July 17, 2019
Joining us on the Marketing Mix Podcast is Jeremy Lowenstein, CMO at Kopari Beauty. Jeremy discusses transitioning from a global beauty brand to a smaller startup, the importance of maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit throughout company growth, and the ever-increasing fluidity of consumer channels. Having extensive experience in the beauty world, Jeremy discusses the future of digitally native beauty brands and the importance of in-store distribution.
Jeff Ragovin: Tell us about Kopari and why you decided to move across the country to lead marketing?
Jeremy Lowenstein: I have been in the beauty industry for over 16 years and have spent that at 2 relatively large companies and I wanted to take a stab at a smaller indie brand. Kopari started with an idea 6 years ago, when the trend in naturals started to happen and the founders saw people cooking with coconut, they had this idea about creating a coconut based brand that was better for you.
Jeff Ragovin: When given the opportunity did you ever think about working from New York?
Jeremy Lowenstein: No, I was at a point in my life where I said if another opportunity takes me somewhere else, you only live once, I might as well try it. I went out to San Francisco to meet the founders and I moved to San Diego sight unscene. It was a leap of faith and for me it was about the relationships I built with founders and I really believed in the brand.
Jeff Ragovin: What did you want to bring right away to Kopari?
Jeremy Lowenstein: I never walk into a job saying this is what we have to do, for me it’s about learning what the brand does well and what makes them tick. I wanted to maintain the entrepreneurial culture while providing some structure and discipline, which is important for when we scale. I think my experiences with both Aveda and Coty have given me that toolset.
Jeff Ragovin: What’s your approach to brick and mortar moving forward?
Jeremy Lowenstein: We’re becoming a multi-channeled brand. Whether you started as a DTC or brick and mortar, those worlds are converging for scale. Consumers are channel fluid, and beauty is a hands on category that needs stores. Kopari is a unique brand because of its versatile use of coconut.
Jeff Ragovin: One issue I think a lot of brands face is how to bridge online and offline data and how to get those customers to really intersect. So is there anything you guys are doing from a strategy standpoint on creating that bridge?
Jeremy Lowenstein: We try to keep channels open with our buyers so we can have them give us the data we need, as well as data mining from our own consumers buying off the Kopari site.
Jeff Ragovin: Do you guys do anything on the influencer side and how has the role of the influencer changed over the past few years
Jeremy Lowenstein: The most important thing when I look at influencers is authenticity and I think consumers look for that as well. I want to make sure whoever is talking about our brand is truly genuine.
Jeff Ragovin: In terms of authenticity, is there an ideal lifestyle a Kopari influencer should live?
Jeremy Lowenstein: There are a lot of different lifestyle personas that could live within this brand. If we go into a lifestyle space, it tends to have a beach vibe to it, an active lifestyle, health and wellness, and clean living.
Jeff Ragovin: You work in the beauty space which is a women dominated field, have you had any challenges being a man in this space?
Jeremy Lowenstein: It’s funny because I don’t even realize it anymore. I find it refreshing and fun that we have two female founders. As a marketer, being a guy in the beauty world, actually makes me work that much harder to understand product usage and the reason why we need it. I think it’s important to experience every product so I can speak to them effectively.
Jeff Ragovin: Thank you for joining the Marketing Mix Podcast.
Please note, the above has been paraphrased for editorial purposes