As the spa-born brand prepares to branch into apparel, makeup and more, the veteran marketing guru is betting on happiness as a lifestyle
By Tracey Ho Lung
Once the chief marketing and strategic officer at Burt’s Bees, Mike Indursky was a voice for naturals before it became an industry trend, even holding a position on the Board of Directors of the Natural Products Association from 2007 to 2010. But today, as the president of Bliss World, he’s championing another buzzy trend: lifestyle. “The lifestyle of Bliss has always been the lifestyle of happiness,” he says. “Who doesn’t want to be happy? It makes perfect sense and is the next logical evolution.”
This September, more than 300 new Bliss-branded products, including soy candles, room sprays, apparel (think: athleisure) and cosmetics (over 180 SKUs of makeup alone), will land at its U.S. stores and Bliss spas. Expect to find well-known Bliss-isms such as “You Glow, Girl” and “Have a Nude Attitude” inside the waistbands of pants and on makeup compacts, as well as the brand’s own 5-free nail lacquers. “We do over 100,000 manicures and pedicures a year. We’re the experts on nail colour,” explains Indursky.
Plans for a Canadian product expansion are slated for late 2016, with Indursky noting, “In Canada they want everything.” Cosmetics sat down with the marketing whiz during his recent visit to Toronto to get the goods on leading the Bliss life.
How do you define happiness? Happiness is the epitome of well being. When you look good and you feel good about what you’re doing, all that leads to happiness.
What do you think is the most overrated virtue? Patience. I’m impatient. That’s why we’re coming out with over 300 products. If you want to come across as a lifestyle brand, you have to be a lifestyle brand.
Finish this sentence: I always strive to… Do things differently. If I fundamentally challenge convention, that is the way to be heard. The smaller the company, the more different I’m going to act, so we’ll do things other brands won’t do. Some brands are launching a new serum. I’m launching a lifestyle, a movement, the embracement of happiness and well being, and trying to improve people’s lives.
What is Bliss’s beauty attitude? You’re gorgeous. You’re beautiful. And at Bliss we can make you feel even better about yourself. And that’s why we talk the way we do.
Have women’s attitudes changed since you started in the beauty industry? The desire is still there, but there is less patience. Women have gone from software, like lotions, to hardware, like tools. They want it faster and better, and we have to keep up.
What will Bliss makeup be? A skin-first approach to cosmetics. It’s almost like a continuation of your facial. We focus on skincare-based ingredients and technology that has great colour payoff.
What will Bliss offer that’s different than other lifestyle brands? When you look at other lifestyle brands such as Martha Stewart, Tory Burch or Ralph Lauren, it’s all based on a person. Our lifestyle is based on an emotional state: happiness. We want to deliver that in every way we can.
What have you learned from developing lifestyle products? That fragrance for your body is completely different than fragrance for your home. If it were up to me, there would be bitter orange in everything, but that’s not the case. That’s why our soy candles have scents like ginger flower and eucalyptus mint.
What’s your best beauty advice for women? It’s more than what you put on your skin. It’s your sleep, your diet and exercise. But it’s also how you feel about yourself. All those things get you to being your most beautiful. I’ve seen some of the most beautiful people who don’t come across as beautiful because they don’t let themselves be themselves.
Who do you admire in the beauty world? The list is endless, from L’Oréal—which has been brilliant in its strategy across all channels, all countries, all cultures—to the startups of the world going up against it.