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QVC’s Mike George Says the Future Is Authentic Storytelling

The brand's chief executive officer stressed building trust with consumers.

“It’s tough to be part of the establishment these days.”

This is one of the opening sentiments QVC chief executive officer Mike George expressed. He was referring to today’s retail environment, which he noted is now controlled by the consumer more than by the industry — she wants to buy her products when and where she wants to buy them, and the where is increasingly on mobile devices and online.

George also noted lines between industries are becoming blurred, and today’s smartphone-armed consumers are the ones driving that blurring — take the melding of beauty and health, for instance, and you get the wellness category. Adding to all of this is what George called “an erosion of trust” toward big-box, established brands and a general “collapse of institutional authority.”

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But the rise of e-commerce and the digital landscape hasn’t stopped QVC from investing in and growing its beauty business. George told the crowd that in the last year, QVC launched 300 beauty brands, including 36 in the last few months alone. Not to mention the launch Beauty iQ, QVC’s dedicated beauty channel.

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One key thing driving QVC’s beauty business has been authenticity, said George.

“We have to strive to be more effective influencers in a world where institutional trust has eroded,” said George. “We have to become credible, authentic storytellers.”

Finding brands with people and stories behind them that will connect with the QVC audience is integral to a successful launch on the channel.

He called out Jamie Kern Lima, cofounder and ceo of It Cosmetics.

“When you take someone like Jamie, and she’s able to form this incredible connection to our customers and talk to them in the most genuine and personal way about how her products can make a difference in your life — when those connections happen, it’s really magical results and in Jamie’s case that’s 16 million products sold,” said George.

He also called out Kristofer Buckle, whose namesake makeup line sold out during his first QVC appearance this year.

“Through all of this technology and change, we see a consumer craving to bring humanity back into this increasingly impersonalized world and shopping experience,” said George.