We are all beauty fiends here, and there’s nothing like a good blow out or pop of lip color to make any Monday a light brighter. So this week’s Woman We Love is giving us that beauty boost we all need. Sarah Pirok, the Chief Marketing Officer at Fromm Beauty, is bringing new ideas and creative strategies to the well-established brand.
As the CMO, Sara leads efforts on product and brand management, product marketing, creative direction and design, and future vision and strategy. In addition, she’s been focusing more on realms like blogger partnerships and social media, while also making sure to keep a very healthy work/life balance. And she’ll tell us how she does it…
YOU DRASTICALLY CHANGED THE FROMM PRODUCT STRUCTURE SOON AFTER JOINING THE TEAM. HOW DID YOU PLAN SUCH A BIG CHANGE FOR THE COMPANY?
When I took the position at Fromm, I had more than a decade of experience in the beauty industry under my belt and was ready for a challenge. The company had such a great history, but some of the strategies were a bit antiquated.
I was shocked by the number of brands that Fromm owned, as well as the depth of products available. There were 13 brands under the Fromm name, which I found confusing. In order to create a more concise message, I looked to the fashion community for inspiration. Designers such as Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, and Michael Kors had successfully used a “good, better, best” model to take their brands to the next level, and I felt that Fromm would benefit from a similar approach.
WHAT MAKES A BRAND GOOD, BETTER AND THE BEST?
The “good, better, best” model allows an increase in value and quality to easily appeal to any type of consumer, whether they are a salon professional or a beauty beginner.
A “good” brand has great quality and design, with an approachable price point. I knew immediately that Diane by Fromm was our “good” brand, as it already had a loyal following and was easily marketable to introduce many types of consumers to our brand.
Our “best” brand was also easy to identify, as the Fromm line is of premium quality. After much research, however, I realized that Fromm did not have a clear “better” brand, and therefore the company had to create one. 1907 by Fromm was then born to fill the slot with amazing quality and appeal to both consumers and professionals.
HOW DO YOU BRING A WHOLE COMPANY ON BOARD WITH A NEW IDEA?
Shaking up the marketing strategy for an established company is no easy feat, so I knew I had to be very careful in my approach. Luckily I was surrounded by a great team who truly trusted and believed in me. We ensured that each product and brand was tested by a team of stylists known as our salon advisory board, and we did not move forward with marketing or manufacturing until each product and idea was tested and thoroughly explained to the leaders of our company. This process took two years of hard work, but the results were undeniably worth it.
OVERALL, IN THE CORPORATE WORLD, HOW DO YOU TAKE A NEW IDEA AND PUT IT INTO ACTION?
Ideas are the beginning of any successful campaign or new product; however, I find it very important to hone in on your ideas and truly hammer out all of the details before presenting them or putting them into action. Is your idea on-brand? Is it executable? How would you take this idea and translate it into success? These are a few questions that I ensure I can answer before presenting ideas to my team. I must have a detailed plan in place before I begin to bring an idea to life.
WHAT IS YOUR USUAL DAY AT WORK?
Like many, my “typical” day at work is anything but! Throughout the day you can find me conceptualizing creative launches for new products, partnering with like-minded brands to increase visibility for Fromm, or even on a plane, traveling to a trade show, customer visit or beauty-related event! Although my day-to-day duties may differ, my main goal is always to bring fresh and new ideas to the table to take Fromm to the next level of success.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Getting to work in an industry that I have loved for as long as I can remember is a dream come true for me. There are so many aspects to my job that I love, but I would have to say the most rewarding is seeing people enjoy our products. From dreaming up a concept to bringing our innovative products to market, the process is quite lengthy, so watching customers use our tools and become loyal fans keeps me inspired and excited.
AND THE MOST DIFFICULT?
The beauty industry is a very saturated market, so constantly creating new campaigns and ideas to ensure our products appeal to a wide variety of consumers and stand out from the crowd can be difficult. I’m so passionate about our products that I can sometimes be hard on my own ideas but at the end of the day, I know that my dedication and belief in the brand is what helps me to generate success. Working for a company that inspires you daily, as Fromm does for me, makes all of the hard work worth it!
WHAT IS THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?
The beauty industry is all about innovation and revolutionizing products, so I think the best career advice I’ve ever received is to stay ahead of the curve. Whether it’s enacting a new marketing strategy or keeping up with the latest beauty news, it’s important to be informed on what’s cutting edge and to apply that learning to your industry to ensure that you take your products or company to the next level of success.
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WORK/LIFE BALANCE?
I believe that it is extremely important to approach each day refreshed, which means taking the time you need for yourself. I stay focused throughout the day so that I can get as much done as possible and leave at a reasonable hour, then head to a workout class. I’m a huge fan of eating well and exercising, so I always look forward to Pilates at the end of the day. Family is also extremely important to me and helps me to put everything in perspective. When I come home at the end of a long day, I put my phone away and truly soak in all of the time that I can with my little one and my husband.
WHAT BEAUTY PRODUCTS SHOULD WE SPLURGE AND SAVE ON?
Foundational products are something that you should never skimp on. As far as cosmetics, make sure that you have a great skincare routine and the perfect concealer to ensure that you are always putting your best face forward. I’m obviously a hair tools junkie, but a good hair dryer is one tool that every woman should own.