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Laura Conlon of ‘Welly’: “Be good to your team”

Create good product. Be good to your team. Live the values. Share the values. Connect with your customers. As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview Laura Conlon. Laura Conlon serves as the VP of Marketing at Welly, a reactive healthcare brand […]

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Create good product. Be good to your team. Live the values. Share the values. Connect with your customers.


As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview Laura Conlon.

Laura Conlon serves as the VP of Marketing at Welly, a reactive healthcare brand focused on premium first aid inclusive of bandages, ointments, and tools, that carries the perfect sized travel kit to throw into any bag when you’re ready to go.

Laura has a varied background across large and small CPG and Retail brands. She’s led integrated media and marketing plans for start-ups, agencies and retail. Her true love is being part of a challenger team. Creativity comes with constraints and finding ways to break through by putting a spotlight on great products.

Her focus over the years has been leading with content that tells a story through earned media, social, influencers and customers. While loving the physical retail environment, she also knows digital pathways are convenient for people looking to research, learn and buy. As a mom of three littles herself, she’s well versed in the efficiency of making an online purchase — and the power of great reviews!

Laura’s belief is that when a business is doing good, it must do good in the world as well. Her team focuses on ways to make sure the Welly World is positive in our own offices (or virtual offices), as well as a positive impact in the world where we live, work and play.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Truly, it’s been a path of saying “yes” to new experiences, and meeting people willing to take a chance on me. I love blending creativity and business understanding, and marketing offers that every day.

Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Mistakes & mis-steps are all part of the learning path. I once pitched technology stories to a food editor and got an earful about doing my research. I certainly have never made a call without doing my research in 20 years since.

My favorite was when I first started working with a video game company, and I was assigned to invite the bloggers who reviewed the games to a launch event. At first, I didn’t want to waste the time of some of the executives with an introduction to these young bloggers. My mistake. These were the most important people in the room. They understood the games in detail, and had a huge influence on how well the games did out of the gate. I learned to truly understand where influence came from based on the world views around a brand. It’s not always the obvious choice that can make the biggest impact.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Welly stands out because we were designed with real people in mind. We make products that people actually need, in designs and with functions that are practical and playful to make these a purchase people want to make.

The reviews are my favorite stories. People tell us every day that they bought a Welly tin because of the stylish prints & patterns — but are delighted to realize the products WORK!

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We are always looking at pain points to solve. One thing we look at are the products that people use in large quantities and work to make Welly more practical for them.

We JUST launched a larger box of Welly Face Savers + Thin Tin, which consists of transparent bandages designed for discrete face coverage. Our Face Savers are our one of our most frequently repeated purchase items, and we also know that people like to bring Face Savers with them, so we made a super thin tin that people can put a few Face Savers in, and keep them in their back pocket, clutch, car & back pack easily. Looking at how Welly works in our fans’ lifestyles & responding is core to our success.

Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?

Branding is the DNA of the product, company and the people behind it. Advertising is telling that story to the masses.

Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?

Well, to me, I believe in spending resources on making the product awesome first. That’s the core. You can’t do anything well without awesome product. Then the brand is about understanding the worldview of the company — what does it stand for, why does it exist, who is this for? Advertising is about bringing the brand to the people it works for today. Product first, define the brand, then shout it from the rooftops.

Can you share 5 strategies that a company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand?

Create good product. Be good to your team. Live the values. Share the values. Connect with your customers.

In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved brand. What specifically impresses you?

I mean, everyone knows this one, but Patagonia. They live their values as a company, in their products and where they put their resources to support in doing good in the world. Truly, Patagonia lives their values inside and out.

In advertising, one generally measures success by the number of sales. How does one measure the success of a brand building campaign? Is it similar, is it different?

The brand builds the moat around the product, the media shines a light on it. Engagement of the campaign and awareness lift are all metrics on brand success.

What role does social media play in your branding efforts?

At Welly, it’s very important. It’s where we talk and engage with our fans. Where we try out content and learn from our mistakes. We get feedback on new products and watch the engagement. We use it as a tremendous listening platform.

What advice would you give to other marketers or business leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

Take breaks. I love to run in the mornings to get time to do something totally unrelated to my work. I know that’s what everyone says, but it’s true. If you become a work machine, the work shows like work — not like a brand you want to love.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Find a way to do good, and you’ll never regret it. Shine a light on an important issue, raise money, donate goods and lift others up. Or, find a brand you admire that you want to see succeed — then tag them, write a positive review and be part of their everyday success.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

You must be more clever than wise.

Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of KNOWING the answers in this wild ride. So trusting your instincts, and trying new things is where the creative thinking grows.

We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Well, is having breakfast with someone IRL a thing these days? But, Yvon Chouinard, would be pretty amazing.

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