Anne-Marie Kline shares 5 tips for building a competitive indie brand

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Anne-Marie Kline shares 5 tips for building a competitive indie brand

Related tags Independent beauty brands Indie beauty Marketing

Speaking at the Indie Beauty Innovators Awards event, hosted by ICMAD, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Monday evening, the former CMO of Living Proof gave founders in the room her best advice for leading a brand to success in today’s rather crowded cosmetics and personal care marketplace.

Anne-Marie Kline spent some 4 years leading the global marketing team at Living Proof, a tenure that spanned the brand’s acquisition by Unilever in 2016. And she has extensive marketing experience outside the beauty industry as well, on the agency side with firms such as Digitas.

Here, is the guidance Kline shared, at this week’s ICMAD event, for indie beauty brands:

“Know your why.”
Kline believes that having a very clear reason for being and using that as compass for making decisions is key to building a brand that will stand out and stand up in the current beauty marketplace  

“Lean into your iconic product.”
This may not initially be the brand’s best-seller but it should be a distinctly “buzzy product,”​ says Kline. It’s the product that will come to embody the brand and be immediately recognizable to consumers.

“Have a content strategy.”
Be deliberate about the content you produce and where you’re distributing branded media.  

“Experimentation is important.”
This is the fail-fast-and-fail-often piece of advice. Kline suggests that brands “test [new ideas with] 50 cents of every dollar, have clear metrics [to measure the results by], and invest accordingly.”

“Authentic communication and community management is a must.”
Here Kline points to brand leaders like Vicky Tsai of Tatcha and Tiffany Masterson of Drunk Elephant as good models of how brand leaders should engage with their current and prospective consumers. She notes that this sort of communication strategy is very much “an advantage for founder-led brands.”



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.


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