Marketing Lessons from Jo Malone
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The Sweet Smell of Success: 3 Lessons for Marketers from Jo Malone

by: Laura Brown (@laurabrowny)
17 July 2014

Silverpop customers who attended Amplify EMEA 2014 last month were lucky enough to hear from entrepreneur Jo Malone, creator of the eponymously named Estee Lauder brand and current owner of the new fragrance brand “Jo Loves.”

Jo’s story is inspirational: She started her fragrance empire using plastic jugs in her kitchen and went on to build a retail chain and luxury brand that was bought by one of the world’s most famous beauty companies. But her story doesn’t stop there. She overcame serious illness to help support and nurture small businesses, which led to her launching another brand-new venture using her fragrance mastery.

Her keynote contained a wealth of inspiration, but here are three of my favourite takeaways, along with related quotes from Jo’s presentation that Silverpop customers tweeted.

1) Create Immersive Experiences

 “Listening and engaging with what your audience wants.”

Jo gave the answer above in response to a question regarding the biggest challenge facing marketers today, and she spoke from experience. Jo built up her original fragrance brand by handing out free samples of bath oil, gaining feedback and new fans in the process. Her first orders came from word-of-mouth referrals, and she built her business on customer feedback.

When she launched Jo Loves, Jo realised she needed to do something different. So, she created an interactive store where customers can immerse themselves in new and unusual ways of finding their favourite scent.

In both of these examples, Jo achieved success by providing customers with something, listening to what they have to say, and then most importantly, using that information to tailor an offering. Using this formula, Jo Malone has built both sales and long-term brand credibility.

How often are you listening to your customers, and more importantly, are you putting the information you gathered into action?

2) Embrace Creativity

“If we all stayed in this room for long enough, we would come up with one idea that would change the world.”

This was one of my favourite quotes, and it came in response to the question, “Can everyone be creative?” Jo believes that creativity comes from taking risks — putting ideas into practice and taking action. Her keynote included stories of extraordinary risk-taking. For example, she turned down a deal worth millions in the first few days of opening her retail store. In addition, coming out of retirement to create another brand from scratch was a risk.

As marketers it’s easy to keep doing the things we know bring us success. How often have you thought about changing your strategy, creating a new email programme or even simply trying a new style of creative, but been put off because it’s a risk?

3) Stay True to Your Brand Heartbeats

“Inspiration, innovation, ignition, integrity, instinct.”

One of the keynote highlights was Jo Malone sharing her guiding principles or “brand heartbeats.” The first three principles (inspiration, innovation and ignition) are qualities at the heart of good marketing. From ideas to practice, we’re all experienced in taking campaigns from conception to creation.

We also know about integrity – and not just that of our data. Good marketers reflect their brand’s integrity every day, keeping their customers top of mind in everything they do.

But I do wonder how many digital marketers still listen to their instinct. In a world of “big data” and increasingly sophisticated analytics tools, it’s easy to look at the numbers alone. Jo’s keynote was a reminder that sometimes you really do know best (and hopefully the data matches!).

Thanks to Jo for the brilliant keynote and our customers for sharing their keynote highlights!

Related Resources:

1) Blog: “Re-Energize Your Brand: 5 Marketing Tips from Peter Shankman

2) Blog: “If It Ain’t Broke … Fix It Anyway

3) White Paper: “Are You a Best Friend Brand? How Relevance and Trust Can Get You into the Inner Circle




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