Happy Sunday! I mentioned in a recent post that I wanted to write a full blog on the beauty brand Glossier – a brand that even though sounds French, was founded in New York City. Founder Emily Weiss, who had a brief stint on The Hills as well as jobs at W Magazine and Vogue, began with the blog Into the Gloss.
The makeup and skincare company has taken the beauty industry by storm and made millennial pink a colour no longer for little girls but a colour recognised as owned by the global brand. The beauty industry is incredibly saturated, so how did Glossier gain success?
Glossier immediately stood out from the pack by creating a few cult products which are a mix of makeup and skincare. Their products do not claim to provide full coverage or to conceal. Instead, their say their USP is they enhance a woman’s natural beauty. Is this the new trend in the beauty industry? Are we leaving behind the days of heavy foundation and even heavier eyebrows? Are we moving into an era when the ‘natural glow’ is what we use 250 products to achieve?
So how did I hear about Glossier in the first place? Through my addiction of watching beauty and lifestyle influencers on youtube talking about their favourite products. Weiss realised that an expensive marketing campaign was not necessary and instead focused solely on infiltrating this blogger/vlogger community. Glossier now has a huge and active social media following through Instagram, Youtube and their blog Into the Gloss.
They also took it one step further by believing that every single customer has the power to become an influencer. So, unlike other brands that only pay well-known personalities to promote a product, Glossier relies on the authentic devotion of its loyal following – some of which just so happen to have a powerful social presence.
Glossier creates buzz about product releases by sending freebies to influencers and loyal customers before they’re widely available. This encourages organic reviews, blogs, and Instagram posts – all of which contribute to hype and excitement surrounding the brand. In order to expand on this kind of social influence, Glossier has also created a referral program, which offers money-off incentives to people who refer the brand over Facebook or Twitter.
By using its customers to create a cycle of advocacy, Glossier ensures that its dedicated fan-base continues to expand. Most influencers have an organic growth, meaning their followers trust their opinions and purchase decisions- they see them as one of ‘them’, rather than a corporate giant trying to empty their pockets.
So as I live in New York now, and Glossier is available for me to purchase both in-store and online, what is my honest impression of it?
Well, I went to the showroom expecting it to be straight from the photos on Instagram, full of pink roses, couches and stacked full of glorious life-changing products. And honestly? I was a little disappointed. The place was packed, which definitely took from the atmosphere but it was packed for the main reason that the showroom is TINY. Each product was displayed on its own island which may look aesthetically pleasing but just meant it was crowded by many perfectly manicured millennial hands trying to get their hand on the product.
It definitely isn’t the place to stroll around for a while deciding what to buy, it had more of an in-and-out feel. Feeling the pressure of needing to buy something after trekking in all the way out to Soho I purchased two balm dot-coms (ended up getting three as they were on offer). And what do I think? Well, I have one on my desk in work and although it is incredibly pleasing to look at I’m not sure the product has been as life-changing as some of the influencers had made me believe. The other products may be better but for now, I think I’m comfortable chucking on as much makeup as my face will allow.
So although it may not have been life-changing, I still went and bought it.
You can’t fault their marketing strategy.