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Making Street Smarts Work

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Eunice Keung - Marketing Manager, Jebsen Consumer

What do women want? That is a million-dollar question, and one that ultimately takes a woman to answer. Being one myself, I naturally understand how easy or difficult it can be to sell a product to a woman. Some people call this female intuition, but I think it is mostly street smarts – a combination of common sense, situational awareness, and a strong EQ. Because this ability is indefinable and not something you can study or learn from a book, most companies don’t really place any value on it. At Jebsen, though, this type of keen sense is a prized asset, and the company encourages us to use it when making decisions on the job.

When I first joined Jebsen in 2014 as Product Marketing Manager for beauty products, I used my understanding of female buying behaviours to guide my team’s strategies. For example, I had observed that women tend to prefer asking for information rather than reading manuals, so I made sure that our beauty advisors were properly trained to handle questions and consultations effectively. Careful marketing planning aside, sometimes it helps to rely on our street smarts as a way to drive positive customer response. After all, we are all human, and being street smart is all about understanding people.

When I was later promoted to Marketing Manager, I had a fresh set of challenges to deal with. I realised how important it was to have some book smarts, too. One of the projects I most enjoyed was launching the YA-MAN Hydrogen Water Machine. It was one of the pioneer products of its kind in the water ionizer market. I knew very little about the benefits of hydrogenated water or how the machine worked, so I had to study up on it right away.

I scoured the Internet, looking for information on the science behind hydrogenation. I also found that one of the other managers had a science background and asked her questions about chemistry. I discovered that the machine creates hydrogen-rich water that provides anti-oxidant benefits to drinkers. Once I had mastered all that knowledge, I was able to convince dealers how amazing the product is and to carry it in their stories.

But of course, science isn’t the only way to sell beauty products. You have to find the key that will make customers go “Wow!” My sense told me that YA-MAN’s beauty products would benefit from good reviews by KOL (Key Opinion Leader), so for Christmas last year, I repackaged samples of the brand’s signature RF Beaute home beauty device with bouquets of flowers and sent them to KOL and celebrities. My hunch paid off and the great feedback meant that we sold out of every unit during Christmas.

Whether it’s street smarts or book smarts, I have a lot of freedom to apply different skills on the job at Jebsen, and my individuality is valued here. A job is so much more enjoyable when you get to learn and apply the knowledge you have, while also having the freedom to use your innate sensitivity and intuition!

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