Audio Transcript

Welcome to “Let’s Talk Loyalty”, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas. And if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world. Hello and welcome to episode one Oh eight of let’s talk loyalty today. I’m chatting with Miranda bliss, who is the loyalty and retention manager for adore beauty, which is probably very well known, particularly to our listeners in Australia and New Zealand. Adore beauty is actually Australia’s number one, online beauty, skincare, and wellness retailer, a company that just went public on the Australian stock exchange in November, 2020.
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Miranda has launched the adore society as the loyalty program for the business. And today she’s here to talk with us about the loyalty proposition and some of its early success. Silver Miranda. Tell me, what is your favorite loyalty statistic?
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Mine’s actually from Adam Posner’s 2020 for love or money report here in Australia, which shows that 89% of Australians aged 18 and over were enrolled in at least one program. And of those one in 10 were enrolled in 10 or more loyalty program, which to me just seems wild. So wild number.
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It is a wise number. My God. Wow. Yes, I’d actually probably you and I are both guilty of that. I think in being a notable person.
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Yeah. At least,
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At least exactly. But we could say it’s for professional reasons hard, not our, not our addiction. Yes,
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Exactly.
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Wonderful. Wonderful. So listen, it’s an extraordinary story of what you’re doing with the adore society. And so we’re going to tell listeners all about the incredible work, I suppose, all of the whole brand, but particularly I suppose the fact that the loyalty program is brand new. And I love the fact that I think you, you launched in, in just March this year. Isn’t that right? Miranda. That is correct. Okay. And here we are just now in may. So and so a couple of months in, and so an extraordinary opportunity, I think I’m very jealous actually, that you’ve been able to have this opportunity in your career for a completely blank sheet of paper and designing entire program from scratch. So I think that the best first question for you is to give us a bit of your background and context and how did you get this amazing job?
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Sure. So after many years of working in marketing, I was actually inspired by my uncle’s work, who pioneered private label credit cards and the store card whilst at parallel. Oh my goodness, which is really crazy that it’s all run in the family. So this actually led me to my first role in loyalty at two D Jr free, which is an international duty-free retailer, where I first redesigned the existing loyalty program and implemented things like partner benefits. Wow, love it. But after a bit of a taste of loyalty, I moved to vintage sellers, which is actually part of the Coles liquor group, which is Australia’s second largest supermarket.
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So there I manage the wine club loyalty program, introduce things like lifecycle experiential benefits for high value members. And really, I mean, it was a, it was a really rich database, healthy and healthy for suppliers as well. So yes, absolutely. Wow. And then in June last year, middle of COVID, I decided to actually follow my passion for the beauty industry and I was lucky enough to join adore beauty. So Adobe, she for your listeners is actually Australia’s number one, pure play online retailer. And we were actually recently just voted the top beauty retailer by power retail, which is very exciting.
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Amazing. Congratulations. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. So, yeah, so I essentially was brought on board as the lotion retention manager. So in addition to looking after loyalty, I look after the email channel and or retention metrics as well. I was really brought on board to design and develop the loyalty program for adore. So launching in nine months of joining, designing and launching a doors first Moshi program, adore society.
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Wow. Well, congratulations, Miranda. It is, is as I think I said already, it’s a career defining opportunity. I am and really extraordinary. And I think actually when we spoke before you described us as, as the dream role, so again, I always like this. Yeah, totally. I mean, it’s just such a gorgeous brand. And again, I was going through and some of the adore beauty and information, just again, in preparation for our chat today and extraordinary, I suppose, vision first and foremost. And it always seems so obvious. Doesn’t it? When you kind of, with hindsight, you look back and go, why did I not do that? Eh,
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Yeah. I mean, starting in a garage, you know, over 20 years ago to a publicly listed company is pretty crazy. I mean, Kate Morris, our founder is an incredible founder. I mean, she is just so inspiring, but also very down to earth, you know, she, yeah, she’s very cool. Yeah. Yeah. That’s really led us to where we are today.
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Fantastic. And even when I was looking at the investor deck, just from literally from April as well, Miranda, I loved the fact that not just obviously caters the founder, but your CEO and CFO were also female who were presenting to the investors. So I think that’s just a vote of confidence in the, the integrity of the organization. Just give them. So it’s amazing. You know, I think we have to know our products before we can really market them.
