Virginia Saussy: NOLA’s Marketing Maven

July 28 - On The Dot
It’s a great day to be a woman! Melinda Garvey here as your voice, with the mission to give women everywhere a place to be heard and tell their stories. We’d love to hear from you!

FIRST THOUGHT: On Building a Successful Brand

A well-known celebrity recently posted a photo on Instagram and revealed a little too much of a product’s brand wording as the caption. It said something like, “At 10 a.m., post a photo holding the product and say, ‘I couldn’t live without this stuff!’ ”

While the Internet totally L.O.L.’ed, it was also a reality check to many consumers that companies are using social media now more than ever to market their products. While some of this can be annoying, it’s also cool that we are now able to discover new things we love by simply accessing our smartphones.


Do you ever look at an advertisement and say to yourself, “What were they thinking?” Just the other day, I saw a commercial for push-up mascara that’s intended to act like a push-up bra. I was like, “Whaaat?!”

Apparently, I’m not alone. According to She-Conomy, which provides info on how to market to women, 91 percent of women think advertisers don’t understand them. That’s pretty dang crazy, considering women make between 80 and 85 percent of consumer purchases.

Advertisers would be smart to focus on women since our loyalty to a brand goes far beyond us individually; 92 percent of women say they send online deals they find to their friends and family. It seems like advertisers need to wise up so they don’t continue to miss real opportunities to gain a loyal following of ladies.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Virginia Saussy, Independent Marketing Consultant

At the time of Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, marketing guru Virginia Saussy was working with jewelry designer Mignon Faget. A week after the storm ravaged her city, she had to determine which stores needed to be rebuilt.

The jewelry company had to lay off 72 of its 80 employees, but Virginia found a solution to the problem. She helped create a campaign using Mignon Faget’s fleur-de-lis design, with a percentage of sales for the collection benefiting the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation. The move enabled the jeweler to generate revenue, raise funds for ravaged New Orleans and bring back all of its employees. A savvy marketer, Virginia helped grow the company from $1.3 million to $13 million in sales.

This quintessential NOLA lady is the founding member and creative force for one of the city’s most popular carnival organizations: The Krewe of Muses. It was the first all-female organization to parade at night in Uptown New Orleans and now has more than 1,000 riding members. When Virginia participated in the event five months after Hurricane Katrina, she said it was the first time she felt “normal” since the natural disaster.

With 30 years of experience, award-winning marketer Virginia worked with New Orleans confection studio Sucre. The boutique is known for its delicate macarons, which come in flavors like chicory and Southern pecan, as well as its signature chocolates and, of course, king cake, a traditional New Orleans specialty dessert. What was once a New Orleans-specific sweets boutique has now reached the national marketplace, thanks, in part, to Virginia, who helped expand distribution by more than 300 percent.

Virginia’s advice for young women just getting started in their careers comes down to just two words: Speak up! We couldn’t agree with her more.


Despite Hurricane Katrina’s devastating blow to New Orleans, Virginia Saussy used her creativity to inspire a city. With that in mind, take this advice from art director, designer and author George Lois:

“Creativity can solve almost any problem.”

That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

Get On The Dot in your inbox each day.
Copyright 2018 © On The Dot Woman - All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy