Veteran on-air sales personality Patti Reilly has joined Origami Owl and Willing Beauty as director of on air media and training. Reilly is best known for her role as a beauty authority during her time at QVC in a similar capacity.
One of her first tasks will be to collaborate with mother-and-daughter team Christy Prunier and Willa Doss on the launch of Willing Beauty. Positioned as a better-for-you skin-care line, the five-piece collection will roll out this month through a social selling business model.
Prunier and Doss were also behind Willa Skin Care which was created when Doss was only nine years old. After selling at major retailers, the duo realized their best salespeople were girls using the brand.
Origami Owl, a jewelry company also founded by a mother-and-daughter team, purchased Willa in 2016 to further fortify the direct-selling strategy.
Fittingly, Willing Beauty offers sales opportunities for teens and adults. Willing Beauty is suited for moms and Willa is a brand popular with younger girls. Since Willa is part of the Willing Beauty umbrella, moms can sell and use Willing Beauty while the daughters and tweens can sell and use Willa.
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Reilly’s role will be to create videos selling content for Willing Beauty Advisors to share with consumers using many of the strategies she honed at QVC.
“As social media marches closer and closer to being mainstream media, we see an opportunity to deploy proven media marketing tactics and the strength of our word-of-mouth marketing to engage consumers in a whole new way,” said Origami Owl chief executive officer Brett Blake. “Patti Reilly knows how to guide consumers through the purchase decision; we know how to gather an audience, so it seems like the perfect marriage at a pivotal time in the history of commerce.”
Reilly sees synergy between on-air and direct sell for beauty and she thinks the potential is huge. “Home shopping is definitely trending upwards as brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to remain relevant. But home shopping as we know it with customers finding us while they surf their televisions is changing and more and more of those customers are getting their news, information and now media from their mobile devices delivered via social media channels like Facebook and Instagram,” Reilly explained.
“This fundamental change in the way we consume entertainment has the world’s largest brands scrambling to figure out how to be relevant and to test new [techniques] for engaging customers. While so many of the ‘techniques’ of media-delivered selling work across channels, the biggest challenge is finding an audience and aggregating viewers.”
Reilly, who prefers to call Willing Beauty social sharing, said there are companies generating transactions from “advertising” on social media channels. But she advocates rewarding most loyal customers for recommending products and sharing experiences with those in their circles. “We believe we are on trend with the transition from old-school channel surfing media to search-based social media.”
She added that since consumers are already socially engaged, embracing social sharing strategies as a business is the best way to increase reach and develop a meaningful relationship with customers. “There’s a comfort level in sharing on social media that rarely exists face-to-face, and as a business, you can listen to and respond directly to your customer which increases relationship value,” she said.
One of her first goals will be to communicate the benefits of Willing Beauty’s HY+5, the cornerstone of the five-piece regimen. For Willing Beauty a 30 day supply starts at $138.
Social selling is gaining momentum, putting to bed outdated notions of multilevel marketing that was associated with the beauty industry decades ago. Instead, it is an avenue many consumers, especially young, Internet savvy beauty shoppers, prefer to learn about beauty. A testament to the interest was Coty’s recent purchase of peer-to-peer, social-media-driven cosmetics company Younique. Another example is Rodan + Fields which started in department stores buy now largely relies on a direct-sales force team that helped it just become the largest premium skin-care brand in North America.