I was inspired to develop a capstone project related to Glossier. Ever since I
discovered them, I realized that in this cult brand I had found my voice in beauty matters. I felt found in their philosophy, vision, and aesthetics. This encouraged me to dig deeper into one of my favorite brands and one of my favorite industries. Glossier is currently growing exponentially and they are leading the beauty trends and market. In order to keep this advantage, and stay ahead of the game, there
are many strategies to consider. I wanted to focus my capstone project in crafting a social media, influencer-based, marketing campaign that allows customer development for the brand towards the Generation Z consumer. As well, I wanted to put to work my content creation abilities, covering different areas of the Glossier world. Keeping DNA on point, but leaving space for creativity too.
It all began back in 2010 with Into The Gloss, a website dedicated to beauty that explores the routines of inspiring women. The site has grown into the top online destination to read about makeup, skincare, hair, and health. ITG is a space where readers can come not only to learn about routines, but to celebrate their own approach to beauty and the products they love most. You could say that Glossier is distilled from years of recommendations from the coolest girls on the planet.
Glossier is laying the foundation for a beauty movement that celebrates real
girls, in real life. They offer a new way of thinking about (and shopping for) beauty products. Because “beauty” should be fun, easy, imperfect, and personal. Above all, we believe that you give life to products-products don’t breathe life into you. Our product philosophy is summarized by the idea that “skincare is essential and makeup is a choice.”
“Geeking out over beauty is fun, and we’re lucky to
have a community of like minded Glossier girls who
get it. We’re the beauty brand that wants to be friends
with you, mostly because we’re not so much a brand as we are real people over here just trying to rethink the beauty industry and have a good time doing it.”
Millennial pink is the soul of the brand identity and is best accompanied by a lot of white and soft color palettes. Natural, minimal and close up photography is the aesthetic Glossier content follows. Social media is the main communication channel for Glossier content, all production must be designed for this purposes. All brand content must transfer a real, fun, easy, imperfect, and personal mood. Above all the girls must give life to products, products shouldn't breathe life into the girls.
What truly makes Glossier unique, is being known as an â€œindie brand.â€? A phenomenon of independently owned companies,
directed by a new breed of entrepreneurs that are progressive, creative and not afraid to rewrite the rules of traditional business. Logically, our competitive analysis requires going deep into the internet, where we can find beauty specialty retailers and social media masters that truly represent a threat to the brandâ€™s market share. We looked for brands that have similar product ranges, price ranges, philosophies, target customers, and moods.
“Yes, we’ll never stop loving our Dior mascara, Tom Ford lipstick, and Laura Mercier foundation, but
there’s a thrill to discovering a little-known product
from a cult beauty brand that just can’t be matched.”
Currently, Glossier is in a great moment of growth and prosperity. They are one of the
best known and beloved cult brand. They are leading trends in the industry, in all different aspects, aesthetics, products, and philosophy. Though, in order to maintain this status and manage growth properly, they must strive to survive the trend shifting and remain meaningful to the market. Keeping up their key competitive advantage, social media management, is the best way to overcome competition and increase their loyal fan base.
** Outstanding social media management
** Posses the qualities of cruelty-free and transparent
** Brand is instructive of ingredients and overall product information
** Bundle packages, ambassador program, friends referrals are offered
** Bold and well-positioned aesthetic, brand identity, culture, and vision ** Good innovative technology usage on their website
** Constant and engaging pop-up stores in key geographic locations ** Business model is disrupting and redefining the beauty industry ** Strong loyal fan base and engaged social community ** Currently leading trends in the beauty market
** Substantial editorial support from Into The Gloss
** Good public relations strategies with digital media partnerships
** Focused on a small niche market, must grow to survive through trends and upcoming beauty brands ** Growth must be handled carefully, in order to stay a "cult brand" ** Limited retail strategy and brick-and-mortar locations
** Shipping is limited to certain countries and they are struggling to expand internationally ** Brand must work towards staying meaningful once market trends shift ** DiďŹƒculties regarding scaling and managing supply chain
** Limited free shipping, and no free testers/samples before purchase
** Current industry trends are in favor of the brand
** Living through the awakening of independent beauty brands
** Increase target customer through their social media advantage
** Plenty of room left to expand their product assortment within the existing categories and create new ones
** Possible exploration of opportunities such as personalization and brand extensions, like leisure wear and traveling sizes ** Increase their experiential marketing through temporary stores (pop-ups) to analyze possible international expansion ** Collaboration with other emerging brands and influencers that share similar values
** Possible creation of a physical space/activity that brings the social media community to reality in different events
** Beauty is an overcrowded marketplace
** Generation Z, totally different from millennials, will soon become the main target customer ** Lack of further retail strategy expansion, special in the brick-and-mortar scenario
** Drugstore beauty rebranding presents a threat, especially because of pricing strategy and physical advantage.
** Current trends will eventually shift, a plan must be developed to succeed through this and keep leading the industry ** Buyouts possibilities from giants in the beauty industry
** Combating bad reviews online/social media and keeping a good mouth-to-mouth strategy
“Glossier is about living in—and embracing—the now, not the past, and not the future. It’s about fun and
freedom and being OK with yourself today. It’s about
being nice to people and knowing that a smile begets a smile. Snobby isn’t cool, happy is cool.”
