Vice President of Global Marketing, Origins & Ojon
I love seeing a product come to life—looking at how to make it financially feasible, working with product development and the labs on the formulation, the packaging team on package design, and with creative on advertising.
Beth Spruance began her career insuring boards of directors at American International Group (AIG), but found herself much more interested in the companies she was insuring—particularly the retail clients—than the industry for which she worked. She left the job and applied to Tuck with the goal of changing her career to product management. A few years later, she found her dream job at the Estee Lauder Companies, starting with the Clinique brand. Now she is VP of global marketing for Origins, responsible for promoting a brand that’s earned a cult following among women for its natural skin care products.
How did Tuck prepare you for your current career?
I was definitely one of those people who went to Tuck with career change in mind. I really appreciated the first-year core curriculum, and the fact that it was really a well-rounded program. Even though I knew I wanted to go into product management or marketing, it forced me to take a broad range of classes, from finance to operations, which have helped me going forward in a number of ways. Even communications has been so important; I was a person who was absolutely horrified by public speaking, and now it’s one of the areas I get complimented on the most.
What do you like most about your current role with Origins?
I love seeing a product come to life—looking at how to make it financially feasible, working with product development and the labs on the formulation, the packaging team on package design, and with creative on advertising. It’s still exciting to think we made all of these products that consumers love and that really make a difference in their lives. Skin care is a real confidence booster, and you don’t realize the impact of someone having clear skin for the first time in their lives. I’m not curing cancer, but there is an aspect of helping people that is wonderful to see.
How do you convince customers that a “natural” product is as potent as something produced from chemicals in the lab?
That is definitely a challenge we face. Sometimes natural is perceived as more gentle and less efficacious, but we clinically test every product to support the efficacy with clinical performance claims for our consumers. We talk a lot about the discovery of our ingredients as well. Any day you can come into an Origins store and ask for a sample of any product in the store or sit down and get a 20-minute mini-facial for free. It’s all about how do we get people to experience our products, because we know once they do they’ll fall in love with them.
How are you able to translate the message of your brand as you expand into other countries?
We have core pillars of the brand—powered by nature, proven by science, an open, barrier-free sales environment— and we’ll never change those tenets. But we will do research to find out which ones resonate the most and may amplify one over another. We just launched in Mexico, for example, and found that there was already the acceptance of the power of nature, since so many consumers had grown up using home remedies. So there was a little less convincing that needed to be done that nature could be efficacious.
The marketing landscape is changing so rapidly.
What new tools are you using to engage consumers?
For Origins, it is all about building awareness right now and while we invest in traditional media such as print and digital display, we are also experimenting with newer tools in the social space such as Facebook Offers. You can really target consumers, not only those who like Origins, but also those who like competitive brands and offer them opportunities to come and discover our brand through offers for a free mini-facial and free samples. We’ve seen upward of 100,000 people claiming those offers, and heard more noise than usual bubbling up from the counters about them driving consumers into stores.
How do you deal with consumers posting bad reviews online?
We’ve put a really strong focus on answering every single person that comments online or on our social platforms, good or bad. We can turn some of those complaints into positives by inviting the consumer into the store for the experience she should have had. And then they go back online and say, ‘I had the best experience ever.’ Social can be daunting at times because not everything is within your control, but what is within your control is to get back to the consumer immediately and try and understand and resolve the situation. Unlike print, it allows us to have a two-way conversation.
Toast Inc.’s Kelly Sennatt Esten T’12 Is at Home in the Coronavirus Storm
Kelly Sennatt Esten D’05, T’12 had just overseen the launch of a new line of point-of-service products for restaurants when the COVID-19 pandemic brought that industry to a shuddering stop.Read More
Stitch Fix CMO Deirdre Findlay T’00 Is Disrupting Traditional Marketing
The next challenge for Stitch Fix marketing chief Deirdre Findlay T’00 is changing the way we shop for clothes.Read More
Former Arnold Worldwide CEO Kiran Smith T’00 brings the collaborative mindset and creative energy she fostered at Tuck to the advertising business.Read More
When Ana Sanchez D'97 T’03 joined Colgate-Palmolive in 2003, she thought she’d only stay for a few years and move on. Nearly 15 years and a couple of international assignments later, she’s still with the company, serving as its UK marketing director.Read More
Cassie Lancellotti-Young T’11 came to Tuck with a passion for marketing. Today she’s leveraging that passion and the teamwork skills she learned at Tuck to help major retailers enhance their customers’ experiences.Read More
For Tom Christie T’85, the COO of Showtime, show business has been the proving ground for an unforgettable lesson from Tuck.Read More
At Tuck, Heather King D'81, T'86 dove into an independent study that laid the groundwork for a career that included stops at Apple, NeXT and the experience-design firm Eight Inc.Read More
Cris Rivera T'08 loves a good challenge, which is part of what drew him—an avowed city lover and marketing wonk—to Tuck.Read More
The Chinese economy has grown tremendously since 1989, and so have the opportunities for enterprising Tuck graduates, like Nancy Zhuo T'13.Read More
On Establishing Your Personal Brand
Helen Kurtz T’97, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Foster Farms, Inc. talks establishing your personal brand.Read More
MassMutual CMO and T'86 John Chandler’s data-driven approach to marketing has propelled the venerable life insurance company to the upper echelons of the industry and transformed the way it tells its story. And he’s only getting started.Read More
After working in marketing and academic administration, Kristen Balderston T'84 took a 20-year hiatus to raise two children before returning to the workforce to help other women do the same.Read More
Digital marketing was practically in the stone ages when Carly Rosenberg T'05 graduated from Tuck and went to work as a marketing manager at Saks Fifth Avenue.Read More
How Small Businesses Can Use Online Marketing Tools
After gaining experience at several software startups, Gail Goodman T’87 launched her own in 1999. As CEO of Constant Contact, Goodman has helped more than a half-million small-business customers navigate a rapidly evolving industry.Read More
At LinkedIn, Leela Srinivasan T'06 helped corporate recruiters find top talent.Read More
When you visit your local health food store or supermarket, you might notice a new natural sensitive toothpaste from Tom’s of Maine; Lindsay Batastini T'09 has been working on the creation and launch of "Rapid Relief" for almost three years.Read More