ALEXANDRA PEEK | CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
Alexandra Peek is the Chief Marketing Officer at Bondi Sands; Responsible for leading the marketing and brand strategy for the business globally, driving transformational change, overseeing many areas of the customer journey including Brand, New Product Development, Digital, Social, and Design teams. Alexandra is based in the Melbourne Head Office and pre-COVID, travelled regularly to lead the regional teams in London and Los Angeles developing localised marketing strategies, ensuring they support the global brand objectives and growth targets. Alexandra has a strong growth mindset, is agile, and pushes the boundaries of innovation. This means celebrating risk-taking—whether it’s with new channels, partnerships, or experiences—and instituting a culture of change where you can constantly iterate on and improve the customer experience.
Alexandra also understands the meaning of true partnerships with her fellow C-suite execs and the senior company leaders, where she understands the needs that other functions have and how you can support those needs. A key success for Alexandra has been playing a key role in securing the Walgreens partnership – the brand’s biggest retail partner globally and the company’s first official major US stockist; a goal for the business since inception.
Alexandra has also led the team in launching new product innovations since she joined the business in 2016, guiding the team to create 360 marketing strategies and managing seamless execution across all areas of the business. In 2019, she led the brand’s biggest launch to date – Bondi Sands Aero, in Palm Springs during Coachella; a global launch with key retailer partners in all markets – the most successful brand launch and activation to date with a total reach of over 900 million.
Alexandra is passionate about the Bondi Sands brand; not only the product itself but also the business’ mission and core values. For her, working for a company that aligns with her personal values is essential and she counts key brand values of collaboration, innovation, and passion as her daily motivation to get the best out of herself and her team. Her commitment to the business earned her the Inaugural Bondi Sands Founders Award in 2018. An advocate for women in business, Alexandra is proud to hold a senior role in an incredibly successful Australian owned, globally loved, beauty company and wants to inspire and empower young women to educate themselves, work hard, and ultimately, instill the confidence that anything is possible. Alexandra holds a Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Marketing and Public Relations) from Monash University.
Interview with Alexandra Peek – Chief Marketing Officer at Bondi Sands
Heading up a global marketing team, what are the challenges you are facing during these unprecedented times?
“This year has certainly been an interesting experience and has been full of different challenges. As a leader, the most important thing for me has been remaining connected with my team, ensuring they feel supported throughout this turbulent time. As a typically office-based team, there was an initial adjustment to working from home and establishing the best ways of working, but we are in a really great place now. From a consumer-facing perspective, all our initial plans for this year went out the window in early March and we had to quickly revise our strategy. As a global brand, our community is spread all across the world so the challenge has been quickly adjusting our content and messaging for each market with consideration to the different levels of restrictions and COVID-19 impact at different times. We have had a fantastic response from our community during this time and we are proud of the way the brand has been able to adapt so quickly.”
Bondi Sands are doing fantastic work on social media such as Instagram and tik tok. How hard is it to stay ahead of the game? We are so saturated in the self-tanning and tanning space……how do you keep it fresh and new?
“We have an incredible social presence and global community, and we prioritise understanding our customer and their changing behaviour. We joined Instagram incredibly early on which put us in a great position to really build a strong following as the platform itself gained in popularity. We have taken a similar approach with TikTok, identifying this platform as somewhere our community was starting to spend a lot of time and joined as it was starting to gain traction. Authenticity is key to our success. We create content that is true to our brand, our values, and our community. We know the type of content our customers want to see, and we encourage a test and learn approach with our team. We challenge ourselves to think outside the box, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but the only way we know is by giving it a go.”
We know that Bondi Sands is famous for its incredible events both in Australia & the USA and now that we can’t have events, how do you manage to stay at the forefront of people’s minds when they wish to look into purchasing self-tanning or tanning products?
“We love our Bondi Sands events, and they play a big role in amplifying a message like a new product launch and serve as a form of connection between the brand and our community. Our customers love seeing all our brand ambassadors in one place and enjoy following along behind the scenes. We always work hard to go above and beyond to excite our customers with innovative events and competitions where they can attend and get involved. Given these will be on hold for a while, we are focusing our energy on other forms of connection to stay front of mind. We are a digital-first brand and focus heavily on this space to be in front of our customer’s eyes. We work with the top beauty influencers in the world, most recently James Charles, who has millions of followers which give us incredible brand exposure globally. We are also very accessible and have a strong brand presence instore and fortunately, many of our retail partners have remained open for much of this year. We pride ourselves on our amazing customer reviews online across both our own and retailer platforms which really help customers understand the quality and results of our product and identify the most suitable product to meet their needs.”
Knowing that consumers are quite educated these days and they do their research, how do you keep up with their inquiries, feedback, and reviews? Does this affect any of your marketing or business plans going forward?
“We have an incredible customer service team that monitors all our inquiries, feedback, and reviews. We have processes in place to share this information with the wider business regularly. Our customer experience is a key business priority and we always take feedback on-board which helps shape our business decisions and strategies moving forward. We love hearing from our community and are constantly monitoring our different channels to engage with our customers which has been pivotal to our success.”
