Star Magazine once crowned her the world’s most hated celebrity.
She happened to hold the distinction of People magazine’s most beautiful at the same time.
Today, Gwyneth Paltrow holds the title of CEO and Founder of goop, a $250 million lifestyle brand that includes ecommerce, product lines, books, wellness summits, a podcast and a Netflix show. Oh, and she’s still a movie star.
Though celebrity is certainly a factor in her success, she’s a master at exploiting our complicated feelings for her. She knows how to keep her loyal fans, and vocal detractors, talking about her. And she’s able to turn the attention into marketing and merchandising.
How else could she get thousands of women to purchase a $66 jade egg intended for their nether regions for no legitimate reason.
(More on that later.)
So abandon any preconceptions you may have of her or her brand. Let’s find inspiration in how Gwyneth expertly executed five marketing tactics you can use to increase sales in your store and get people talking about you.
- How Gwyneth Paltrow uses Word-of-Mouth tactics to market Goop:
- How you can steal these tactics
How Gwyneth Paltrow uses Word-of-Mouth tactics to market Goop:
1. Emotionally Connect With Your Audience
In 2014 she endured something countless women experience: a divorce. She used that experience as a way to connect on an emotional level with her audience.
But instead of making the typical celebrity “We’re getting a divorce” announcement, she said she and her husband were “consciously uncoupling.”
Her announcement—more accurately, the verbiage she used to describe it—attracted so much attention that it crashed goop’s server.
Calculated or not, she literally got the world talking.
You already know that emotions are the driving force behind buying decisions.
Establishing a meaningful connection with your customer, whether it is through a shared experience or showing you understand their problems, builds trust and loyalty to your brand.
And Gwyneth clearly knows how to connect with her audience.
Sharing her own divorce experience showed her audience she was relatable, that celebrity and wealth doesn’t make her immune to problems other people face. While her devoted fans rushed to support her, her detractors pounced. Social media amplified both voices.
Everyone wanted to know what this “conscious uncoupling” was all about.
So began goop’s promotion of this traditional divorce alternative.
Katherine Woodard Thomas, the expert who coined the term, wrote a now best-selling book on the subject. It promotes healing, empowerment and overall wellness, ideas that happen to align perfectly goop’s mission—not to mention, a number of their products.
Readers who are interested in conscious uncoupling can purchase the book on goop’s site or complementary products highlighted on the Shop Wellness sidebar.
This is just one example of how goop uses an emotional connection point with their audience to offer potential solutions from the goop online store.
You might want to check out our article on storytelling formulas so you can do the same in your store.
2. Understand Your Role & Use It To Your Advantage
Gwyneth didn’t invent conscious uncoupling, but you’d think she did.
Few people had heard the term until she introduced Ms. Thomas in a series of posts on goop.com.
Gwyneth understands her role. She’s not an expert. Her purpose is using her celebrity and platform to amplify the voices of experts (so she can sell goop products).
You don’t have to be an expert either. Your role can be that of a curator, searching for products and solutions your customers might be interested in and making the introduction.
And that’s the whole point of goop. It’s simple, really. “I want to help you solve problems,” she’s said. “I want to be an additive to your life.” You can solve your customers’ problems by offering a wide range of potential solutions from your store.
Since her brand promotes curiosity and open-mindedness, Gwyneth can offer a really wide range of solutions. And some of them are really “out there.” Her readers are encouraged to explore what serves them and leave the rest.
Luckily, goop’s always in problem-solving mode with product recommendations to complement expert-supported content, as shown below in Shop Wellness sidebar:
This tactic is repeated with most experts who are given a platform on goop.
Gwyneth understands her role is best played in a very specific niche: confident, individual, open-minded women who have money. Perhaps there are specific niches you could tap into with your store.
3. Cultivate A Following & Create Exclusivity
Goop started as a weekly newsletter of lifestyle advice and recipes that she emailed to her family and friends. They began sharing it with their friends.
Soon she had the confidence and enough potential buyers to release a cookbook. It was a huge success.
Once she hit 400,000 newsletter subscribers, she decided to sell a $90 t-shirt. Yes, $90 for a t-shirt. A plain white one.
It sold out.
It’s an example of what’s possible when you cultivate a following and exclusivity. New visitors probably flocked to goop just to see the $90 t-shirt. Maybe they stuck around awhile and bought something else instead.
Gwyneth has a following of over 8 million subscribers.
But it didn’t happen overnight.
Like you, she started with an idea, slowly built a fan base, tested new ideas and products and methodically brought them to market.
Goop continues that same strategy with its latest t-shirt design, a $125 dry-clean-only offering.
She continues to grow her brand by testing new ideas regularly. She’s recently expanded beyond goops’ online store with successful brick-and-mortar locations. And in 2017 she introduced the first annual In goop Health summit. Fans anxious to immerse themselves in all things goop ensured they became the exclusive sold-out events they were intended to be.
These latest endeavors attract the attention and social media shares you’d expect. Both continue to drive traffic to goop’s online store.
Perhaps you can generate that level of excitement about an offering in your store through timed sales or limited editions. Check out some of our scarcity marketing examples for inspiration.
4. Attract Attention & Arouse Curiosity
Back to the jade egg.
It’s one of many goop products that have caused a stir. Some are just strange while others claim unsubstantiated or downright ridiculous health benefits.
Gwyneth continues to captivate us, most recently with a candle another online store may have called First Blossom of Spring.
Instead she named it This Smells Like My Vagina.
As expected, the candle attracted tons of attention and let’s be honest, curiosity. And despite its $75 price tag, it sold out immediately.
She’s intrigued us with wearable body stickers that promised to rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies. We’re drawn to the $80 glass water bottle with a quartz crystal inside of it that offers a “pretty way to stay hydrated throughout the day.”
There is a reason she’s selected all these products for goop. She did in fact once say “I can monetize those eyeballs.”
The jade egg in particular drove 2 million unique visitors to goop’s site. People wanted to see what the fuss was all about.
Think about how you can use her genius tactic in your store. Perhaps you can use more creativity and attract attention with product descriptions that sell.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
With a $250 million empire, Gwyneth can afford to fail. She can also absorb penalties from the occasional legal snafu, constant criticism from gynecologists and alerts from truth-in-advertising watchdogs.
Just because you don’t have that luxury, don’t be afraid to offer new products or ideas of your own.
Not only does that create curiosity and drive traffic, sometimes they actually become the next big thing.
Gwyneth’s been early to market before with great success, most notably with a gluten-free cookbook and a “clean” skin care line. But she’s also had her share of stinkers, most notably with her short-lived goop magazine.
But the failure of her magazine freed her to try new things like a podcast and a Netflix show. Both have been wildly successful as two more ways to drive traffic.
How You Can Steal Goop’s Word-of-Mouth Marketing Tactics For Your Brand
Love her or hate her, you’ve got to hand it to her: Gwyneth knows how to attract attention. She’s figured out how to keep people talking and buying. And she does it over and over again.
Try a little bit of goop strategy for your online store and see if it increases traffic to your site.