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It’s also, I mean, as a woman in business, it’s nice to see women at that level succeeding really inspiring.
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Yes. Yeah. So, and the journey, as you said, from a garage and in 2000, in fact, I thought I was the only person talking about e-commerce in 2000, but clearly adore beauty was doing exactly the same. And then as you said, a publicly quoted company, and again, just for listeners, some of the extraordinary statistics I saw was 497,000 new customers acquired in the calendar year of 2020. So yeah, while we all know that the world has been, you know, struggling, obviously in so many ways in so many markets, it does seem that for a pure play online retailer, particularly with something that really makes people feel as good, obviously as skincare and beauty products, that’s just an extraordinary result.
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It is. And look to your point, it was very much about self care wasn’t makeup. It was very much, you know, candles, great skin care. Sexual wellness was also a very growing fast growing category for us as well. Okay.
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Yeah. Interesting. Okay. Well again, clearly it’s resonated. So I do think there’s, there’s a level of genius as well in marketing when we understand what the customers need. And clearly as part of that, you know, acquiring a huge amount of customers is, is an extraordinary opportunity, very exciting. But then it comes into, I suppose, the whole loyalty proposition. How do you keep them? How do you retain them? And yeah, so I think the obvious next question then Rhonda is tell us about her door society and the whole proposition you’ve built for customers.
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Okay. So adore society members are really rewarded with unique and personalized to a lot. So they’re selected for them based on their purchase history, favorite products, and of course their BD needs. So it’s really, it’s fueled by data from our cutting edge technology and of course, insights from our daily interactions with customers. So adore society MC members can expect all the usual perks like birthday gifts, priority access, as well as competitions, promotions, and invitations to some incredible money can’t buy experiences that are coming up. Okay. So program is structured across three levels and these exclusive benefits will be progressive and progressively unlocked by members as they move through each level.
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So for example, a level three members actually able to treat themselves to a reward on any chosen day of the year that is special to them. And as well as enjoying free express delivery on all orders, regardless of spend, wow, lovely. We really listened to our customers who told us that they were looking for something Grenache and personalized, and that’s how adore society to be a program that’s really about rewarding you for being you. So, you know, going back to adore beauty, which our motto is, whatever makes you, you so very, very interconnected.
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Lovely. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s very much aligned with the zeitgeists as well. Miranda, I think, you know, it’s just, there is I suppose, an increasing respect for people and at an individual level and, and maybe it is connected in some ways, or maybe I’m just accentuated by the disconnection of the pandemic and the fact that so many of us, you know, have felt maybe isolated or whatever. So, so the fact that you’re able to just kind of recognize them uniquely as, as individuals I think is a lovely starting point.
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Definitely. And I think really sort of goes back to the adore beauty values as well and breathe every day.
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Okay. So it’s not a point space program, which I think is always a bit startling to so many of the loyalty community, including myself, because as many listeners will know, I came into loyalty through the partnership sides, you know, negotiating, you know, extraordinary benefits for, for, and for telco customers. And so to me, it’s, it’s really obvious that there’s lots of models. It’s not just points and prizes, but it’s a big decision, I guess, in something, I suppose, you know, like beauty where it’s, you know, it’s obviously a commercial business at the end of the day and you are recognizing and incentivizing spend. So, so where, where in the decision making, I suppose, did you decide that you didn’t want a points-based program and you wanted to focus on this end, that’s this other approach with experiences?
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So for me, it was decision made very early on. Having worked in a number of points based programs. I really had seen firsthand how confusing it can be for customers to keep track of points and really understand what the value of points are. What I also found in most other retailers is that the majority of members never actually earned enough points to receive a reward. Okay. So there’s not actually that value there. The administration required to maintain points within a business was always very laborious. And then of course the significant liability for the business. So may it was always very, very straightforward.
11m 16s
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I knew that I didn’t want it to be an overly complicated program. And this is really where we sort of landed on the three levels. And instead of being points space, we’ve looked back at your previous 12 months spend. So existing customers are immediately qualify into the level that they qualify for so that it looks back at their 12 months span. So they’re not starting from scratch.
