Carly Broderick is no novice to the retail industry. With several decades of retail experience under her belt, including nearly 10 years spent with Target as a senior buyer and director across multiple categories (toys, pharmaceuticals, sporting goods, skincare, bath, and fragrances), Broderick knows exactly what big-box retailers are looking for. That’s where Miles, a personal care brand designed for the tween/teen category comes in. Broderick spoke with Inside Retail about launching deodor
dorant and other maintenance products for this budding, occasionally funky, consumer market. Inside Retail: How did the idea for Miles come about? Carly Broderick: During the early stages of Covid in the spring of 2020, we were in lockdown and my kids and I were experiencing remote learning for the first time. My son was 10 years old [at the time] and in a health class on puberty, but because of remote learning, he and I were going through the curriculum together. It got me thinking about how he would soon need deodorant. As I thought about what products I would get for him, I realized there was no “go-to” personal care brand for teens and tweens during this period of tremendous change in their lives. IR: What do you think is the current whitespace within the personal care market? How does Miles address these areas of opportunity? CB: I got really excited about the whitespace in personal care for highly effective products using ingredients parents can feel good about, at an affordable price, and presented in a brand designed for tweens and teens. Miles delivers on four must-haves: 1) It works: Miles deodorant is clinically proven to prevent body odor for 24 hours. It has to – because puberty is fierce. 2) Miles uses naturally derived and naturally sourced ingredients – because parents care about what their kids are putting in and on their bodies. (Magnesium Hydroxide and Sodium Bicarbonate are both naturally occurring compounds that help to eliminate odor-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin; safflower oil and mango seed butter moisturize the skin and improve the glide upon application and hyaluronic acid and aloe leaf extract soothe skin. In the antiperspirant, sunflower seed oil and aloe leaf extract help moisturize the skin, tapioca starch made from the cassava plant helps absorb moisture on the skin’s surface and aluminum helps to prevent sweat.) 3) Miles glides on smoothly, without tugging sensitive teen skin, and is hypoallergenic. 4) The scents are distinctive and noticeable but not overpowering, and were developed in partnerships with teenagers. All of this is wrapped in an inclusive, gender-neutral brand that celebrates the individuality and uniqueness of Gen Z and Gen Alpha. IR: Prior to launching Miles, you had been in the retail industry for several decades, including almost 10 years spent at Target as a senior buyer and director. How do feel your professional background aided you in building your brand? CB: My previous experience has taught me how important it is to be laser-focused on your brand’s audience – what they want, what they need, and how they experience the current pain points in the category. At Miles, we have designed our products and our brand to be the go-to solution for teens and tweens to help out busy parents with one less choice to make when caring for their kids. Additionally, knowing what my retail partners are looking for (having been in their shoes as a buyer) helps me make fast decisions and be able to speak their language to collaborate more quickly. IR: What have been the biggest highlights and setbacks you’ve experienced in building the business thus far? CB: The biggest highlight for me has been seeing how much Miles is resonating with teens, tweens, and their parents, and knowing that Miles is filling the whitespace that previously existed in personal care. I love hearing from everyone how much they love Miles. My biggest setback was when supply chain challenges driven by the pandemic delayed the launch of Miles at retail by a full year. It was expensive, frustrating, and ultimately led to some less-than-optimal conditions when Miles did launch in stores. IR: What are your top priorities for the brand over the next 12 months? CB: We have an exciting new scent launching in Q1. And Miles will be expanding into other personal care categories beginning next year. IR: What is a piece of advice that you wish you would have been able to give to yourself when you were at the beginning of your brand journey? CB: Oh, there is a lot of advice I’d give myself! One of the biggest learnings I’ve had is there are countless ways to spend marketing dollars and I’ve stayed focused on the marketing tactics that help build a relationship with Miles’ consumers. Another piece of advice I’d give is to employ experts to help vet and select manufacturing partners. IR: What do you love most about working in the retail industry? CB: Retail never stands still and opportunities constantly present themselves! I love building a challenger brand in personal care and love seeing other brands bring innovation and disruption to category norms while solving consumer needs the way that Miles is striving to do.