The NZ-boss babe teaching us everything we need to know about skincare, secret sauces and long-term brand success


Brand success: Why the best ones don’t actually sell a single product

Brand success 101: Don’t (just) sell the product.

Now, we’re absolutely NOT suggesting you set up shop and post out empty boxes in exchange for your customer’s hard-earned cash (because you’ll probably be arrested if you try!). But in modern-day transactions – the kind influenced by social media posts, recommendations by friends and what your favourite celebrity loves – the best brands don’t convince you to buy their stuff. They want you to buy their entire experience.

Sure, that sounds a little woo woo, but it’s why some brands boom … and others, well, go bust. The proof is in the pudding (all 24,324 options that are now available at any good supermarket). Because while more brands than ever are being launched, that doesn’t mean that every single one equates to automatic success.

A squeeze of secret sauce (… or serum …) will help your brand stand out

It takes something a little bit special to cut through saturated shelf space.

Just ask: Emma Lewisham. The New Zealand-founded skincare line launched back in 2019, is everything we love about a good branding exercise.

Despite the plethora of skin tightening/brightening/lightening products already available, Emma knew she could still deliver something different. So she did a little research, identified her customers’ pain points; built her brand values around unique solutions to these problems, and consistently delivered this messaging across all communication channels. 

A little reminder that with a well-developed brand strategy, there is always space on a crowded shelf (Yes. Even ones almost toppling with serums) to add something new.

It’s time to talk trust, truth and transparency

Creating luxurious formulations that were clinically proven to work was a good start, but Emma Lewisham’s truly unique selling point was her radical realness and authenticity – offering complete visibility on its entire supply chain. 

“This means knowing where each of our 150 ingredients are grown, harvested, transported, stored, packaged, and so on. And while this may seem like reasonable information to have on hand it is actually incredibly rare that a beauty brand would have this information. The beauty industry has typically operated with a veil of secrecy for a very long time, so it was incredibly time consuming and difficult to gain complete transparency within our supply chain,” says Emma. 

While it is often considered an overused, marketing buzzword, according to a recent consumer content report, 86 per cent of consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.

Emma displayed this throughout the entire process with a willingness to be held accountable for the way her brand’s messaging affected her customers. Heck. She even opted to release her brand’s IP! Her logic? By sharing her Beaty Blueprint with other brands Emma was hopeful that other brands could capitalise on her innovation and investment to accelerate their transition to a circular and carbon positive model.

“If we collaborate instead of compete, we have the ability to create real change, “she has said. The takeaway: Be like Emma. 

Skincare … but make it sustainable 

It was a bonus that Emma also tapped into the growing trend for conscious consumerism. As a matter of fact, she set a new benchmark in beauty with a circular business model that saw it become “world’s first carbon-positive beauty brand.”

Setting an impressive goal of reducing its carbon emissions, rather than simply offsetting them, the brand spent 12 months working with an independent environmental certification agency, to measure the carbon emissions emitted at each stage of its product’s lifecycle, before having the brand independently verified as carbon positive at a product level. And thanks to the creation of refillable and recyclable packaging, they also created products that have a 74% smaller carbon footprint than that of the original packaging. 

But perhaps the biggest proof how just how seriously Emma is taking sustainability in the skincare space comes from her customers. Including the glowing endorsement of peers such as revered conservationist and activist Jane Goodall, who said:

“Emma Lewisham is demonstrating what it means to be a truly sustainable business. Through their carbon positive and circular business model, Emma Lewisham is creating environmental prosperity and showing their peers that this business model is not just possible but paramount if we are to make a meaningful difference.”