Case study

Transforming a cult hit into a household favorite.


When Supergoop launched in 2007, it quickly gained cult status as an innovative beauty brand. It’s mission? Pack SPF into fun and feel-good formulas. Over the years, the company has cultivated a strong following, supported by its relationships with third-party retailers and partners like Sephora. With their e-commerce sales steadily rising, Supergoop saw an opportunity to grow its direct-to-consumer (DTC) business.

AKDM set out to define a holistic marketing strategy to drive sustained brand and business growth across SEO, paid social, display, digital video, and paid search. We future-proofed the company’s business model by building a strong DTC business, and our work allowed the company to thrive, even during the coronavirus pandemic, while retail partner sales underperformed.


We analyzed Supergoop!'s creative and testing strategies to help the brand discover how to broaden its customer base, taking a sophisticated approach that focused on second-tier audiences and emerging urban centers. Expanding beyond the core demographic of Millennial women was critical and we had an opportunity to reach new consumers within Supergoop's existing audience profile who might not have discovered the products on their own. After all, SPF is for everyone, so we explored means of deepending our penetration within the Millennial market while expanding our targeting to reach men and parents.

The strategy worked. We set ambitious, measurable growth goals, and within a month, we met each one, but we didn’t stop there.

Testing was key to our success. We developed frameworks to test different channels—Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and native advertising. First-party data from Supergoop helped us understand customer segments. At the same time, creative tests allowed us to optimize campaigns across product alignment, messaging, and copy.

Despite COVID-19 shutdowns to retail stores in the spring of 2020 we still exceeded our original growth targets. By May, we’d more than doubled our original projections.

What we did

  • Business intelligence
  • Audience development
  • Media ecosystem design
  • Projection modeling
  • SEO
  • Paid search, display, and social
  • Creative strategy
  • Testing strategy & measurement planning
  • Funnel attribution
“I saw firsthand how AKDM could reshape the trajectory of a business at my previous company, so when I joined Supergoop it was clear we needed to bring on their firepower. AKDM brings the perfect combination of strategic, data-driven creative thinking to every engagement.”
Caroline Homlish
VP Direct-to-Consumer

By the numbers

YoY ecommerce growth
YoY increase in new customers acquired in 2020
Overperformance during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic
new product launch campaigns

3 big takeaways


Strategy and execution go hand-in-hand

Collaborating on a strategic vision

It’s essential to gather the right tools and information before hitting the ground running.

We kicked things off with a 6-week business intelligence immersion which helped us fully understand the business and identify the gaps before taking over any accounts.

This initial analysis allowed us to hone in on a core strategy. Together with Supergoop!, we aligned around a new approach to attracting and converting a broader audience.


Test at every turn

Every strategy is a working hypothesis you can continue to validate.

We approach every strategy as a working hypothesis that we continually validate.

We looked for ongoing opportunities to learn and iterate with three types of testing: channel, targeting, and creative. We improved performance up and down the funnel by running concurrent tests and isolating specific variables within our campaigns.

Our data-driven and efficient approach allowed us to grow our existing Millennial audience, while also identifying new audiences to market to.


Earn bigger dividends by investing in your brand

Healthy growth

Growing through third-parties can be a viable strategy, but it's always critical to ensure a strong brand and maintain your own presence through primary sales channels and relationships. These include better profit margins and more customer insights by collecting and leveraging first-party data. This becomes a positive feedback loop and allows you to get smarter as a business and build stronger customer relationships.

For Supergoop!, we collected and segmented customer data and used it to inform campaigns and measure efficacy. This approach uncovered new opportunities, including upselling existing customers with specific, targeted creative campaigns.

When the pandemic shut off traditional retail channels, we already had a robust e-commerce engine in place. Investing in its brand was the best move for Supergoop!.

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