Deb Millard is a strategic and accomplished executive with +20 years of brand and retail leadership experience across multiple categories. Deb joined Amyris as Brand President, Stripes at the end of 2021. Over the past year Deb has been focused on launching the Stripes brand with the “No Compromise” mission to bring safe, effective solutions to the peri/menopause space alongside Naomi Watts. Deb’s retail career started as a founding member of the US Sephora team bringing Sephora to the US market. Most recently, for the past +7 years, Deb served in various roles at Amazon leading retail and marketplace strategies for Amazon Fashion categories later moving to Amazon Go as the Category Leader/General Manager for Go and new formats under that umbrella. Prior to Deb’s time at Amazon she helped Old Navy launch into the Canada Market, returned to Sephora to lead skincare in the rollout of Sephora inside JCP. She also held leadership roles at Williams-Sonoma, Restoration Hardware and owned her own retail and wholesale business in the SF Bay area.
Stripes founded by Naomi Watts was launched on World Menopause Day, Oct 18, 2022. Stripes, is a skincare and wellness brand aimed at destigmatizing menopause and aging with first-in-class education, real community support, and science-backed products aimed at easing symptoms.
Unlike other menopause brands, Stripes is the only inclusive 360° approach to menopause and perimenopause, starting the conversation sooner to help explain what’s happening, why, and what to do about it. Stripes is driven by the mission to break the taboo around midlife, for this and the next generation.
Powered by “lab to market technology” we tap into efficacious proprietary formulas to create a no comprise promise for sustainable consumption, taking “nature out of the ingredients business”.
Q: Tell us a little about your approach to marketing.
It all starts with the customer and the trust we are looking to build with them. We focus on a 360 approach and through Naomi’s story/voice the brand has taken an authentic approach to communicate with the consumer. We reach them through social channels, our DTC, email, our owned community, and all our owned digital content by educating not only on our products but leaning into our mission to bring aging and menopause to light with humor and science backed information. Partnerships are also a key strategy, and we work with co-creators, the medical community and others that share the same vision, authenticity, and mission to serve. We also like to show up in person through our live events, pop ups in store so we can better interact our customer.
Q: How has your marketing changed over the past few years?
We have only been around for just under a year and we are still learning and experimenting. However, all channels have become more crowded making it confusing for the consumer which presents new challenges when thinking about how to engage.
Q: We’ve heard a lot about the rising role of A.I. in marketing in the past year. How much or how little are you using A.I. or automation in your marketing efforts?
How much or how little are you using A.I. or automation in your marketing efforts? We are not using AI yet but can see how this could be a great tool to create an instore experience virtually, or in our case get more involved with symptoms and symptom solutions for our customer.
Q: In 2023, marketers have more channels to utilize than ever, from shoppable social to CTV to the traditional. Which channels are you using? Where are you seeing the most success?
As we are newer to market, we have not tested across multiple channels yet. However, Meta and Google do perform for us. Amazon has been another great channel for us to get in front of customers and tell our brand selling through live shopping and having Naomi’s engagement.
Q: What challenges do you anticipate facing in 2024? How do you plan on meeting those challenges?
2024 is poised to be a great growth year for our brand. We are looking to test and learn across multiple channels. We will be increasing our retail footprint as well as turning on new channels to reach the consumer. For us ensuring we are testing, learning and failing quickly on what does not work will be key to continue our momentum.
Q: What is something you’ve learned in your career that you would like to share with young SMB marketers entering the industry?
Always know the “so what” (what sets you apart, why is this special, how do you fit in the category etc) if you can’t answer that in an authentic and meaningful way for your consumer then you should probably not be doing it.