Brave Commerce Podcast: Redefining Relationship Selling

Kristof Neirynck on the innovative approaches Avon has adopted in the contemporary market

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On this episode of Brave Commerce, Kristof Neirynck, global chief marketing officer and managing director at Avon, joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to discuss the evolution of relationship selling and the innovative approaches Avon has adopted in the contemporary market.

As the conversation begins, the hosts reflect on Avon’s enduring legacy of 137 years, highlighting its pioneering role in relationship selling. They draw a connection between Avon and the iconic image of the “Avon lady” making door-to-door sales with paper catalogs.

Talking about the evolution of relationship selling in 2023, Neirynck describes a significant shift towards omnichannel direct selling, emphasizing digital brochures shared through platforms like WhatsApp. He also highlights the adaptability of representatives in leveraging technology to enhance their selling strategies.

Moreover, Neirynck discusses two emerging trends in Avon’s sales approach. The first involves encouraging representatives to open their own stores, resembling a franchise model. The second trend revolves around leveraging social media platforms for selling, allowing representatives to connect their channels with Avon’s digital asset management tool.

Neirynck emphasizes the empowerment of representatives through training. The discussion then delves into the potential challenges and opportunities of sharing customer data. Kristof addresses the importance of creating a value exchange for representatives and the plans to implement a loyalty program.

The interview takes an interesting turn as Neirynck discusses the impact of inflation on consumer behavior, with people holding out for better deals during the holiday season. He anticipates decent growth in the beauty market, driven more by pricing than by volume. In exploring the role of digital commerce in the beauty industry, he also shares the dynamics of different subcategories and how economic conditions influence consumer preferences.

Key takeaways:

  • Embrace diverse methods like digital brochures, WhatsApp and social media for customer engagement.
  • Ensure transparency, value exchange and a secure environment for customer data.
  • Tailor strategies based on differing market dynamics in various regions.