On the heels of Australia’s top 2020 public offering—the largest female-led IPO in that market’s history—Adore Beauty’s CEO, Tennealle O'Shannessy, shares her unique journey of taking a company public in the midst of a seriously strict Stage Four Lockdown. Already the leading profitable online retailer in their category—with $200 million of fresh IPO powder in the bank, Tennealle provides some insights into their aggressive expansion plans and a sneak-peak into the road ahead.
Founded in in Melbourne in 2000 (think early internet dial-up days), with a lofty mission to provide empowering and disruptive new shopping experiences to consumers, Kate Morris and James Height built-up a reputation for fast, easy and friendly services. During Tennealle's CEO tenure, she has rebooted the company even further, pushed the boundaries of beauty, and challenged the company to expand to what is now the leading platform with over 230 brands representing 11,000 products.
Being the number one beauty online retailer comes with a lot of pressure to grow and innovate. On The Reboot Chronicles Podcast, we often explore the importance of not just talking to consumers but really listening. This is exactly what Adore has done well, often finding early trends and repetitive patterns in consumer learning, influencing, trying and buying behaviors. One example, taking an early lead to offer emerging products—such as ingestible skincare supplements—as the beauty category shifts toward the health and wellness space.
Tennealle shares other approaches to grasping consumer interest. They have taken a sustainable yet careful approach, to adapt to consumer behavior and preferences, by analyzing data to create better engagement, education and shopping experiences. The goal is to give consumers what they want because Adore is all about "beauty democracy" and meeting consumer needs. Identifying how to leverage technology, while creating more natural digital experiences, allows them to improve and personalize core customer experiences.
Tennealle reveals some challenges she has dealt with along the way, and advice for fellow entrepreneurs and indi-brands, to spend time identifying the problem you are solving in the marketplace. Once you figured out this whitespace (gap in the market), identify how you will draw in consumers and how they will resonate with your product. The best thing to do is be transparent on who your brand is for, what you provide, what you stand for, and create an open conversation of your message to consumers—including education.
Speaking of education and brand extension innovation, they started a fun podcast called Beauty IQ Uncensored, which is I’m told is “not suitable during school pick up”. Hosted by Joanna Flemming and Hannah Furst, they dig into the unvarnished and funny ups and downs of personal beauty: “No topic is off-limits – from retinol to bum hair – with a healthy dose of education and laughs.” Check it out and listen in to us here on The Reboot Chronicles or wherever you listen to podcasts.
About The Reboot Chronicles Podcast: Hosted by Dean DeBiase, The Reboot Chronicles is a popular no-holds-barred podcast on iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and YouTube that has been bringing together CEOs, entrepreneurs, authors, and global leaders, for over a decade, to discuss how organizations are rebooting their leadership-competitiveness of everything from growth, innovation, and technology to talent, culture, and governance. Tune in wherever you listen to podcasts or at https://www.revieve.com/rebootchronicles
Named a Growth Guru" by Inc. Magazine, Dean DeBiase is a Faculty Member at Kellogg School of Management and Silicon Valley serial CEO, where he has served in chief executive and chairman roles of more than a dozen emerging growth companies, CEO of Fortune 500 subsidiaries, and a director on public, private, family-enterprise, CVC, PE and VC boards. He is a Technology Fellow at Northwestern University, a Board Leadership Fellow at The National Association of Corporate Directors, and an Advisor to the National Science Foundation. A Forbes Contributor and co-author of the best-selling book The Big Moo, Dean, is working on his next book, Dancing with Startups. Connect with Dean here: www.linkedin.com/in/FollowDean