Gwyneth Paltrow has been on the covers of a few magazines this summer, most notably Fast Company, which likes to put female celebrities on the cover who are running businesses. So is goop making a comeback? Is it a media darling to pay attention to for your own press, or even to sell your product on? Internet-wise, people love to smear Gwyneth in snarky comments. But do those opinions matter anymore, when goop has a track record of moving, as Gwyneth states, "hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars of product, and millions of dollars of product for other brands"?
I am exploring this, and have found very telling clues that yes, goop is going to make a comeback, and that it should be on your radar and in your Media Tracking Sheet as a newsletter/website to be featured on. Here's the line from Gwyneth in the Fast Company article that convinced me: "I've made commitments to people, and I've taken their money. I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that the brand scales." Let's look at the history to see how this growth spurt is going to happen...
When Gwyneth Paltrow launched goop from her kitchen in 2008, her newsletter and online magazine that shows how to live an elevated lifestyle, Daily Candy was the must-have newsletter to be featured in as a business. goop was the must-have website design foundation that businesses in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries were clamoring to achieve and were ordering redesigns of their websites to look more like goop's. Clean, simple, beautiful. I know this because I had just hung my shingle as a website designer, and a website design that looked like goop was the #1 request I got. Followed by: "How do I get featured in Daily Candy?"
Goop featured very expensive products - $975 Bottega Veneta riding boots, a $4,700 juicer, a $2,000 safety pin earring (just one), and more luxury items. When Gwyneth and goop embraced a model to monetize the website, they pursued selling limited-edition products directly from the website, the first piece being a very plain white shirt, the price was $90. The Internet threw rotten tomatoes at the price, but it sold out. In 2012, goop brought in $1.5 million, though it was $40,000 shy from showing income. According to the Fast Company article, it had $1.2 million in debt on the books.
CLUE #1: Gwyneth likes limited-edition, high-quality, well-packaged, expensive items.
Here we are in 2015, and Gwyneth has been pretty busy raising children, making movies, writing cookbooks, opening high-end gyms and fitness empires, and consciously uncoupling from her spouse.
CLUE #2: She's recently hired the former CEO of Martha Stewart, Lisa Gersh, who pursued "contextual commerce" at Martha Stewart, with the vision that editorial could be blended with business, as people read about product and then bought it. This basic idea has been happening for years, albeit in different forms. A most obvious form would be affiliate advertising, where you click on a special link from within an article and the website owner gets a commission if you buy the product. Another form could be in branded content, where a media outlet is paid to write an article about a product. But Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia had followed a traditional media path, and had trouble blending with this belief. Says Gersh in a Fast Company article: "It's hard to change cultures."
Back to Gwyneth, and why goop has been off your radar for a few years. Gwyneth built goop slowly, and apparently, as she said to Anjali Mullany, the author of the Fast Company article, when referring to her early days of writing and sending the goop newsletter: "When I think back on it, I'm afraid to press SEND."
CLUE #3: Hold the phones, people. This means that Gwyneth herself was writing the newsletter and pressing send. What you received in your inbox was an email that Gwyneth herself had touched. Part of why goop grew so slowly was because Gwyneth wanted to personally sign off on each and every recommendation. There is no indication that she is looking to change that, since goop is so tied back to her philosophies, despite a staff of 25, and other writers being able to write travel and other recommendations.
Goop is a website and newsletter that offers style, food, and wellness recommendations from Gwyneth Paltrow and her trusted circle of experts, spiritual thinkers, and alternative health professionals. It is a shoppable lifestyle brand that places all emphasis on trust between the team at goop and the readers.
1 million newsletter subscribers
3,75 million page views per month
Headquartered in LA (previously in the U.K.)
A staff of 25 people
DOES YOUR BUSINESS FIT IN AT GOOP?
Products featured at goop must:
- be beautiful
- be packaged beautifully
- elevate a person's life to extreme beauty or comfort
- not care about price point.
Goop does feature products in editorial, and they also pride themselves on working directly with designers called "Goop Product Collaborations", where they do receive a portion of sales for all items that are sold on goop. When you pitch goop, you will be pitching for a retail partnership, or an editorial feature opportunity. You should know which one before you pitch.
Goop is not bothered with gifts under $100. Most gift recommendations, for instance, are an easy $500, like this earring for $520 (yeah, just one earring). You may find something for $6, but it's a card. This is great news for high-end luxury designers who make limited-edition runs and struggle with traditional media outlets who insist on high-volume in order to satisfy the purchasing habits of their readers and viewers.