Today, Goop is a household name all on its own—but it’s gotten here in part through partnerships with other brands.
Goop celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s one-time side project is now big business. The company first began its life as an email newsletter from the actress-turned-entrepreneur in 2008, and has since evolved into a website, magazine, ecommerce platform, multiple brick-and-mortar stores and as of late, an events business.
And as it’s grown, brand partnerships have become a key part of the company’s revenue strategy. Goop’s chief revenue officer, Kim Kreuzberger, a media industry veteran who has held posts on the business side of publications like InStyle and Vogue, is the leader behind many of these events and the one forging many of these brand relationships.
Authenticity, as with most brand-publisher relationships, is key for Goop, and Kreuzberger said they like to lead with “gratitude and legitimacy” when integrating brand partners into anything Goop-related, particular with events, “creating context” around a brand’s presence there.
“We acknowledge our partners, we bring him into the narrative of the experience,” she told Adweek. “We can actualize our connection with the partner, with our customers and our consumers in the community, and then they become authentic to the conversation.”
A large part of that authenticity, Kreuzberger said, comes from Goop’s history. Its growing ubiquity (and attached celebrity power, even in its early days) may make people feel that it was always the behemoth it is today, but Kreuzberger said that it took several years for the company to get to a place where it felt ready to use the strength of the community it had built to form revenue-driving connections with brands.
“Our community is so different because we have this longevity and growth over the past 10 years that we never leveraged,” Kreuzberger told Adweek. “It was such an amazing opportunity for Gwyneth to build trust and equity without monetizing it for six of those years. And so over the last four years, I’ve really noticed how vibrant this community has become, a real ethos that’s shared by lots of people.”
Of course, the presence of a strong community make events a natural next step—a physical place for that community to gather. Goop’s most notable endeavor is the In Goop Health wellness summits, which have taken place so far in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver, with the next summit set to arrive in London this June. That event has brought in partners like Lululemon, Ketel One and LG, among many others.
But that’s only one example of Goop leveraging a brand partnership to create a physical touchpoint for its fans. A partnership with Google, focused around a new, blush pink-hued Google Pixel phone, birthed a collaboration on a product guide (titled the Not Pink Shop) full of similar-colored items, from a phone case to a $68 rose quartz straw.
“We created a premium retail space for them in our San Francisco pop-up,” said Kreuzberger. “We put all the brands we had curated into the experience and we actually sold this guide in the store. And then we created these buzzy conveyor belts where all the products were circulating. That became the Instagram moment of the experience.”
In addition to the San Francisco pop-up, the items from the Not Pink Shop were sold in all of Goop’s retail locations, from London to Los Angeles. These retail locations have become a major point for Goop to host events, too, like a master class with the site’s executive beauty editor Jean Godfrey-June in New York, in partnership with Blue Diamond. The location in Brentwood, Calif., hosts as many as two events every week.
Other partnerships evolve from an on-site experience to an in-person one at an event. Take Supernatural, a green household cleaning product line—very much in line with the Goop ethos. Originally, Goop was creating content around Supernatural, including on its podcast, where Goop’s chief content officer, Elise Loehnen, spoke about her experience with the product. Later, VIP guests at In Goop Health were able to sample the products.
“They were the first to actually experience them, to see them, to touch them,” said Kreuzberger. “And then ultimately, which I think is the silver bullet, is that we actually sold their products in our commerce, which had an incredible sell through rate. Whenever we can contextualize a brand and why we love it and then we’re also selling it within our commerce, it’s really the formula that keeps the engine going and where we see the most success.”
And yes, Paltrow does play a role in approving these partnerships. Sometimes, that means that a brand you might not normally associate with Goop ends up building a relationship with it. “There’s certain brands, like Old Navy that I was like, ‘I’m not sure,'” shared Kreuzberger. “But [Gwyneth] wrote back right away, ‘Of course, my kids love Old Navy, that’s a brand that my kids live in.'”
The key, Kreuzberger said, is to find brands that make sense with Goop—like a Supernatural, an eco-friendly, aesthetically pleasing product line. For a company like Google, that might not be quite as obvious of a fit, they find ways to make it feel natural—like a well-curated collection of items that would feel at home on the Goop shop regardless.
“We never have to sell our community on participating with the advertiser, because the advertisers is adding value,” said Kreuzberger. “They’re part of the experience with us and we contextualize why we love them or why we’re wearing them, so it feels authentic.”