Radical Vulnerability: How Tina Müller saved Douglas

How much should you share on LinkedIn? For Tina Müller, ‘almost everything’ seems to be the winning formula.

Tina Müller, CEO of the perfumery chain Douglas, has successfully turned around a company that was struggling to adapt to the challenges of e-commerce. In less than two years, her messaging and active social media presence on both Twitter and LinkedIn have changed the face of the failing company.

The effect of this on the business is clear. In 2014, Douglas saw a huge fall in revenue to €2,093.3m. Tina joined Douglas as CEO in 2017, and in a single year the company’s revenue jumped by almost €500m.

A quick scan of Tina’s social media reveals a mixture of personal photos and thoughts, opinions on articles that she is reading, and a distinctly feminist perspective on business. These are usually coupled with uncompromising statements: “Stop believing false narratives about women and acknowledge that gender inequality needs to be fixed!”

Tina tells a clear story through her online presence. She is a fierce advocate of women in business. She is an excellent manager who keeps her team at the fore of her decision-making. Most importantly, she is a relatable, radically vulnerable, portrait of a woman in a male-dominated space.

And who could be better to lead a brand whose mission is to help women feel empowered. Tina’s messaging reveals to customers that she is one of them. Customers can trust Tina to create products designed perfectly for them, because she can empathise with their needs.

Of course, the changing fate of the company is not solely the result of a strong social media presence: Tina has won awards for her managerial prowess. However, her social media presence paints the picture of a woman who allows her values and experience to shape her business practice.

This presence, in turn, feeds into her excellent reputation to stakeholders, staff and customers alike. In showing her authentic self online, Tina has gained one of the most important assets in business: trust.

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