JACQUI BRADLER | CHIEF PEOPLE OFFICER
Jacqui Bradler is the Chief People Officer of Bondi Sands. Whilst only a recent 2020 appointment, Jacqui has been a familiar face to the business since 2016, having been engaged as an external HR partner to help build the team as part of the company’s global expansion. Since hiring employee no.3 into the original start-up team, Jacqui has helped source the talent and grow the team to what is now a leading global team of 50 dispersed across 3 international offices from LA, London, and Melbourne.
With over 15 years’ experience in Human Resources & Recruitment, Jacqui’s background has been predominately in the corporate space, having worked for a number of large global organisations in Australia and the UK. Working across a variety of industries from mining to hospitality, with qualifications in business and HR, Jacqui takes pride in applying her learnings of corporate best practice with her service-oriented attitude to ensure a professional and impactful HR partnership exists, without compromising the key elements of speed and innovation.
Being granted the opportunity to work with an entrepreneurial brand like Bondi Sands has enabled Jacqui to marry her two passions of helping to drive business growth with fuelling people’s careers; an experience which she describes as her most exciting and rewarding yet.
As Bondi Sands continues its journey of world domination, Jacqui is responsible for ensuring the company is equipped with the best team to give the business the best chance at sustained growth and success. Tasked with developing a people strategy to support and accelerate forecasted growth, Jacqui’s focus flexes with the future direction of the company to ensure the team has the capability, tools, and support to truly be their best.
With a strong focus on sourcing global talent, Jacqui carefully connects the right people with the right skills and attitude that align with an amazing culture of empowerment and growth to come on the Bondi Sands journey, what’s been a winning strategy to date.
With people and culture at the heart of the organisation, a testament Jacqui says to the co-founders’ leadership ethos, Jacqui relishes in her remit of building a strategic framework of HR practices to create a positive culture of health, wellbeing, and joy. With staff retention unbelievably high, Jacqui believes it’s the people of Bondi Sands that are the winning ingredients that make the business a market-leader.
Jacqui believes there is no greater reward than watching people enjoy coming to work at a place where they have the opportunity to build their skills, test and learn their own ideas, collaborate with a team of different cultures, grow their career and ultimately realise their potential. It is not every day that you get to be a part of a global success story.
Interview with Jacqui Bradler – Chief People Officer at Bondi Sands
As Chief People Officer, Jacqui is employing people for roles globally during the pandemic. What are the key attributes you look for when hiring?
“We are an Australian business experiencing great growth worldwide right now and are very happy to report that we have been employing people in all of our global teams, despite the pandemic. The key attribute we look out for in our potential candidates is passion, as that translates into energy that sparks a fire in someone to go above and beyond. You can’t teach that! Other attributes would be communication & teamwork, as ‘together everyone achieves more’.”
The Bondi Sands culture is driven by Co-Founders Shaun Wilson and Blair James; how do you pass that passion and drive onto your new team members? What incentives are you working on for your global team during these unprecedented times?
“The company would not be a success if it weren’t for Shaun & Blair’s enduring passion for the brand, the customers, and the team. They know that their team is the secret ingredient to the winning formula and that to reach the heights on a global scale, they need to design an amazing culture where people want to work and grow. We promote this passion and energy into our team by taking them on the journey every step of the way and give them the opportunity to drive our growth through their area of expertise. When you empower people to use their talents and connect their role to the company mission, you are giving them purpose, and that is where the magic is created. We place a lot of emphasis on health & wellbeing within our culture, and some of the incentives have included providing healthy dinners to make sure our team is eating well. In consideration of the impact of mental health during this challenging time, we had the guys from The Resilience Project join us to give us some great mental strategies to better cope during this isolating time. All in all, the team has been amazing, and we feel very cared for.”
You worked for large male-dominated organizations; what have you learnt from those positions that you were able to bring to Bondi Sands?
Working within traditional male-oriented businesses was really character building and I quickly learnt to navigate such industries by building a resilient mindset to direct and candid communication and feedback. My early upbringing in the world of big organisations also gave me a great toolkit of policies and systems to promote efficiencies, and I have been able to take a few of these (not all, as we don’t want to stagnate innovation), but to ensure we create a clear framework of workflows and professional behaviour expectations, as we grow our team exponentially.
Jacqui relishes in her HR practices to help create a positive culture of health, well-being, and joy. What are the winning ingredients that make your business and brand in the beauty arena, a market-leader? Who doesn’t want to work in a culture that provides those elements! The beauty industry is extremely competitive and fast-paced, and it takes a lot of hard work by our team to stay ahead of the curve. It’s definitely more grind than glitz and glamour, but the reward is great. Our team is empowered to drive this growth and they have an opportunity to grow themselves with it. Our people are our greatest asset and truly what makes Bondi Sands a market-leader. We ensure we provide a culture that facilitates their growth and enables them to reach their potential, whilst providing a culture that is rewarding and fulfilling.
By Melinda Sullivan https://www.bondisands.com.au