In January, Sarah Henry was appointed Chief Marketing Officer of Tatcha to work alongside founder Vicky Tsai to lead marketing, creative, and e-commerce initiatives for the brand. Most recently Sarah oversaw the brand’s foray into the gaming world with Tatchaland, an island within Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a popular video game. The virtual experience served as an innovative, digital-first marketing approach to promote the August launch of a new face wash and to educate consumers about the brand during a time when in-person promotional events are mainly on hold.
On September 17 at 1 p.m. EST, Sarah will be speaking at CEW’s virtual event “Are Influencers Still Influential?” discussing how beauty marketers are adapting their influencer relationships to increase relevancy and conversion. The discussion will be moderated by Jill Scalamandre, President bareMinerals and Buxom, and Chairwoman CEW. Sarah will be joined by Tina Craig, Founder, U Beauty; Bernadette Fitzpatrick, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Ecommerce, Benefit Cosmetics; Danya Klein, Partner and Head of Global Partnerships, Preen.Me; and Sophie Lilley, VP, Marketing, Kiehl’s Since 1851. To register for the event, please click here.
Here, CEW Beauty News spoke to Sarah about working from home, Tatcha’s social media strategy, and what to expect from the brand through the end of the year.
Beauty News: How are you handling working from home?
Sarah Henry: Working from home has been both a challenging and welcome change. The days are more packed with meetings than our pre-COVID life. Commute time is now meeting time. The stakes and intensity are also higher as we navigate the new normal and the roller coaster of 2020 as a brand and individuals. I remain so impressed with our team’s ability to be agile, and execute, and the strong bonds we have formed under these circumstances. Pre-COVID I was a frequent traveler and craved more flexibility and time with my family. As a mother, a major plus has been spending more time with my 5-yr-old, but it can be difficult to be home and unable to give him as much attention as I would like.
With all of that said, I constantly reflect on what a privilege it is to work from home. I am grateful for the essential workers across all industries including those at Tatcha who have continued to commute to work and travel, while often facing challenges and new protocols that make their home and work life more difficult.
BN: How was the brand impacted by COVID?
SH: Like many brands, navigating COVID has meant navigating uncharted waters – we’ve used the word ‘pivot’ more times than I can count, to the point where it’s become a running inside joke within the team. Our top priorities throughout it all have been taking care of our team and being of service to our Tatcha community throughout this time, while driving our business with the tools we have. We decided to take a ‘glass half full’ approach and accelerate our digital platforms to facilitate an ongoing connection with our community, drive our e-commerce business cross-channel, manage creative shoots remotely, support our activation calendar, and more. On the international front, we proceeded with our expansion and opened Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and T-Mall Global.
This whole year has been a game changer for Tatcha, and we have learned many valuable lessons on leadership through crisis. At the top of the list, however, is the importance of being empathetic and vulnerable and tuning into the emotional wellbeing of the team.
BN: How do you use social media to attract and retain customers?
SH: Our social presence has long given us a unique opportunity to connect with and continue to build our community, and has always served as an awareness driver and invaluable testing ground for new ideas. Our ability to attract and retain goes beyond espousing the brand point of view to how our community engages with our content. We actively listen, respond, and react to feedback. With over 1 million followers on Instagram, we have a responsibility to be of service. This year we’ve used our voice to speak up on relevant topics and ensure that we serve as a sanctuary during challenging times.
Post-COVID, we’ve leveraged IG Live to stream content primarily focused on self-care and empowerment led by our founder, Vicky Tsai, along with Tatcha ambassadors and friends. Most recently, we were also able to tap into a new social audience through our virtual launch event for The Rice Wash on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which we streamed live on Twitch – a new platform for us.
BN: What can we look forward to seeing from Tatcha through the end of the year?
SH: It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is nearly here, and that we have been living in this ‘new normal’ for over six months. There are still so many uncertainties and the remaining months are likely going to be emotionally fraught as we approach the election and the holidays, so we’re planning to continue caring for, being of service to, and showing gratitude to our community in any way we can. They have been so supportive throughout it all and the reason we all go to work each day; they are our guiding light. And as we enter the holiday season, our collection’s theme will be “Step into Wonder,” which serves as an invitation to find moments of joy and sanctuary through self-care. Our first holiday skincare sets recently launched on Sephora.com and we have new exciting collaborations in the works.