Updated: May 6
Edit (Feb 6th 2019):
As of 2018, Goop's partnership with Conde Nast has ended, citing the corporation's 'traditional' method of doing things as one of the reasons. Apparently, Conde Nast required Goop to fact-check every single informations being published on the magazine, while Goop, of course, wished to take the non-traditional route by interviewing non-medical practitioners, without questioning their medical correctness. The magazine is no longer published after only 2 issues.
The brand continued to grow. In 2019, it was announced that Goop just signed a deal with Netflix. Docuseries featuring original content by Goop will soon be available for us to enjoy on our screen!
That's my reaction everytime a new breakthrough product from Goop is introduced and (often) created a buzz. Goop - a lifestyle and wellness brand - founded by the Oscar-decorated actress Gwyneth Paltrow, have been pushing buttons since its presence as a weekly newsletter. Advices like vaginal steaming to a cleanse smoothie recipe with allegedly 200 $ worth of ingredients, along with cutting edge goods at astronomical prices, Goop might seem to established itself as a major WTF fest.
But if a 66 $ vagina-rejuvenating jade eggs could be sold out at Goop's website, Gwyneth's brand must have resonated to some people. A market that is significant enough to sustain the business and grew it to the brand that it is today. Reportedly, the website has 3.5 million unique visitors per month, with a demographic that includes women aged 25-45 earning more than 60,000 $ annual salary. Goop is a serious business.
The website has turned from weekly newsletters into a full-on lifestyle brand. Aside from providing contents and recipes, the website also sells a monthly-based subscription wellness program, with its own vitamins and supplements (named such as "Why am i so effing tired?" and "Balls in the air"), fashion items from high-end designers such as Stella McCartney and its own Goop Label, as well as luxurious homeware (a 1300 $ knife set, anyone?)
[One of Goop's controversial advices, inserting a jade egg into your vageen/ Goop.com]
[Spare 60$ and this thing supposed to sexify you / Goop.com]
[A set of 3 spoons for 1,200 $ / Goop.com]
[Goop's own fashion label /Goop.com]
Being a high-end lifestyle brand, Goop also understood the power of brand experience by installing pop-up shops across the US; Goop Mrkt, where people could literally pop-in and get all the Goop stuffs they desire. Accoring to a good friend of mine who went to its pop-up store in San Fransisco, even the sales staffs seem to be carefully selected in the name of good looks and diversity. A clear attention to detail.
Goop didn't just stop there, this year they succesfully organized its first ever wellness summit; In Goop Health. Tickets ranged from 500 to 1,500 $, and they are sold out. Activities inside the summit include chrystal reading, aura photo dome (in case you wanna know what color is your 'aura'), meditation area, oxygen bar, discussion panels, and an all-you-can-eat clean food restaurant. Seems like a place i'd never end up in, but many Goop devotees were very keen to be there.
[Goop Mrkt in New York / Goop.com]
POWER OF BAD PRESS
Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop have received countless numbers of criticism. She has been constantly criticized by not only the media but also doctors, health professionals, and even NASA (yep, NA-effing-SA, you must have pushed a lot of buttons to make NASA come after you). Her advices have been 'debunked' many times and have been called as 'pseudoscience', dangerous, and fake.
Moreover, they were criticized for being completely 'disconnected' to the real world, due to its high-priced product offering.
But being a Hollywood star herself with high-profile career, Gwyneth does not seem to mind with all the bad press. In fact, she seems to give zero fucks. That is one thing that she at least clearly understands. She knows that bad press is good press, and will only help to energize Goop's publicity.
Goop also dare to clap back to each of its critics. It is a move that even a Harvard Business School analyst considered as 'calculated' in order to strengthen the brand and even draw their customers closer by defending their ideology. Branding analysts actually believe that every dart thrown Goop's way, would only be the foundation of its very own church. And that's where the followers will continue to worship.
[Entertainment Tonight's producer bravely gone through her day trying out Goop's cleanse recipe / Entertainment Tonight channel on YouTube]
EYE ON THE PRIZE
Another point that drives Gwyneth's success is the simple fact that she works hard. She confessed in a Linkedin interview about her serious appetite for data and constantly thinking on how she could turn her dream into reality; turning Goop into a global lifestyle brand. Sounds extra ambitious, but hey, she already went so far.
