Innovator Interviews: Eos’ Carley Caldas

Innovator Interviews: Eos’ Carley Caldas

Carley Caldas, vice president of brand marketing & media at eos, has been customer obsessed since her first job out of college. Working in the beauty category, it helps to listen to what consumers care about in order to provide them with the products they care about.

Eos’ lip balms and shave creams are the result of social listening, products created to solve a customer need. Understanding consumer insights is key for the brand and this held especially true when the pandemic hit, and the very meaning of self care began to shape shift.

“The definition of self care has transformed around two, three, four times during the pandemic,” says Caldas. “Right before the pandemic, we were seeing this polarity in beauty trends. There were minimalist makeup looks but maximalist, multi-step skincare regimens. Beauty and Wellness were blending into what ‘self care’ meant.” 

“Self care started out grounded in spa or salon services. You were either going to the spa or salon or making time for similar experiences at home,” she continues. “It was really about dedicating even just a little bit of time in your busy life for your own self care. When the pandemic started,  all of a sudden everybody had so much more free time at home and self-care became how are you going to spend your non-working hours? This extra time did lend itself to a continuation in the trend for multi-step regimens and desire to consume digital tutorial content.” 

Eos is a social-first brand that has grown in collaboration with TikTok influencers and their audiences. The brand has grown organically in the channel since it launched its first campaign in 2019 and has since been more strategic about its partnerships with influencers on the social network. 

“For us at eos, we are a social brand and we always put our fans first,” explains Caldas. “And that means that we have to be agile. We need to know the type of content that our fans are actually engaging with, that they actually want to see. And we’re prepared to shift/pivot/backflip, do whatever it is that we need to do to make sure that we are delivering what our fans actually really want and not just stick to a content plan for a content plan’s sake.”

Brand Innovators caught up with Caldas from her home in Connecticut to discuss how the pandemic changed the definition of self-care, how eos puts their fans first and why being customer centric is smart for business. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Beauty and self care have been transformed since the pandemic began, as more consumers turn to digital channels to engage. Can you talk about how this shift is impacting how eos connects with consumers?

Digitally, we saw this thirst for education, how-tos and expert tutorials, and a digital bestie. To help teach you tips and tricks about your beauty and different ways of caring for your skin, nails, hair. This helped shape a very diverse mix of content styles that we see across our major Social platforms right now. I think it really ushered in this new generation of beauty influencers that take a much less-curated and more authentic, raw and relatable approach to interacting with their followers. 

We also know that people are consuming massive amounts of content and they are experiencing fatigue. I even feel it personally. It used to be, oh it is so nice to binge watch a show and now it almost feels like a chore, I don’t even know how many shows I have binge watched over the last two years. That means that the type of content that people actually want to engage with is changing. It evolves almost every single day.  

Can you talk about eos’ brand pillars and how these foundations shape your approach to marketing?

We are a social brand. We came to be from an understanding of what people wanted from their products. We listened and innovated to meet their needs in ways that no other brand could have done. People are really in the center of what we do. 

That is a really big reason why our approach to marketing is inherently social. We create a conversation with our fans so that we are constantly learning and we are able to amplify their voices and their messages as well as create an opportunity for them to learn and get excited about our product and our brand. 

What does a cookieless future mean for your brand and how is it changing your approach to media?

Even though it is a media question, I think it is a brand question. All of the shifts and targeting capabilities, I think it really just reinforces the need for the right messages and for your content to be tailored enough so that it speaks to both a broad and a specific audience. I think that forces humanity into the messages that we are telling as brand marketers. While it is a targeting question, I think it really comes back to what it is that you are delivering and how you are making your messages really resonate with your intended audience. 

Prior to eos, you worked at L’Oreal, Bath & Body Works and Anthropologie. Can you talk about how these experiences have shaped your current role?

I started my career straight out of college working in brand development in fragrant body care. It was such an amazing experience because it was so consumer centric. I was trained to understand your consumer. It was an amazing category to work in because it is so intimate. It is so personal. It can evolve based on how old you are, whether you are in a relationship or not, if you want to go on vacation, if you want to feel sassy or confident. In order to pick up those cues, you just have to really know your consumer. And that training carried with me through each of my other roles, really just staying as close to the consumer as you possibly can. Now with social, digital technologies, you are able to connect with your audience so much easier than you were 10-15 years ago. It has made the work much richer and even more fun. 

As a leading woman on our Women to Watch list, what advice would you give to other women trying to succeed in marketing?

I think you really have to understand your audience and put yourself in their shoes and be thinking of the most human way to connect with them. Always be looking towards your future and making sure that you are on track to it, but try to be completely engulfed in what you are doing right now. Make sure you’re always asking yourself: are you learning?  Are you developing new functional skills? Are you also learning soft skills? Are you learning to manage up? Manage down? To understand the people that you are working with? Marketing is so much about people. It is not only your audience and your fans but it is your team members within your business. We work to inspire our internal teams as well. That is a talent that I think a lot of younger marketers don’t put emphasis on earlier in their careers. It is such an important one to excel.

What predictions do you have for 2022?

My hope is that we see some really innovating and interesting ways to interact with consumers through technology. I think that gaming is going to continue to be a really inspiring channel for marketing. I think we are going to see a lot more activity in the metaverse, we’ve already seen some early adopters. As a brand you think- how can we innovate in that space too? It’s always a daunting question, but getting to the answer is bound to be interesting and fun.