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Okay. That’s a lovely one, actually. And, and is that something that’s done at the moment of registry striation Miranda or does it take time for the, you know, from, from, you know, signup for, for the, you know, that, that search to go back? Like how quickly are they enrolled at the correct level? A matter of minutes. Oh, super. Super. Okay. So that sounds like a bit of a bit of tech development behind the scenes. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. But I think it’s brilliant. And actually it reminds me, I was, I was writing about a program recently and I can’t remember it was a U S F F and B brand, but it explicitly said that you do get a birthday treat, but not for any birthdays in the past, which I thought was, I feel like I deserve every year of my life, but yes, I thought that was funny, but no, I think in your business, as you’ve said, and I suppose, you know, particularly going public as a company and with this, what is it?
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Almost half a million new customers. So to make sure that they don’t feel like they’ve missed out because the program has just been launched. So, so they get the bus best of both worlds. Absolutely. Yeah. Wonderful. So, and so just for listeners, I know you’ve talked me through the three tiers, but the first tier is up to if I’m correct, 399 Australian dollars in terms of the 12 months spend correct
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Level two is $400 to $1,499 and then level three is $1,500 and over.
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Okay. And then just on the rewards side. So you mentioned a couple of things, obviously the upcoming exclusive events sounds like something secret. You might be able to tell us about. We all want to go
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A little bit of a surprise that members will need to stay tuned for.
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Okay. Well, it’s important to di to tease just a little bit, I think so. So what do they, so you mentioned birthday rewards, but let’s say I progress from tier one to tier two or tier three. What exactly is it that I would experience as a, as an adore society member? Sure.
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So as you move up the levels, your actual vouchers increase. So you start off in level one and it’s a all about level two is $20 level threes. There, she dollars. We also extend the expiry that you have to redeem your vouchers. As you go up, you have longer to spend the minimum spend required for express delivery is also reduced as we go up. But so for level two, it’s $35 and there is no minimum spend for level three. Lovely. It changes around the sort of access you get to money, can’t buy experiences as well. So level two will receive priority access and level three will actually be treated to invite only events as well.
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Wow. Okay. Sorry. Sorry for the sake of clarity, you know, again, I think Australia is very much out of any lockdown. So when you talk about those events Miranda, are they in person physical events? They’ll definitely
14m 46s
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Combination. I mean our stakes, although we are living a fairly normal life with things changing all the time. And I think also the convenience of virtual events has just, just really accelerated around the world as everyone would know, but also for, for us means that we can include people in all States around Australia and New Zealand. Yes,
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Yes, indeed. Yes. Two countries. Huh?
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Definitely. Yep. Wonderful friends
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For sure. Yes. I have some very dear Kiwi friends, so am so that’s awesome. And then just, I know there’s a focus Miranda as well on, on building a community and within skincare and self care, which is actually what I’m hearing coming through as the proposition. What does the community aspect of the, of the program look like?
15m 37s
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So this is something where I really, I’m always then very focused on and it’s something we will continue to build. So it’s really trying to create spaces and opportunities for our community to come together, to share knowledge and experiences. One of those examples would actually be through our podcasts that we have run.
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Okay. Yes. And we have briefly talked about this and, and actually I’ve told a lot of people Miranda that this extraordinary beauty brand, which is, I know number one in Australia has not one but two podcasts, which is just totally a revelation. I think for me and given that the assumption I would be, I would guess, would be that everything would be done on YouTube or in video format. So tell us exactly about the, the, the whole podcast side of the business. Sure.
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So, I mean, we have an incredible content team who bring to life that w beauty IQ and our skincare school podcast. So we’ve had lifetime downloads of over 2.3 million, which is just crazy. It’s incredible. And the audience really invests in the personality of the podcast as much, if not more, they invest in the education that they received as well. So they’re very organic led by some incredible hosts. They’re not driven by the brands, which I think is a beauty retailer is really important. And the topics discussed are really driven by the audience interest so that, you know, the, the team sort of puts out feelers to see what people are most interested in, what’s trending and bring to life.
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These really incredible podcasts.
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Incredible well they’re top of my, my list to listen to Miranda. I literally was looking them up before we came on air. So, so I want to credit your content team for, for a visionary delivery, because 2.3 million downloads in, in a very busy world, I think it’s extraordinary to get that kind of listenership. So, so I suppose what it proves first and foremost is that they’re adding value. And I know for myself, even though I went to beauty school, which you believe back when I was straight of school, but I feel like I’ve lost it all, you know, it’s far too long ago to remember, but also obviously the technology is changing in terms of how to take care of ourselves.
