QVC – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Let me begin by saying that I learned more about marketing and product development while working with QVC than at any other time in my career.  My QVC spokesperson experience began by developing skincare, nail color and cosmetic products for QVC-only brands.  I learned the ropes.  I saw what worked.  Then I had my big chance – the opportunity to pitch my own QVC-exclusive line and be the on-air spokesperson.  My brand was Raw Natural Beauty.  The concept was the first eco-luxe, high performance natural cosmetic brand (think MAC if it went organic). The year was 2006 and natural brands were the opposite of luxe.  Even worse, they rarely delivered in terms of performance.  I positioned my brand as the answer and QVC agreed.   It was one of the few times in my career that I knew I was onto something big.

Raw Beauty launched on-air June 2007.  Sales were mediocre, but I was assured that was typical for a first show.   I went back on air about a dozen more times before they pulled the plug.  I was heartbroken.  I had been so sure that this brand and selling it as a QVC spokesperson was what I was destined to do. But the truth is, even if you do everything right (and in many ways, I think I did but judge for yourself here), it’s hard for a small, unknown brand (with an unknown spokesperson) to be successful on QVC.

Looking back on it today, the wise words of Taylor Swift come to mind, “you can tell me when it’s over, if the high was worth the pain.”  Well it’s long over, and I can tell you that yes, it was worth it. And the pain didn’t just come from being cut from QVC’s beauty roster. There was the pain of 3am shows, the pain of struggling for on-air chemistry with hosts you’ve barely met, the pain of disappointing sales and the even worse, the somber calls from QVC. But then there were the highs…there’s nothing like the feeling of watching your sales spike because of something you said or the magic that happens on live tv when you get into a groove with the host. Or how about knowing you could be potentially sharing your passion to 90 million households?  Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment or I just love a challenge, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Explore more about my QVC experience plus insider tips on essential QVC success tips on Brandettes.

– C.M.

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