Gwyneth Paltrow pushes to expand her goop lifestyle brand to Asia, enabled by digital connectivity
Hollywood A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow has proven that her remarkable talents go beyond the silver screen, for she has also captured the trailblazing screens of the digital world with goop, a lifestyle brand that empowers women.
The highly successful brand which started out in 2008 as an online newsletter has grown its subscriber base to over eight million and is now one of the most trusted and go-to sites for beauty and wellness.
With a flourishing market in the US, Canada, and Europe, Paltrow is now looking to expand goop in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, enabled by digital connectivity.
“We will have an announcement, hopefully coming very soon, about a particular aspect of our Asian expansion and hopefully that will be the start,” Paltrow revealed to PLDT-Smart FVP and Head of Corporate Communications Cathy Yap-Yang at a fireside interview during the Philippine Digital Convention (PH DigiCon 2020), hosted by PLDT Enterprise.
She added that she thinks “Asians really are at the forefront of beauty, and the American manufacturers and analysts are always very curious in analyzing what are the top ingredients being used in the Korean and Chinese factories so that’s very exciting! And for us, because we’re pioneers in ‘clean’ beauty and that’s really important…We think that we could really help introduce the amazing Asian beauty buyer to ‘clean’ beauty in a way that would really be exciting for her because our products – they’re clean and very high performance and we think that the Asian woman will appreciate that.”
Going into serious entrepreneurship might not be an option for an acclaimed actress at the height of her career, but Paltrow has other dreams and ideas apart from playing roles in movies. For although acting runs in her family – her mom is award-winning stage and film actress Blythe Danner and her late dad was prominent director Bruce Paltrow – the art of business has always fascinated her, beckoning her like a strange light.
“I just was always very intrigued by business and the kind of chess game of business,” Paltrow said.
“I grew up in New York City and so many of my friends’ fathers were these big businessmen and running private equity or running these big investment banks and I was just fascinated by it. And when I got the nerve to ask them questions at the dinner table sometimes, I was always fascinated by the answers… But then of course I became an actress and I thought this is great too but I really really always secretly wanted to be in business,” recounted the Academy Award-winning actress.
It took a long time before she finally decided to pursue her secret passion. She said going into business “felt very natural which is so strange and I fought against it for a while because I thought I have this great career and everybody knows me as an actress and how am I gonna start a business and no one’s gonna take it seriously, etc… But it was almost like I was holding on to the tail of a kite and it was just pulling me towards the business and with every step I enjoyed it more and more and with every problem I was more inspired to figure out ways to solve them and before I knew it, here we are.”
From its humble beginnings as an online weekly newsletter with some recipes, wellness ideas and travel tips, goop has grown exponentially. The lifestyle brand now sells a tightly edited array of products, as well as its own product lines, including skincare, fragrances, apparel, bath and body, and supplements. It also has a podcast, a book imprint, permanent and pop-up retail experiences, a live event series and an original series with Netflix, The goop Lab. The series, which premiered in January 2020 with six episodes, has been renewed for a second season.
The pandemic has taught her many lessons: “I’ve found a lot of really great learnings. From the business perspective, it was really difficult. We were all, as everybody was in the business world, very scared… Again it really turned out to be a blessing. What we decided to do was go back to our content roots at goop and focus on being of service and giving people great information, great recipes, great ways to distress at home, home beauty remedies, ways to relax your eyes and your knees, etc…”
Digital technology has helped her and her team connect with their customers amid the restrictions of the current pandemic. They conducted a virtual goop summit which enabled them to make it much more accessible both from a geographic perspective and from a price point perspective and it was an enormously successful event for them.
Paltrow observed that “This business has been very interesting and such a steep learning curve for me and I have learned on the job. I have made so many mistakes, but I think I’ve come to a place where I’m very philosophical about it and I’m proud of myself for taking the risk. I’m proud of myself for all of our failures because we’ve learned so much through the process. As long as I am very accountable with myself and how I operate and have a very honest relationship with my team, I can only be as good as I am today.”