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So, so I saw some fantastic topics there. So, so beauty IQ is one podcast and skincare school. Is that the two names? Yes, that’s correct. Okay. So we’ll make sure that listeners are linked to them as well in the show notes Miranda so people can connect. Absolutely. So I guess my, my, my next kind of thing to ask you really just what lessons you might’ve learned given that you came in, as you said June last year already in pandemic times and from memory, I think Australia had quite a severe at lockdown at that particular moment in time. Am I right?
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We did. We had a very strict lockdown and for, for a very long time, which was very tough, but it worked and we’re very grateful for it now in hindsight. Beautiful thing. But yeah. Look, as you can imagine joining a company during a global pandemic, remotely launching a program. I mean, there was a lot of learnings that I gained from my time. I think for me, it was really about communication. So, you know, you couldn’t just sort of turn to people and ask them a question communication and bring people along for the journey was really critical for buy-in and support of the program as well.
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It was obviously something quite new to the business. It wasn’t something they had done before, and we really need to go sort of in a staged approach to get the support and the financial backing as well. Okay. Yeah. So other great insights I would say is from the market research that we conducted in the very initial stages. So basically we developed the program and we partnered with an agency here called T garage and worked on online forums and focus groups to really understand what was resonating with both existing and potential customers. And what we got from that was that there was tweaks that really would required to bring the program to its greatest potential.
20m 1s
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But what I found really incredible was just how passionate the panel was about little things like the use of particular words, all the way up to the type of benefits that they were motivated for by, it was very clear. They knew what they wanted. They knew what would motivate them, what we could see that those that were sort of newer to the program or lowest spenders were very financially driven, but as they moved up, they were much more motivated by sort of the community aspect and the experiential benefits. Yeah.
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Wow. And there’s a few things in that I’d love to pick up on. I’ve never heard anything expressed about the words, but as somebody who’s passionate about all forms of communication, be it, you know, I do obviously am about loyalty as well as podcast about it. Are there any particular words that you, you know, off the top of your head, remember that they did or didn’t want to, to see coming through? So there was a couple of areas there was
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Around gender neutrality. So they wanted to make sure that the cheer names that we had originally proposed, which we decided to remove were not too feminine.
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Okay. And they,
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And they were concerned that we would alienate the male shopper.
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Okay. And then the
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Other thing that they found was that, so we looked at other sort of tier names that were about, you know, whether it’s a beauty newbie or a beauty expert and what they said, which came out very clearly. Was that just because you’re spending a lot on beauty doesn’t mean, you know, anything about
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It. Okay. Wow. Which
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I thought was brilliant. And, you know, you sort of have these ideas in your mind, but to see that play out is it’s really interesting.
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And I love that they feel so strongly about it Miranda because w first of all, again, a credit to you guys for doing the research for listening to what’s being said for accepting it, because I think a lot of the time, you know, we tend to defend our ideas or our expectations around how something should be positioned. But I think, I mean, I know Australia, for example, would be considered quite a mature market in many, many different ways, but I love that they were happy to say it and, and are, are being haired.
22m 18s
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Oh, absolutely. And look at that, that’s something we’ve always been very passionate about. I mean, we see feedback coming through from our customers every single day that we’re all aware of. We all take note of, we feed into future plans. So our customers have a, of the lifeblood of our business. Absolutely
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Incredible. Yeah. It really is a lovely approach. And I mean, at the end of the day, I think everybody listening to this podcast always has customers front and center in their minds. And, but I do think when we then maybe go to our board of directors or whatever, there’s a different language of, you know, just to, to remind people that that’s really the approach, the only approach that’s going to work. So, so I think it’s an extraordinary one. And again, not just for pure play online retailers and perhaps a little more obvious, a hundred percent. Yeah, yeah. For everyone. And, and another thing as well, I saw on the adore website actually Miranda, which, which I thought was a genius. And I can see, again, it coming through in, you know, whether it’s the community proposition that you talked about or the communication side, but it was the fact that the whole business is based on education and entertainment, even if you’re not looking to buy any products.
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Yeah. I mean, we have an incredible content resource and this is everything from onsite content, social, but also customer service experience team, you know, try and makeup artists and hairdressers. They are just a wealth of knowledge and always willing to support. And I mean, some of the relationships that they have formed with customers, I was speaking to some of the girls during the week and it’s just incredible. It’s an, it, it really is a community vibe.
