Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the VP of Marketing for EDEN BodyWorks, Ms. Ylorie Anderson. I first met Ylorie at the Fall 2012 Taliah Waajid World Natural Hair, Health, & Beauty Show when I stopped by the EDEN BodyWorks booth to pick up some Tea Tree and Peppermint Hair oil. She was so friendly and welcoming! Ylorie, founder of Brown Girl Marketing, was kind enough to share information about the brand EDEN BodyWorks, Ylorie’s role as VP of Marketing, and her thoughts on natural hair in the media.
1. How did you get interested in marketing?
Everyone discovers his or her passion differently! I was introduced to my passion for marketing while doing a project at IBM (my first employer) and wanted to explore it more, but didn’t really know how. I turned to education as a vehicle for opening doors in marketing and brand management. My first true role, as Brand Manager for Elasta QP, was the most life changing career experience. I haven’t looked back!
2. What is your educational background?
I received my Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from Norfolk State University (wooo hooo Spartans!) and obtained my MBA in Marketing and Strategic Operations from DePaul University while working full-time at IBM.
3. As the VP of Marketing at EDEN BodyWorks, what are your primary responsibilities?
The VP of Marketing role was a unique role created in an effort to facilitate brand operations and marketing tasks while the founder focused on completing her education. I have a myriad of roles in the company – manufacturing, distribution, social media, marketing strategy, product development, event planning, retail and sales, etc. In a nutshell, I’m responsible for every aspect of the business… from concept to consumer!
4. What part of your career do you enjoy the most?
I have a few favorites that revolve around what I do on a daily basis (and have been doing for the past 8+ years in beauty), including helping women discover their beauty through product usage and education, mentoring other women in the industry, connecting with consumers and hearing their stories and the things they love about products we’ve created, and all things creative! Additionally, lately I’ve been asked to facilitate and speak a lot on branding. It’s become a secret passion I hope continues. I am truly blessed to do what I love and I love what I do!
5. What type of market research, if any, does EDEN BodyWorks conduct? What methods of data collection do you use?
We are big on surveying customers; we host events so we can meet and greet customers in person to hear from them directly; we have product review teams; and we use our social media platforms to informally learn more about our customers and consumers daily.
6. What do you think makes a great brand?
Great brands revolve around their ability to be INNOVATIVE; to engage with as well as understand the consumer; and to develop products that consumers not only need, but also want!
7. What are some current cutting edge trends in marketing?
Social media has truly changed the marketing landscape by adding a new level of digital engagement. Integrated marketing strategies are still necessary essentials for brands to reach consumers. I think we’ll see more by way of apps, mobile marketing, collaboration, social engagement and visual platforms as technology continues to evolve. I’m waiting on the day when retailers introduce cutting edge trends in store and at the shelf.
I’m enjoying the attention to “consumer” detail as well as the inclusion of everyday women in beauty advertising. We are no longer monochromatic in how we promote and showcase beauty. The 24/7-brand promotion is explosive on social media. Talking directly to brands and influencers can actually garner immediate results, feedback, and responses. That’s visionary within itself!
9. What do you think accounts for the representation of natural hair in the media? In your opinion, is it increasing, or has it always been there and we never noticed until we went natural (as some have suggested)?
I feel as though we’ve always quietly admired those who had the confidence and capability to rock their natural tresses. The recent explosion of the natural hair community has definitely heightened the awareness and appreciation for women who have gone natural.
“The media’s role in portraying beauty is only successful when the masses feel as though it’s relatable”.
In this sense, I think America has finally embraced the individuality and many “faces” of women: curly, straight, kinky, or otherwise! Sure, there’s some hype surrounding it now, but I’m enjoying seeing this trend become a mainstream lifestyle choice of many (natural hair, natural ingredients, and wellness for the body).
10. What, in your opinion, sets EDEN BodyWorks apart from its competitors?
I’ve touched 15+ brands during my career and honestly, each brand has its own point of differentiation. EDEN BodyWorks does a great job of personalizing the consumer experience – by product and engagement. In addition to using high quality natural ingredients, the efficacy of the products is outstanding! Consumers today appreciate transparency and demand results. EDEN BodyWorks delivers!
11. In what ways does EDEN BodyWorks engage its consumers? Bloggers?
We are everywhere our consumers are: telephone, email, social media, events, in store experiences, shows, expos, and by way of tastemakers (bloggers, media, etc.). We believe in cultivating relationships to keep our pulse on the needs of our consumers and understanding their beauty challenges.
12. In 2 sentences or less, describe EDEN BodyWorks.
Our mission statement says it best:
EDEN BodyWorks™ provides natural products that integrate wellness and beauty inspired by nature to restore and maintain the body’s original design. Discover EDEN for Yourself!
13. How do you measure personal success?
When you reach a point in life that you are doing what you love and loving what you do… you are on the road to success!
14. What has been the best advice given to you before/since starting your career?
Two words: Be Teachable!