Cosmetics Brand Strategy Public Relations (PR)

The power of PR: how Lyma got 30,000 people on a waiting list for £500 skincare product


By Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter

July 6, 2023 | 6 min read

Founded by the former fashion and luxury PR Lucy Goff, the skincare brand has won over the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kate Hudson with its debut range. Goff tells us how she’s using PR not advertising to build her brand.

Lyma skincare endorsed by Amber Valletta

Lyma skincare endorsed by Amber Valletta / Lyma

Last week, wellness brand Lyma hit the headlines when its epigenetic skincare range (which costs £495 and lasts about a month) attracted a waiting list of 30,000 within hours of launching.

Its founder Lucy Goff – who began her career in journalism and then PR before setting up the brand – tells The Drum: ”PR is the most powerful form of marketing when it is done in a way where you are able to tell the full story.”

Within 24 hours of release, there were articles about Lyma everywhere from high-end publications Vogue, Grazia and Harper’s Bazaar to UK tabloids The Daily Mail and The Mirror. ”What works for us is telling a genuine story in a trusted media source by a trusted person,” explains its founder.

Along with PR, Lyma uses an organic influencer strategy, reaching out to existing customers or offering discounts or gifting to get high-profile endorsers. “We don’t pay influencers who are peddling a million and one different products every day, because there’s no return on that for us – it doesn’t work.”

Goff says traditional advertising doesn’t work for Lyma either because it’s tricky to communicate the product’s benefit. “You can’t see what eight hours sleep looks like or what less stress is like. Ultimately, you are selling a feeling and you can’t shout at someone when you sell a feeling. You’ve got to tell the story in a way that feels genuine.”

Lyma has signed up American model and actress Amber Valletta as an ambassador for the launch of the skincare range and Goff tells us: “It felt authentic to go to Amber because she was a genuine fan of the brand and she’s also in the right age bracket. It’s pointless having a 25-year-old when you’re selling a product to somebody who’s in their 40s, 50s or 60s.”

Lyma started out as a supplement brand five years ago before pushing into at-home laser treatment and now skincare. “It has been a lot of hard work. It’s not looking at what the industry has had before but looking at a new way of storytelling to a consumer that doesn’t want to be shouted out.”

Goff tells The Drum she took inspiration from fragrance and homeware brand Jo Malone. “I was always fascinated by what Jo Malone did, which was to reimagine the plain white candle you’d previously have gone to the supermarket for and turn it into a lifestyle statement for the home.”

When conceiving Lyma, Goff says she found the look and feel of the supplement category to be “functional”. Lyma supplements are instead encased in a bronze capsule and stored in a hammered metal container. “Why would you want to look at a plastic bottle when you can look at a beautiful product?”

Science is at the heart of Lyma’s branding and Goff explains that she never wanted it to be a “typical wellness brand, with a woman in the kitchen eating a bowl of berries and smiling,” which she always found to be patronizing. With a primarily peri-menopausal audience, customers need to see the science to know the product will work, she says. “The most important factor to communicate is that it works, so you have to put science as the number one. The science is the tree trunk and the other bits are the leaves and branches.”

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Over the coming year there are plans for activations in LA and in the Hamptons and launching exclusively in specific retailers that suit the brand. “It’s about drip-feeding everything – you’ve always got to let the dust settle, you can’t railroad this. You have your initial splash and then let it settle and then have a constant stream of micro pushes toward your target territory and audience.”

Summarizing this marketing strategy, Goff says: “The products have got to look incredible, the science has got to be unrivaled and you’ve got to get genuine celebrity endorsement and key opinion leaders talking about your product authentically.”

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