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Wow. Yeah. And people feel that as well. I know Miranda, you know, I think again, we’re all very attuned now to a brand’s voice and you know, if it’s coming through with integrity and, you know, first of all, to have an entire content led business strategy, obviously once the basic amazing products are in place, I think that’s always extraordinary. Cause then it is, you just have have stuff to build on that people really care about.
24m 25s
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I agree. I think it’s very unique. And that also came through in our research that, you know, people viewed a brand as, you know, not as a hard sell, which is very important to us because sure. It was there to support, to educate and to, you know, sort of guide you through your beauty journey. Yeah.
24m 44s
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And one place, I saw it specifically coming through Miranda and it just shows that, you know, the attention to detail really does matter. And it was again with your own program with adore society, it mentions birthday gifts. And I’ve always loved this idea because I remember seeing actually not that long ago on LinkedIn where somebody posted, you know, asking how effective is it to send out a discount voucher to somebody on their birthday. And I’m like, can you not just give them something like, it’s their birthday, you know,
25m 14s
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Slightly. Yeah. It’s time for you to treat yourself. I know, I know personally I use every voucher I get from my birthday. I’m a sucker for them.
25m 23s
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Wow. Wow. Brilliant. And I know you’ve launched a new app as well, Miranda. So just to kind of get a sense of exactly what is it, is it purely for the, the loyalty side or is it a full app for, for the business?
25m 37s
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No, it’s a fallout for the business. And again, it’s very content driven, which it’s not, I mean, you can definitely shop on their loyalty at this stage is not integrated, but it will be very soon, but a really great resource for all of your content needs.
25m 54s
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Wonderful. And I, I always find that these things aren’t always available to check internationally, but hopefully I’ve been able to login and have a, have a look. So I definitely think you’ve got the best of both worlds going on Miranda. My final, I suppose, question was to get a sense of maybe what are you measuring and monitoring? I know you can’t give us figures. And there’s one that is, I know publicly available around just the numbers of signups, which I’m sure is your, your first one to check on a weekly, if not daily basis, 50,000 I think is the number that was shared with investors had just an April, which would be in while three or four weeks, I guess just after launch, maybe four or five.
26m 36s
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Yeah. About, about four weeks into the program, which obviously thrilled with in terms, average order value as well for members versus non-members. I would say that there’s an uplifted over 21% already. Goodness. And then from a frequency perspective, it’s over 56%, which is just crazy. So some really positive results coming through already.
27m 1s
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My goodness. Wow. And I would say that’s well, an excessive Delta KPIs. You set yourself, isn’t it
27m 7s
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Look, I’m pretty placed. Oh my goodness. No, I’m thrilled. And you know, it’s nice to know that all the steps we took to get the program live has really paid off because it’s resonating with our customers. Yeah.
27m 21s
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Anything you wouldn’t do again, Rhonda given the term, you know, everything that was going on at the time,
27m 26s
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I probably just wouldn’t try and do it during a global pandemic.
27m 32s
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Okay. Well with that advice, I think, I think it’s a fabulous story. I love what you’re doing. I love the integrity around it. I think that’s the single biggest thing that’s coming through and the simplicity, because I know that was a key goal that you set out to achieve and you definitely have done. I don’t have any more questions from my side Miranda. Is there anything else that you wanted to mention before we wrap up?
27m 54s
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I think the only thing is just how overwhelmed I’ve been with the support from the loyalty community, which I think is really special in a fairly small community, but I’ve really, it’s really been felt so I am very grateful. Wow.
28m 7s
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Yeah. And I know you’ve had incredible attention certainly in the Australian market and we’ve already mentioned our, our mutual friend, Adam Posner. So we’ll give him a, another mention now. Yeah. So I know again, the whole community there in Australia is extraordinary. So am so brilliant. And hopefully this podcast will help with building the adore beauty and adore society profile with a global audience. So wonderful with that said, I think that’s everything from my side Miranda. So I will literally just say Miranda bliss, loyalty and retention manager as org adore beauty. Thank you so much for let’s talk loyalty. Thanks Paula.
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This show is sponsored by “The Wise Marketer”, the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news, insights and research. The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training, both online and in workshops around the world through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 150 executives in 18 countries as Certified Loyalty Marketing Professionals. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of “Let’s Talk Loyalty”.
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