Courtney O'Connor is a licensed esthetician turned marketing director for natural skin care brand, Primally Pure. She knows a thing or two about getting that glow without sacrificing quality of ingredients. Their beautiful branding, high quality products, and positive view of self-care makes them stand amongst the many different skin care brands out there. We sat down with Courtney to find out more about her role, marketing a brand, influencer marketing, and so much more! Read on to discover how they curate incredible content and use social media to share their message of health and balance.
Hi Courtney! Tell us about yourself and how you came to be the Director of Marketing for Primally Pure.
I am loving every second of my new career path with Primally Pure. After being a part of the natural skincare world for almost a decade and living overseas for volunteer + advocacy work, finding PP was pure fate. I came across their products in a magazine a few years ago and instantly fell in love with their minimal packaging + clean ingredients and knew I needed to be a part of what they were creating. This position has organically evolved for me since first starting with the PP team, and it has become a perfect fit. Currently, I'm splitting my time between being Primally Pure's in-house holistic esthetician and Director of Marketing. But I love how these positions complement each other so perfectly! As a holistic esthetician, I'm passionate about helping others experience health + balance not only in their skin but in body, soul and spirit. A powerful way to do that is through educating and empowering others - and that's where the marketing piece plays a big part in my day-to-day. The majority of my time is spent creating content for our blog, social media, email newsletters, videos and other creative projects to share clean skincare and holistic wellness with the world. I also have the privilege of connecting with other like-minded brands and individuals for partnerships and collaborations. I spend my days in our "spaffice" which is beautifully designed to function as an office for content creation, as well as a spa for curated skincare services. A couple of days a week I give our team members facials (sorry, we're not open to the public just yet!) using only Primally Pure products and customizing masks with the pure, natural ingredients we have on hand in our workshop. We'll keep you posted once we start taking appointments. ;)
"Primal means very basic and powerful – and that's exactly the approach we take at Primally Pure."
Describe Primally Pure's products, mission, and brand aesthetic.
By definition, primal means very basic and powerful – and that's exactly the approach we take at Primally Pure. We use the purest and most powerful ingredients our planet has to offer to support radiant skin, a healthy body and happy self. We're taking a modern twist to traditional practices that our ancestors incorporated for centuries. We believe self-care is more than simply skincare and we take a whole body approach to beauty and well-being. We believe in daily baths (our bath soaks are to die for), taking time to establish a good-for-the-soul morning routine, spending time in the great outdoors and giving back + serving others. We are firm believers that fewer is better when it comes to ingredients. Our packaging and brand esthetic is also designed to reflect our ingredient lists: fresh, clean, simple, minimal, beautiful. To sum it all up, #natureissmarterthanscience.
What is the most important thing you hope your customers take away from using your products?
I have two :)
- Real, recognizable ingredients can give you real results. Conventional skin care products aren't necessary for clearing up acne or minimizing signs of aging - harsh, harmful chemicals can be one of the biggest contributors to premature aging, acne and skin sensitivities.
- We want our customers to feel inspired and empowered that they are capable of making small changes that do create a big difference (such as simply swapping out drugstore deodorant for a natural alternative) - and that it will create a ripple effect impacting their health, home, family and community. It may sound cliche, or even a little bit crazy, but we hope that even just one PP product can spark a change that will lead to health and wholeness not only in our customer's skin but in every area of life.
What are the top 3 most important things to consider when it comes to marketing a brand such as Primally Pure? How do you create brand recognition?
- The most important, in my opinion, is to keep your mission at the forefront of everything you create and communicate. Our heart to holistically care for the skin + self with natural, non-toxic ingredients is the thread that weaves through our strategies, projects and partnerships.
- Consider your community; what they need, desire, and are drawn to. We're here to serve them and provide our customers with effective solutions, easily digestible information and powerful inspiration to make positive changes their health + home.
- Finally, form like-minded partnerships. I love the African proverb, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." And I believe nothing holds more true, especially in this industry and digital age. There's a number of natural beauty/well-being brands + bloggers that have established a positive presence, and it's a privilege (and effective marketing strategy!) to partner and support one another to grow, go further and have greater influence.
When it comes to brand recognition, consistency and visibility is everything. Across all of our platforms (website, blog, social media, email marketing - even product packaging) our design, logo, fonts, photography and colors are consistent and very visible. Being consistent as a brand with how we communicate; we connect with our email subscribers on a regular basis with a voice that's not only from an authentic place but from an authority in the industry. We want our customers to see that simple, black diamond and not only know it's Primally Pure but that it's a company they can trust.
In this digital age, what do social media platforms such as Instagram mean for a brand like Primally Pure?
In my personal life, I feel like social media can be a complete time waster (I'm working on balance!), but professionally there are SO many positives. Connection. Building community. Collaborating. Impacting + educating a wider audience. Social media gives us the opportunity to share our clean skincare with the world. Plus, it allows us to connect and create relationships with other brands, bloggers and customers. Whether they're already our committed customers or have never even once thought of swapping out their antiperspirant for a natural alternative, we want to connect with them and create a place for them in the PP community. Social media isn't a necessary evil (as I once thought, honestly), it's a powerful way to share our message and meet others who are like-minded.
How do you feel about working with influencers to spread your brand?
We're all about it. Influencer marketing is actually how Bethany began building her brand when she was still making deodorants in her kitchen! Sharing her non-toxic products with friends + influencers in the natural beauty world who posted religiously helped to build a following that has exponentially grown over the past few years. We're grateful to work with a community of influencers who have created such an authentic presence in the wellness world and are willing to spread the word about our skincare passionately. Every day we receive multiple requests from influencers and have learned a lot along the way - especially in forming authentic, personal connections in partnerships. Rather than blasting our brand to the masses (or receiving generic collab requests), we intentionally seek out influencers who are aligned with our mission and find personal ways to connect with them. We've found it's important not to be afraid to reach out to people and to push past the possible fear of rejection. The worst thing someone can do is not respond or say no. But by being personal, touching on similarities, and finding a genuine connecting point, we've become surrounded by some pretty solid and beautiful PP Babes.
How do you curate content and decide what to share on your grid and Instagram Stories?
Planoly has been instrumental in helping us with the look and feel of our feed. Our founder, Bethany, and I tag team the PLANOLY platform. She selects the images we'll post, and I pop in to create the captions - typically based on product launches, new blog posts, positive reviews, collaborations, campaigns, and educating our customers. Our deodorant posts always perform the best - it's the product that drives the most engagement for our brand! For our IG stories, we've created a schedule to post specific topics depending on the day. For example, Monday we like to show a behind-the-scenes look of our workshop and where all the natural skincare magic happens, Tuesday we always post a natural beauty tip and Thursday we highlight new posts on our blog. And of course, throughout the week if we have exciting news (like our recent deodorant subscription program!) or product launch, we'll post that to our stories, as well.
What are your top tips for creating a lovely Instagram that's in line with your brand?
I may sound like a broken record, but consistency. Consistency with the photos (good photography is worth the investment!), filters, fonts, etc. In our opinion, consistent, clean and simple is beautiful - and also a BIG part of our brand. We are intentional about bringing balance to our feed through highlighting different aspects of our brand and the people behind it all. We like to post a variety of product shots (what our company creates), inspirational or hilarious quotes (our followers LOVE these), customer reviews (sharing buzz about our products) and PP Team pics (the beautiful women who make it all happen). Using a tool like PLANOLY has helped us immensely in mapping out the big picture of our feed. We can easily swap out photos, switch them around and put the perfect PP puzzle together. PLANOLY has been a complete game changer for our Instagram.