Five Questions: Susanne Ferguson
General Manager, Paula’s Choice Europe
What was the main reason for Paula’s Choice to expand its business to Germany?
‘Germany was a no brainer to us. It’s such a big market, where e-commerce has been well developed. German consumers are thorough in their research. They know much about our ingredients and ask many questions. This investigative approach fits our brand. Our founder, the American journalist Paula Begoun, started Paula’s Choice in the US after writing about skin care herself. With our products, she answered her own question: “what can skin care do for you?” This fits the German consumers.’
Why did you need help from FSG in Germany?
‘FSG knows the German market well. They have a feel for it, and they have the in-house expertise to make Paula’s Choice grow. Paula’s Choice sells well in other countries, too. But nothing like in Germany. FSG is the best agency we have. They literally stand next to us in their approach. Our combination makes us powerful.’
Can you give an example of a moment where your corporation proved to be powerful?
‘The launch of the anti-aging booster C15 immediately pops to mind. We really worked on that together. We had the new product, we had the story behind the product. And FSG developed a full funnel marketing strategy and contacted the press and important influencers on time. We worked hard on that – with the right result. The C15 booster was sold out in no time. So we came up with a relaunch. Our corporation made the C15 booster one of the best selling Paula’s Choice products in Germany.’
What does Paula’s Choice look like today?
‘We just entered an exciting new phase together with FSG. Thanks to them, we gained new customers rapidly. Those customers stayed with us, we are growing double digits. For Paula’s Choice, the time has come to engage with new customers in Germany.’
What is FSG’s role in the success of Paula’s Choice?
‘We have our own country manager working at the Berlin FSG headquarters. She does not have to keep me satisfied. Our consumers are her main focus. That is an essential difference between FSG and other agencies. FSG is not focused on us. They focus on the consumers who are interested in buying Paula’s Choice products. We work together as if we are one. The people at FSG are like colleagues to us, but with agency powers. We share our numbers and estimates with FSG so they can learn from them. FSG created a marketing dashboard for us, that we meanwhile implemented into our British and Dutch webshops. This is not a one way street. Our corporation goes both ways.