The Speed of Culture Podcast: How e.l.f. Beauty Became a Gen Z Darling

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Convergent TV Summit returns March 21-22. Hear timely insights from TV industry experts virtually or in person in NYC. Register now to secure your early bird pass.

In the latest episode of The Speed of Culture podcast, Ekta Chopra, chief digital officer at e.l.f. Beauty, sits down with Suzy founder and CEO Matt Britton to discuss the brand’s unique strategy around digital experiences and innovative consumer trends.

Chopra is a visionary IT executive who has spent her entire career transforming private equity-backed companies with cutting-edge technologies, high-performing teams and digital innovation.

Before e.l.f. Beauty, Chopra worked at organizations like Consortium of Information Systems Executives for Bay Area CIOs, the worker nonprofit James Irvine Foundation, children’s education organization Induz and women’s fashion brand Charming Charlie.

In this episode, Chopra shares why e.l.f. Beauty is one of the leading Gen Z brands, successful partnerships with Chipotle and Twitch gamer Lufu, and how the brand leverages the metaverse, AI, ChatGPT and BeReal to gain a competitive advantage.

Stream the new episode below, listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts or find it on Spotify.

Key Highlights:

  • 04:55 – 06:27 – e.l.f.ing the Beauty Industry – Chopra describes e.l.f. Beauty as one of the leading Gen Z brands and a bold disruptor with a kind heart. She believes that having an empathetic, inclusive and diverse lens is crucial for a great consumer experience.
  • 09:40 – 10:42 – Moving at e.l.f. Speed – e.l.f. constantly challenges itself to innovate. The company also strongly engages with its community to listen to their opinions and feedback. Chopra advises brands to listen to their users, understand them and serve them better. She believes it’s also wise to surround yourself with partners who know how to operate and communicate in various channels, like TikTok.
  • 10:43 – 14:10 – Gaming Partnership – e.l.f. Beauty dove into the gaming world to support female gamers. It partnered with Lufu, the second most-followed female gamer on Twitch, to learn more about the gaming community and create a product that speaks to that segment of consumers. Chopra also notes that not every channel is used for selling. Some are valuable in terms of engagement or support for community members.
  • 14:10 – 16:20 – e.l.f. + Chipotle – E.l.f. noticed how the ingredient bar at Chipotle looked like an eyeshadow palette. The brands connected on shared values, leading to a successful and innovative partnership. The first campaign sold out in 4 minutes, and their co-branded product, the Avocado Sponge, generated buzz on Reddit.
  • 17:06 – 18:03 – Micro Influencers and Gen Z – E.l.f. Beauty is stepping away from big, paid influencers and connecting with micro-influencers. For the company, micro-influencers are more diverse, authentic and connected with the brand and its audience, especially Gen Z.
  • 20:34 – 22:40 – Be First. BeReal – E.l.f. Beauty is among the first brands to explore one of the fastest-growing social platforms, BeReal. This gives it the competitive advantage of testing, learning early and understanding how to show up authentically on this unique channel.
  • 22:40 – 27:47 – Metaverse, AI and ChatGPT – Generative AI like ChatGPT, Jasper.ai and DALL-E is taking off. In a world that moves at the speed of culture, consumers and brands alike must learn to leverage this new technology. In addition to AI, e.l.f. focuses on tech like the metaverse and Web3 to understand how to show up on the platforms in a way that can be monetized in the future.

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