It’s been one year since Mary van Praag moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco to head up Perricone MD, the skin care brand best known for its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory solutions. The move gives Mary, a beauty veteran who most recently oversaw Coty’s OPI nail brand, the opportunity to run her own ship, so to speak.
“I spent seven years at Coty in a number of assignments. A lot of my mentors began to leave. Soon, I started getting calls for CEO roles. Having the ability to be more entrepreneurial, I made the decision to go full speed ahead and join Perricone MD,” she said.
The brand was born in 1997—complete with a Madison Avenue store by 2004. TSG acquired a majority share of the brand in 2006 and in 2014 sold it to Lion Capital. Dr. Nicholas V. Perricone, the founder of the brand, remains chairman of the board, a minority shareholder and quite involved in its strategy. Mary had been well familiar with Perricone MD as she used the products and had read his books.
“There was a strong story and DNA, and I was intrigued by the multi-channel model. He has such a scientific authority and does a lot of ideation of the pipeline. He is an authoritative figure on anti-inflammation,” Mary said.
Mary’s first order of business was to create a centralized headquarters for the brand in San Francisco. With that, the company moved into the TransAmerica building earlier this year.
The second was to scale the company for growth.
“We needed to build for the future, meaning the right team.”
Mary then hired a Chief Innovation Officer, a Chief Revenue Officer, a Chief Operating Officer, a Chief People Officer and a Chief Marketing Officer. “For the past nine months we have been focusing on what has made this company so successful: a powerful innovation roadmap,” Mary said.
The brand’s website has also been redesigned, and now features an enhanced ecommerce experience.
And new products have joined the Perricone MD skin care collection. This past month the brand launched ThePre:Empt Series, a four-piece line that targets millennials with a new patented NRF2 science that addressesthe very first signs of aging. The line is exclusive to Sephora at launch given its strong hold on the millennial consumer.
“We will keep loyal to our existing customers but there’s a whole new generation we have to consider,” Mary said.
Distribution of Perricone MD includes Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta and Neimanmarcus.com in the U.S. Of course there is the brand’s distribution on QVC, too. Internationally, Perricone launched in Korea this fall, and is in the process of launching in Russia.
Currently some of the brand’s big goals are to reclaim its scientific authority and to invest in sampling. Being on TV helps it to achieve the first goal. As for more targeted sampling, the brand is planning innovative ways to engage the consumer as the proof is in the efficacy and results. How-to videos are also on tap, as is investing in digital marketing.
“Just one year ago we were heavy into print, in magazines such as Elle, and other Hearst properties, but we have ramped up social and digital engagement so that half of our spend is now in the digital realm. It’s a dynamic time for Perricone MD and building this next phase of growth whether its international or direct to consumer or digital, the magic is when we can combine disruptive science with our consumer.”