community
Building the next big brand takes lots of time and hard work, and Olaplex considers one of the biggest factors in this process to be community building. Having recently passed a total of one billion views on TikTok, the brand believes it has created long-lasting and engaging relationships with each member of its community. But how did they master this sense of community around the brand?
When it comes to consumer products, Wong explained that it is all about servicing rather than transacting. In the end, the customer will always win. Understanding what your audience wants and needs from your brand will allow you to make your user experience so much more personal and efficient. This is not only true for your brand’s website but on all social platforms as well. For example, Olaplex only posts user-generated content, making its brand reputation relatable and personable.
When you use your findings from data analysis and technological research to make your consumers’ virtual experience more tailored to them, they are much more likely to want to create those long-lasting relationships with your brand.
With our industry advancing as quickly as it is, JuE Wong believes investing in technology, strategic data collection and community building will help ensure your brand will remain relevant to your audience and a power player in the industry. Watch the full Olaplex CN 2022 session today on our YouTube channel to learn more about how to build the next big brand.