How Cult-Brand Glossier Take Over Beauty Industry?

Glossier is quite possibly the coolest beauty brand in 2010s, created by a team that prides itself on being total makeup and skincare geeks. An e-commerce site for cosmetics and skin care products, began its journey as an esteemed beauty blog by Emily Weiss, Into The Gloss, which documented the beauty regimens of inspiring women around the world.

As the very first socially-driven beauty brand, its Instagram feed grew to 184,000 followers before the brand even launched, after it launched in 2014, it gained a following and allure unique in the beauty space. Women took notice — Millennials in particular — and Into the Gloss quickly attracted more than 1 million visitors per month. In less than 3 years, Glossier which consists of just 24 products that range in price from $12 to $25, has become one of the industry’s biggest disruptors. According to Weiss, revenues are up 600% year over year and the brand has been able to triple their active customer count in the past year. After secured $24 million in series B funding in Nov 2016, Glossier was able to expand beyond its US e-commerce site and New York showroom and began shipping internationally to France, the UK and Canada this year.

Glossier’s ethos is about celebrating real girls, in real life. It turns each one of their follower in to an influencer in real life. This chic beauty brand listening to its community to another level by crafting products based on what loyal followers’ really want based on their comments and feedbacks. Instagram and Into The Gloss’ platform provided an ongoing conversation that customers could engage with on a daily basis.

“I see all those readers as my co-conspirators,” Weiss says. “We’ve created a community around each woman discovering and defining her own idea of beauty and showing her how to do it, not being force-fed that idea by fashion magazines and cosmetic companies.”

Since the brand launched, their marketing, editorial and customer service teams have taken turns responding to all social media comments publicly or by direct message and collect all the reflects from their followers. It enables the social team to identify what their audience responds most positively to, allowing them to make informed, strategic decisions based on the findings. What’s more, everything about Glossier is created to be ‘insta-worthy’ and to spark conversation.

One more interesting fact about Glossier’s influencer marketing strategy is that instead of collaborating with big influencers, they tend to partner with “micro-influencers” with fewer followers but really high engagement rates on their posts. As a result, Glossier is able to reach more niche audiences who are more likely to convert.

“That power of the individual person — just the girl — is infinite” Weiss said.

When it’s time to bring this ‘Pinky’s Dream’ to reality, Glossier has launched several very successful experiential marketing events — hosting showrooms in France, London, Dallas, and Toronto. The London pop-up was located in the fancy and affluent Marylebone area for one week in the middle of November, a few weeks after Glossier started shipping to UK. A long queue had already began forming before Wednesday morning when it opened its doors for customers. The London consumers were able to buy all their favourite Glossier products and take pictures with absolutely gorgeous backgrounds. I visited the showroom and the experience was like the Glossier Instagram page come to life. The Victoria house full of beautiful flowers featured pink walls, airy curtains, clean white surfaces, mirrored walls etched with “You Look Good,” and a retro-chic furnished entryway. It was the ideal setting for their Instagram obsessed users.

Glossier Showroom In London

Glossier started strong with a loyal fan base and demonstrated values of quality, fun, and accessibility. This combined with their smart early use of social media led to a growing audience on Instagram, many of whom were regular women excited to see products that worked for them. Glossier rewarded these early fans and made many of them models, brand evangelists, and even employees. This led to the growth/explosion of their product. They expertly took advantage and leaned into this, using Instagram as a primary communication tool both with customers and for product launches, and also maintaining an appealing and cohesive visual image as a brand that translates perfectly to a photo sharing app.

In the age of online access and unending choice, customer engagement — that personal, emotional, loyalty-inspiring connection to a company — is increasingly important for a brand to rise above the fray. While legacy brands struggle to create this connection with millennials, Weiss seems to innately understand it. It is safe to say Glossier significantly changed the beauty industry.