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In Ep. 92 of Earned, Conor sits down with Steven Waldberg, SVP of Global Brand Engagement & Communications at Top 10-certified skincare brand Kiehl's. Conor and Steven start by diving into Meta’s latest app launch—Threads—and Steven shares his thoughts on the platform thus far, explaining why marketers should be there to test and learn. Next, we take a step back and discuss Steven’s experience growing up in France with a French father and American mother, and hear how joining L'Oréal after college allowed him to live out his American dream of moving to New York. After many years spent at L'Oréal, Steven shares why he decided to venture into the luxury fashion industry and take on global communication roles at Bulgari and Calvin Klein, before eventually returning to his “home” at L'Oréal. The pair then unpack the evolution of social media and digital marketing, and Steven emphasizes why brands should “be where culture is,” and lean into emerging platforms and creators in order to connect with their consumers. Steven also explains why the only way to be successful on new and existing platforms is to go in with curiosity and a willingness to fail. We then explore Kiehl’s’ approach to global marketing, and the keys to resonating with consumers across markets and cultures. To close the episode, Conor and Steven talk about overcoming their people-pleasing tendencies and the isolating nature of leadership.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Why brands need to "be where culture is," and approach new channels and platforms with curiosity and a willingness to fail
- Why global brands should establish a framework of "brand truths" that teams in local markets can then adapt to resonate with the local culture and consumers
- How to overcome people-pleasing tendencies as a leader
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