The pandemic has obviously made 2020 very challenging, but it has also given us licence to try new things, and that is what most excites me about the World of Wella. It is a live, digital event and we have given the keys to some of the most creative people in our industry – I honestly can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Wella ANZ Head of Marketing and Trade Marketing, Matt Foster
We sit with Wella ANZ Head of Marketing and Trade Marketing, Matt Foster to discuss the World of Wella in 2021: The main event now in the hands of the brand’s key creatives … you all know them!
TJ: As a brand, Wella attracts some of the best artists in Australia. Why do you think that is?
MF: It all starts with the quality of our product. We offer our artists the best products in the market, which then combines with their incredible craftsmanship to create colours and looks that their clients love.
Beyond that, our point of difference is the Wella Family. We are all working together to elevate the industry to new heights; whether that is our Wella employees, our Creative Director team, our salon customers or our agency partners. Everyone is able to be themselves, but we are working in pursuit of a common goal.
TJ: There is something special about the support and loyalty that exists amongst the Wella culture, where does this come from?
MF: We listen and we collaborate with our artists, and I think that builds trust and leads to loyalty. We regularly hold brainstorming sessions with our ANZ Creative Director team of Renya Xydis, Frank Apostolopoulos, Marie Uva, Brad Lepper, Jack Morton, Richi Grisillo and Uros Mikic, but beyond that, we also talk to our Guest Artist team regularly, as well as survey our customer base.
For example, we have partnered with Fashion Week in Australia for many years, but we heard from our guest artist team that international Fashion Weeks were a huge career goal. With the help of Renya, we were able to partner with Zimmerman and to send teams to New York Fashion Week twice per year, which has become a very popular trip!
TJ: This year, the world of Wella is a complete digital showcase, what are you most excited about, across this activation?
MF: The pandemic has obviously made 2020 very challenging, but it has also given us licence to try new things, and that is what most excites me about the World of Wella. It is a live, digital event and we have given the keys to some of the most creative people in our industry – I honestly can’t wait to see what they come up with.
TJ: You are heavily involved in the local marketing of the brand, tell us what you deem as a successful marketing exercise?
MF: We want to grow the industry, which means we need to take big swings and think differently and innovatively. We communicate on our brand purpose in a locally-relevant way, which is endorsed by our stylists, industry and consumer influencers.
A successful marketing exercise for Wella that gets more clients through the door of our salons, more regularly.
TJ: How do you see traditional marketing evolving in our current digital and post pandemic climate?
MF: The issue for marketers remains the same: “if you want to catch a fish, fish where the fish are.” The challenge is the speed at which the fish are moving! From Facebook to Instagram to Pinterest to Tik-Tok to something new that we aren’t even aware of yet, to be a successful marketer you have to be able to keep up with the pace of change, and effectively cater to audiences across multiple channels and platforms. This pace will only increase, so being clear on your message and then being able to adapt it across platforms, will be key.
TJ: You have some incredible plans for 2021, tell us about them?
MF: For Wella, the focus is on colour, and every function plays a role. Our education team will be teaching our salons the colour trends and techniques that their clients will be requesting, while our sales team will deliver business support and techniques to maximise colour revenue, and as a marketing team, we will build campaigns to get more clients into the salon.
TJ: What was the reasoning behind aligning with such an incredible ambassador in Vera Blue?
MF: This year, we wanted to modernise the ever-popular Wella Woman campaign: “you can tell a Wella Woman by the way she wears her hair, you can tell a Wella Woman anywhere”. You’d be surprised at how many people sing that to me when I tell them I work for Wella! It’s an iconic jingle that’s now over 30 years old, but we wanted to harness the power of that idea and bring it into 2020.
The Wella Woman is inspirational, driven and authentic, and Vera Blue encapsulates these qualities whilst exuding sweetness and an easy-going charm. Plus, what I love about Vera is that she is the physical embodiment of the Wella logo with her iconic, streaming red hair.
TJ: What impact do you ultimately want to have during your time at Wella?
MF: I want to elevate the industry and have the craftmanship of our colourists and stylists be recognised and valued.