Why Home Shopping Queen and New Hollywood Darling Joy Mangano Is Starting Over

With a rebrand and a big expansion into retail

Headshot of Kristina Monllos

Earlier this week, Joy Mangano returned to shopping channel HSN and sold roughly 250,000 redesigned Miracle Mops in just a few hours. That kind of success would cause most people to just sit pretty—but Mangano doesn't think like most people.

That's what prompted director David O. Russell to make Joy, a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence that's loosely based on Mangano's life. It's also why Mangano has revamped her brand and her products and will launch them in retail stores including Target, Macy's, The Container Store and Bed Bath & Beyond on Jan. 9. 

"I've been on HSN, I've been standing in front of America, and [been] electronic retailing for 25 years," Mangano told Adweek. "[It's] where I could be the storyteller and talk about the features and benefits when launching the products, explaining why the Memory Cloud Pillow is not just a pillow, why the Miracle Mop is not just another mop." 

Changing your brand's business model after 25 years might seem like a bold move, but for Mangano, it was all about reach—HSN and QVC, where Mangano got her start, have a very different reach than major retailers across the country, according to Mangano. "I call it like its own country within America," she said. "If you don't watch HSN, then you don't know about the products."

So, two years ago, Mangano started planning the expansion. Then she got a call from Russell. "It was such an honor to have them come to me and say they wanted to make a movie inspired by my life," Mangano said. "I could hold off on rebranding and expanding in retail until now." 

If anything, the movie gave Mangano more time to perfect her brand's transition from HSN to retailers. She enlisted branding shop Beardwood & Co. to figure out how to convey her message though packaging and marketing. "If I can't stand there and talk about the product, how can we brand it so the consumer knows what they're getting?" she said. 

But making sure consumers understood the benefits of her product line—which includes Miracle Mop, Huggable Hangers, Memory Cloud Pillow, My Little Steamer, Better Beauty Case and an air purifier, Forever Fragrant— without Mangano talking about them wasn't the only problem. 

"It was how do you translate and brand together or create that Joy brand when it's everything from a steamer to Forever Fragrant—which is a home odor eliminator—to a pillow to a vacuum?" she said. 

To do that, Beardwood & Co. revamped the brand strategy, logo, identity and packaging for all of the products. "[We wanted] everything to emanate from Joy's natural passion and enthusiasm for invention—which is profoundly contagious," said Julia Beardwood, founder of Beardwood & Co. "In every ounce of the brand, we endeavored to embody that passion as well as the notion that Joy draws insights from real life and applies new technologies to create smart and stylish products that serve a purpose."

Mangano also tapped creative agency Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners, which created a 60-second spot to introduce the Joy brand to consumers. 

"This is one of those rare moments when commerce, entertainment and culture collide to create something really special and unique," said Steve Red, president and chief creative officer of RTO+P. "It's a first to have a retail launch of this magnitude preceded by a major motion picture about the founder and innovator behind the brand. We made it our mission to bring the human side of the brand to the forefront, and we're excited for the whole world to meet Joy." 

Considering Mangano is known as HSN's top purveyor—her products bring in an estimated $150 million annually—it might seem odd to view the rollout as a worldwide introduction to her brand. But that doesn't matter much to Mangano.

"My goal every day is to make someone's life a little easier, and with the retail launch, so many more people can be impacted by that," she said. 

@KristinaMonllos kristina.monllos@adweek.com Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.