A poster brand in the U.S. for the booming global anti-aging market is 17-year-old NuFace. The at-home microcurrent skin-care device brand reported 24% retail sales growth in 2022.
NuFace credits much of its recent growth to its revamped marketing strategy. “There was this opportunity to put the brand on a pedestal and get it the credit it deserves,” said Katie Guild, svp of global marketing at NuFace. “NuFace’s biggest accomplishment [in the last 12 months] is the rebirthing of the brand.”
That rebirth coincided with NuFace releasing two innovative product upgrades in August: the Mini+ and Trinity+. The products’ global campaign, Find Beauty in the Current, aimed to disrupt the traditional ideas of anti-aging. According to the ads, the products allow consumers to be in control and embrace the aging process; from toning to lifting to contouring, the tools allow you to do as much or as little maintenance as you please.
“[NuFace] is skin care, but it’s a step beyond. The women skin-care enthusiasts [that we pulled consumer insights from] said they didn’t realize they needed to be doing something at the muscular level. That was the ‘aha’ moment around which we built the whole campaign,” Guild said.
Walk me through the process of how your marketing team strategically rebranded NuFace.
“We first did a bunch of interviews with skin-care enthusiasts to understand where their journey with skin care was, what they were looking for and how NuFace could be the solution. From there, we did lots of deep diving to define that point of difference. The challenge then became bringing this all to life: How do you take something intangible and make it understandable for a bunch of people engaged in the category who have no idea what this is? We worked with a production house to develop 3D mapping of models’ faces, which then led to a dramatization of microcurrent going down through the skin, deep into the muscle, to bring this concept to life. That [became] the feature treatment in all of our main ad assets. … That was our traditional go-to-market strategy. But then, at the same time, we were going viral on Tiktok. … Over the past year, we’ve [received] 47 million views of the hashtag #NuFace. … We have a robust strategy from an organic perspective, but also paid. We work with every [influencer], from the micro to the macro — but surprisingly, it’s everyday women who go out and buy the device for themselves that end up going viral for us. That’s been key, because you can’t buy brand love. What’s worked is for us to very quickly see it happening, reach out, bring these people in and foster the relationship with the brand. That’s when the magic happens for us.”
What do you consider the most promising platforms or types of content for marketing today?
“Ultimately, we will be where our clients are. We want to be part of that conversation. Social is enabling us to educate in a snackable, authentic way. At NuFace, there’s a high burden to education with the device because it’s very technical. So we’ll continue to hold fast on both Instagram and Tiktok. … If there’s a new platform that launches tomorrow, that’s where we’ll be if our client is there.”
How is NuFace tapping into AI for personalization?
“It all goes back to the app. Once you sign on, you’re asked about your skin type, the different types of procedures [you’ve had] and the products you use, whether you get facials or Botox, and how much time you want to commit to the app. It takes all the information, as well as the device you have, [into consideration]. Then it recommends specific treatments for you. Those [routines] are going to continue to get refreshed and evolve, [based on AI].”
How do you integrate influencers and celebrities into NuFace’s marketing strategy?
“For big key moments, it makes sense to bring in a big name — for instance, Molly Sims, a longtime fan of the brand. We reached out to her and partnered with her for the unveiling of the Mini+ device. It felt organic because she was using it before. She loved it, and she knew it. [In those instances], celebrities and influences play a role. But when we look at the overall strategy, you have to be full-funnel. For the day-to-day, people want to see that the product works on everyday people. [Consumers] want to see themselves in the people we put forth. And honestly, the results from ‘real women’ are the [posts] that go viral.”
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