Seems like Gwyneth also chose the right people to help the company grow further. In 2014, she hired Lisa Gersh, former CEO of longtime lifestyle guru Martha Stewart's company. The move sparked a feud between Gwyneth and Marta to a point that they dissed each other in their own recipes and contents (which was reaaaally entertaining to see).
Gwyneth's plan was that she needed to back off from the brand a little bit in order for the brand to grow and be taken seriously. After Lisa helped Goop to be a credible e-commerce lifestyle website, she left and Gwyneth now puts on the CEO hat.
[Goop Mrkt exterior at the Hamptons / Goop.com]
[Goop's wellness summit panel speakers that includes Gwyneth, Cameron Diaz, Tory Burch, Nicole Richie, and Miranda Kerr / John Salangsang/BFA.com]
THE GOOP SAMARITAN
What might be overlooked is that there is a sizable amount of people who are very much into alternative ways of healty living, along with some methods already been adopted by alot of healthy-conscious society such as juicing, meditating, and clean eating. Sometimes they are extremely unorthodox and might seem pretty absurd, but it does have a strong following. Let's take the practice of 'cupping' as an example, how many people claimed that it looks batshit crazy? Yet even world class athletes are on board these days.
Point is, Gwyneth becomes the voice of this alternative, unothodox, and pretty much anti-establishment healthy-living movement. It surely does not come cheap, and can almost be categorized as 'the new kind of luxury'. But judging by Goop's success, this kind of 'luxury' isn't slowing down anytime soon.
The basic concept of Goop is selling a particular 'taste' and Goop knows exactly its audience, and able to offer them the stuffs they actually want, instead of simply being a celebrity-associated brand. Which differs Gwyneth from other celebrity entrepreneurs.
[Chrystal reading session at In Goop Health summit / Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com]
After the summit, Goop also expanded its empire by announcing its first ever print magazine to be called, well, Goop. By partnering with Conde Nast, one of the leading groups in luxury and lifestyle publications with titles like Vogue and Vanity Fair, the fate of Goop the magazine should certainly be in good hands.
[Goop magazine's premier issue/ Goop.com]
At the end of the day, Gwyneth has the last laugh. Goop's revenue reportedly doubled from 2015 to 2016, as well as securing partnertships with big brands like Tumi and Netflix. The reason being Goop's ultimate influence in the wellness industry and its market audience that these companies want to tap into. Does not sound too bad for a much-loathed business!
She also just launched a collaboration with the celebrated shoe designer Christian Louboutin. Integrating the business' keenness for simple, practical, yet chic aesthetics, the collection was born thanks Gwyneth's longtime friendship with Monsieur Louboutin (and that is the perks of having friends in fabulous places, and using it very well), it is available exclusively on Goop's website. This could be a sign of Goop's deeper expansion to the luxury fashion sector.
[Gwyneth Paltrow and Christian Louboutin / Emily Berl ]
Growing up in a family who's dad was a film producer and mom was a succesful actress, Gwyneth has been living a privileged life. She is not, and never will be, relatable. Neither is she trying to be relatable to the masses. But if there's one thing we can take on from her is her savvyness in exploiting her privileged life. And instead of flaunting some bling like what Hollywood nouveau riches do, her expensive taste is in the gluten-free flour used for baking five-spice muffins (whatever the fuck that is), and a fair amount of people are more than happy to grab them.
Alot of people, but not me.
People who know me well can tell you that I am far away from being a vegan nor am I a 'clean eater'. So living the Goop life clearly isn't for me. But I must admit that considering the many eyerolls in the crowd, including mine, i am very much surprised by how Goop has truly become, and it is indeed very fascinating.
And eventhough I am not defending Gwyneth nor her site, among the unusual things they endorse there are actually somewhat 'sensible' advices and recipes that are no different than what you find in other lifestyle and wellness websites.
Oh, and those ultra expensive products Goop endorsed are just as expensive as other luxury goods. Yet there aren't many articles on the net bitching about the price of a crocodile handbag or a watch. Just saying!
Well, it ain't anyone's cup of (detox) tea..But we'll see how far Goop goes. As for me, no mushroom smoothie thank you.