Since Revolve Group’s Raissa Gerona was last a guest on the Glossy Podcast four years ago, a lot has changed about the company and Gerona’s priorities as chief brand officer. For starters, Revolve has entered the beauty category and begun growing a menswear business. It’s also appointed Kendall Jenner as creative director of its luxury-focused e-tailer, FWRD. And — oh, yeah — it’s gone public.
As for Gerona, she’s expanded her marketing focuses far beyond influencer trips and Instagram — after all, Revolve has a reputation for innovating to uphold. However, she did confirm that the annual Revolve Festival will again take place this year at Coachella.
“In the last couple of years, I’ve [focused on] figuring out how to evolve the brand,” Gerona said on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. “A lot of brands have adopted a lot of the things we were doing, and the influencer landscape changed significantly because every single type of company is now using influencers. That’s incredible for the influencer economy, but it’s tough on brands.”
She added, “I’m excited to put forward something that feels new and refreshing, and that will also sustain growth for the next couple of years.”
In addition to changing up Revolve’s influencer strategy, Gerona discussed the factors driving 20-year-old Revolve Group’s recent mega-growth, doubling its annual revenue from $500 million to $1 billion in three years. She also talked about how the company is leveraging more social media platforms, from YouTube Shorts to Instagram Reels, in part, to safeguard against potential bans and policy changes.
Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
Fewer influencer trips, more influence
“The influencer landscape has changed significantly from when we first started doing our influencer trips. We first did a Revolve Around The World [trip] before it was called Revolve Around The World, in 2014 — so nine years ago, officially. And we started with two influencers. And obviously, that has evolved; we’ve done more than 130 trips, with an average of 15 trips a year. We were probably the first to do it. But now, everyone is doing it. And so, we’ve really put that on the back burner, quite frankly. The content feels dated, to me — just because we’ve been doing it for so long. Our customers always challenge us to do better, to think outside the box, to excite them and to inspire them. Trips will always be a part of what we do, but we’re not going to do them as frequently — just because that content is over-served to the consumer on social media, across every single platform. It’s really important for us to evolve. And that’s me and my team’s focus now and for the next coming years.”
The perfect pace of growth
“The entire executive leadership team is thinking about how we can grow the company. And what’s great is that there’s not really a rush — it’s not ‘if’ we’re gonna get there, but it’s a matter of ‘when.’ It’s an incredible mentality to have as a team to know that we’re working toward the same goals and we want to grow the business. Who doesn’t want to grow as fast as possible? But I also think there are potential dangers to growing really fast. The business has been around for 20 years. As someone who’s worked there for 11 years, it gives me peace of mind knowing that we have very senior leadership that understands the ebbs and flows of the business, and that’s gone through multiple recessions and obviously Covid — we’ve never experienced anything like this before. In 2019, we were doing $500 million in [annual] revenue, and then we just crossed $1 billion in revenue in 2022. The fact that the business can grow so quickly blows my mind. So I’m absolutely excited for what’s to come. I know that we have a lot of opportunities that we can go after. It’s just about picking and choosing the priorities and [carrying them out] as well as possible.”
The case for YouTube Shorts
“What I’ve been saying to my team is that there’s absolutely no risk on YouTube Shorts. One, Google is an American-based company, so there’s not going to be any potential for a ban from the government. And then, two, the second-most-visited site in the entire world is YouTube — and it’s been around for so long. So it’s proven, and it’s safe. And I think it’s something that every single brand and creator should definitely be considering.”