Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Anything but ORDINARY: Check out how this CEO is driving positive change in the skin care industry! [Monday: Marketing Marvels

October 28, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson:

Hello, everyone! 

We hope you all had a good and restful weekend. 

Let’s kickstart the week with inspiration from one of our “Marketing Marvels”—outstanding people in business and marketing. Every Monday, we talk about these top industry professionals and highlight their experiences, contributions, and impact on society. 

Today, let’s focus on a female CEO whose brand is making waves in the skin care industry. 

Read the article below to know how this “Marvel” saved a multi-million dollar beauty empire after its co-founder and former CEO’s death in 2019. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Marketing Marvels 

Cleansers. Toners. Serums. Sheet masks. 

These are just some of the skin care products we see in the market nowadays. 

According to an article published by Europe-based website Cosmetics Design, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers started to think more carefully about skin health. Their increased time at home and investment in self-care had focused on maintaining natural and healthy skin. 

One of the brands popular for its clinical and effective skin care products? 

The Ordinary

Photo from Healthline

The Ordinary—“TO,” as what fans call it—is a beauty brand owned by parent company DECIEM. It consists of an evolving collection of treatments offering familiar and effective clinical technologies. 

As a brand created to disallow commodity to be disguised as ingenuity, The Ordinary operates with the vision: 

“Clinical formulations with INTEGRITY.” 

… and the leader who pushed for this reputation for the company? 

Nicola Kilner

Photo from Fashion Network

Kilner is the co-founder and co-CEO of The Ordinary. She graduated with a Business Management degree at Nottingham Trent University in England. After graduating, she was immediately scouted by Boots, one of the health and beauty retailers in the U.K. 

Growing up, Kilner said she didn’t imagine being in the beauty industry. She just wanted to be an entrepreneur and do something she’s passionate about. However, when she became part of Boots’ beauty training team, everything just clicked for her. 

Little did Kilner know this first job would lead her to actually becoming an entrepreneur and co-founding a new business. 

The Ordinary: The Company that Helped Fuel the Skin Care Boom 

During her 7th year working as a beauty buyer at Boots, Kilner met Brandon Truaxe, who had the skin care business, Indeed Labs. The two became close friends and eventually, Kilner left her job at Boots to join Truaxe in founding DECIEM. 

Kilner often refers to the bond she formed with Truaxe and other team members as “the DECIEM family.” For her, it always feels like they are doing something more than just work, and that they are also more than just colleagues.  

She states she has been with the company since the day of its launch. That’s why she can’t imagine leaving her team and doing something else. 

The DECIEM family launched The Ordinary at the end of 2016. The brand was created to celebrate integrity in its truest and humblest form. Its offerings are pioneering, not in the familiar technologies it uses but in its honesty and integrity. 

Kilner also makes sure The Ordinary exists to communicate with integrity and bring to market effective products at honorable prices. She says the brand thrives in honesty, fights innovation stagnancy, and celebrates the depth of innovation of products like Hylamide and NIOD

Since its launch in 2016, the brand has taken the skin care world by storm. There was even a point when a bottle of its Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum sold every 3 seconds. 

So, what makes The Ordinary anything but ordinary? 

Thanks to Kilner’s principles, the brand’s what-you-see-is-what-you-get strategy captures consumers’ attention. Its products provide customers the skin care ingredients they are looking for with a level of transparency that hasn’t always existed in the beauty industry. 

What’s more? 

The brand is also more affordable than other businesses—one can buy an effective serum and have enough money left to buy other things! This strategy attracts more consumers for The Ordinary. 

Below are two more secrets to The Ordinary’s success: 

  1. A Focus on Gender Inclusivity

According to an article from the Business of Fashion, over a third of Gen Z consumers know someone who prefers neutral pronouns… and how does The Ordinary apply that to its marketing strategy? 

Through the use of monochromatic packaging! 

Kilner says the brand is the “ultimate genderless skin care,” and its packaging is designed on purpose. In her words: 

“Since its conception, The Ordinary was never intended to target a specific gender identity in any capacity. The packaging of the line, much like the formulations, was always about being straight to the point and educational.” 

  1. Influencer Marketing

Since 2016, The Ordinary has benefited from the growth of “skinfluencers” on platforms like YouTube and TikTok

With skin care influencers like Hyram racking up millions of views on YouTube for videos about The Ordinary’s products, DECIEM keeps its marketing costs for the brand low. 

Besides, in today’s business landscape, influencers have the power to make or break a brand’s reputation. Influencer marketing has also led to more consumers relying on what a prominent figure has to say about a particular brand. 


According to Kilner, The Ordinary was born out of frustration, at a time when the industry was rife with misleading ads and basic ingredients sold at excessive prices. 

Because of these concerns, she and her team decided to launch a new brand that would offer honestly-priced products to consumers and educate them on ingredients. Since then, many of The Ordinary’s customers have gained greater knowledge about what they put on their skin, and what should be a fair price for it. 

As Kilner said: 

“What makes The Ordinary magical is that it belongs to everyone. We never create products based on a specific target because skin care should be accessible to all, regardless of gender, age, or economic status. Ultimately, we want to offer all human beings science-focused, high-quality, and educational formulations.” 

We hope Kilner and The Ordinary’s story inspire you to drive real, positive change in the industry you’re in too! 

Keep in mind that nowadays, consumers want to be involved AND informed about the composition of the products they use. So, if you truly want to make a difference in your field, stay true to your core values, and be transparent with your partners, staff, and target market. 

Have a great day ahead! 

“Quality today means being authentic, being different, being functional, being beautiful, and being sensibly priced.”
 – Nicola Kilner, Co-founder and CEO of The Ordinary

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”

Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy. 

… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.

The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole. 

What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?

At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success. 

Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators. 

However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.

We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.

Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful. 

Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
Powered by Valens Research 

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