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Beauty from the Shelf

Dec 5, 2023

In this insightful podcast episode featuring brand strategist and growth marketer Rajaa Grar. The overarching theme centers on "Nailing Your Brand ‘Why’ in a Digital World." Rajaa draws from a wealth of experience and categories including: Meal Delivery, Starbucks, Amazon, Paula’s Choice, and the Hydration industry.


Rajaa begins by sharing her process for defining or redefining a brand's 'why'. She highlights her brand builder purist approach, emphasizing the importance of brand pyramids and starting from the beginning. Rajaa stresses the need to identify what the brand brings to consumers that other brands don't, filling a need, fulfilling a value proposition, and employing a unique storytelling perspective.


The conversation delves into whether a brand's 'why' informs its point of differentiation and how this is reflected in telling the brand story. Rajaa emphasizes the necessity of a distinctive 'why' from the start to prevent struggles and underscores the importance of defining the brand's reason for existence.


We discuss Rajaa's impactful stint at Paula’s Choice, and the factors that prompted a change in brand positioning. With new market entrants like Drunk Elephant, Paula’s Choice, a 24-year-old brand, lacked relevancy and emotion with the new consumer. Rajaa initiated a transformative beauty campaign, "beauty begins with truth," and introduced engaging influencer campaign along with additional marketing levers to drive growth and awareness. unboxing experiences. Pop-up events consistently drove awareness.


Further insights are shared on how brands can gauge the need for shifts in their position by connecting with their target audience. Rajaa explores key differences in Paula’s Choice's new brand position that resonated with consumers and offers valuable insights on selecting influencers aligned with brand values.


The discussion seamlessly transitions to Rajaa's success in leading social campaigns, emphasizing the importance of influencer alignment with brand values and creative approaches for early-stage brands amidst social media saturation. 


The episode explores moments of virality, where Rajaa shares that while virality can't be entirely planned, it arises from steady work, fundamentals, building an integrated team, and highlighting a brand's point of differentiation. Rajaa underscores the role of PR as a lever and the need for everything to align for a successful virality strategy.


Rajaa also touches upon the benefits and potential downsides of virality, addressing inventory planning challenges. She offers advice on how marketing teams can capitalize on virality and sustain its momentum.


In closing, Rajaa provides valuable words for founders of early-stage brands, urging them to stick to their core values, maintain integrity, and honor the core consumer before exploring new targets or channels.



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Rajaa Grar

Monique Benoit


Thank you to The Emerson Group, the sponsor of the Beauty from the Shelf Podcast. The Emerson Group is a consumer products and equity organization that works with brands that sell into retailers across the USA, Mexico and Canada. Their services include logistics, marketing, consumer insights, brand design, consumer care, and more. For more information on our organization, visit