The Groundbreakers: The executives behind key changes at influential companies
Marketing director, Ciaté London, Lottie London and Skin Proud
Nora Zukauskaite is perhaps the busiest woman in the indie beauty world.
As marketing director, Zukauskaite is responsible for three brands: makeup brands Ciaté London and Lottie London and Gen-Z skin-care brand Skin Proud. Zukauskaite joined U.K.-based Brand Agency London at the end of 2020 and has since managed to execute several campaigns and projects across all three brands. In April 2020, Lottie London joined TikTok, where it now has 140,000 followers, and it launched a global digital campaign across TikTok, Twitch and Instagram to promote its Walmart partnership between April and June 2021. Meanwhile, Ciaté London took part in a phygital NFT collaboration with “Selling Sunset” star Christin Quinn in October 2021.
As part of an effort to develop the brands as purpose-led, Skin Proud launched a mental health Twitter campaign in May 2022 and blood donation campaign for Lottie London in October. The Twitter campaign saw nearly 6,000 impressions, and Skin Proud gained over 1,000 followers during the month. Meanwhile, the blood donation campaign across TikTok and Instagram boosted brand engagement by 126.66% and audience reach by 77.85%, compared to a previous campaign in June. Between 2021 to 2022, Brand Agency London experienced a 15% year-over-year revenue increase.
Zukauskaite credits her ingenuity to a naturally rebellious nature, which is awakened when she feels inspired by indie beauty brands challenging business norms.
“Creativity is not necessarily predetermined with money, and it shouldn’t be,” said Zukauskaite. “We can see that more indie brands are winning over the love and attention of consumers. And [that] forces me to think and achieve more for our marketing campaigns.”
Since 2019, Zukauskaite has built up the marketing team, which is the biggest team in the company, from three to 16 people. As a leader of a flat organization, Zukauskaite said she aims to understand what motivates each person and align them with opportunities for professional growth and development. The team is mostly comprised of Gen Zers.
Regarding the macro-shifts in beauty, Zukauskaite said she anticipates consolidation within indie beauty due to Apple iOS and Google cookie privacy changes, as well as the “clutter of competition,” including the rapid influx of celebrity brands. Potential consolidation underscores the importance of marketers, who are a significant part of driving brand affinity and awareness. To Zukauskaite, brand voice is the “alchemy and magic” of marketing, as opposed to the data-centric approach of performance marketers.
“We can measure a lot of what we do, and based on that, optimize. But the creative piece, which makes a customer click through [an ad or link] is the love story of the brand,” she said.
A creativity driven by a sensibility and sensitivity of the beauty market is what leads Zukauskaite toward cutting-edge areas like NFTs and the metaverse. In September, Lottie London joined social media app BeReal, which Zukauskaite said interests her precisely because it has yet to become monetized. TikTok continues to be a focus for all three brands, with both Skin Proud and Ciaté London having approximately 130,000 followers. In 2023, Zukauskaite plans to drive customers to U.S. retail partners like Walmart, Urban Outfitters, Sephora and Nordstrom.
“We’re working on multiple campaigns and putting [social] causes at the center,” she said. “And we’ve barely scratched the surface of the U.S. because the market is so big. We have two jobs: announce new products, but also make sure more people in the U.S. know about our hero products and branding.”
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