In a year of ominous retail news, beauty stands out as a promising market. As cosmetics and skincare are experiential categories, it’s important for online retailers to help customers experience the product in the most detailed way possible, via swatches, free trials and with transparency in ingredients and manufacturing. Consumers are more savvy than ever, and those who do not already know what they’re looking for may move on if they find your product’s ingredients confusing. They want to know as much as possible about what they purchase, how it’s used, and what it contains.
Spurred by pressure from social media and the success of Rihannaâ€™s Fenty Beauty line, retailers highlight wider shade selections and options for a diverse customer base. Advertising and messaging reinforce a retailerâ€™s inclusivity, such as Milk Makeup's campaign with male beauty site Very Good Light, or Wet n Wild claiming its foundation has been tested on multiple skin tones.
â€œPromoting diversity and creating an inclusive beauty brand is more than just offering a wide range of makeup shades.
Consider the importance of representation among models and products highlighted in e-commerce storefronts. The darkest shade of foundation should not feel like a specialty product.â€?
Auto-replenishment buttons allow customers to reorder without returning to the site, a potential win for both shopper and the brand. Incentivising shoppers to buy from them rather than from a third-party retailer. Replenishment options, loyalty rewards, and free gifts with purchase are ways to create conversion and returning customers. An evolution of the beautycounter gift-with-purchase for the Millennial and Gen Z consumer, beauty brands highlight package deals and offer complimentary extras to entice online shoppers. K-Beauty site Peach & Lily touts referral rewards, Ulta allows users to sort by special offer, Milk Makeup offers free accessories with a purchase and Glossier bundles items for extra savings.
Establishing a strong visual identity is a must for retailers to stand out in a sea of options. For consumers seeking an alternative to the overwhelming product offerings from mega-retailers such as Sephora and Ulta, some online merchants take a simple, cleaner approach. This is a popular aesthetic choice among specialty retailers such as eco-friendly Herbivore and celebrity favorite Violet Grey, who highlight the purity of natural products or use it to create a sense of luxury.
Glossier is one of the top independent beauty brands of the moment, they are widely
celebrated because of their social media presence and this "millennial pink culture" they have created around their philosophy. The brand is widely known by industry insiders and those lucky regular people that "discovered" Glossier. The brand is seen through the eyes of the customers as an amazing cruelty-free, natural, easy, and reasonably priced friend that
understands them. This being the backbone of the company. Glossier must keep their mysterious, cult brand background as they expand, most would
argue this is their magic. But, keeping this magic doesn't mean they have to be small forever, it just means that they must come up with a wonderful marketing plan to grow, and remain small at the same time. Surprisingly, they don't collaborate much with influencers. They do
collaborate with a couple of celebrities and industry insiders, but this doesn't help them expand their market, the voice is kept it the same range, in the same circle. After researching and analyzing the Glossier customer, I have decided that the best way to
expand their clientele is to look forward, to Generation Z. I came up with six different influencers
that will grow the community through social media. Acting as ambassadors of the brand and sharing a real message of how they use Glossier products in their everyday life. These six personalities, cover different grounds and together will be able to reach out to those teens who truly identify with the message of the brand.
Women from their early 20s to their early 30s. Some men are also Glossier customers, but it is not the main buyer of the brand. Middle class with an average income around 50k to 90k. Most of Glossier customer are single or married women without kids. They are full-time or part-time professionals as well as higher education students. Glossier customers are located mainly in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Higher popularity within heavily populated cities Glossier doesnâ€™t intend to target any specific religion or ethnicity. The Glossier customer can be either drawn to the brand itself or first connect with ITG and then the brand. Consumers are usually interested in beauty and skincare, showing interest in all tiny details of the product like the ingredients. Clients truly related to the philosophy of the company, ending up joining this cult brand.
Young women from a new generation, an age range that starts at 14 and goes until 21. Middle class, with a low self-income of extracurricular activities and an average household income of 100k to 140k. Mostly single, with a very low percentage married, and no kids. These young girls are mostly full-time students and some have part-time jobs. These Gen Z are located mainly in the United States, and Canada. Glossier doesnâ€™t intend to target any specific religion or ethnicity. Some of these young teens are starting the ride of makeup and even skincare. They are new to the market and still exploring. They donâ€™t present much disposable income as they donâ€™t work a full-time job. But, gaining their loyalty will guarantee future clients. They are all influenced by the new era and trends, they believe in a new industry with authentic/real beauty standards, and they are drawn to brands who speak this message.
With this ambassador program, my intention is to portray and share with all followers how these girls use Glossier in their everyday life. We don't want a
pre-calculated messages, we want real opinions and feelings. We believe this partnership will be beneficial and successful because young women that were selected. Each of these girls represents the Glossier values in a unique way, they are also role models for the Generation Z crowd. They embrace the change this
brand has been fighting for and they represent a new generation, a new mentality.
Natural. Authentic. Creative. Bold. Real. Reese Blutstein is 21 years old and is currently attending a community college in Atlanta, Georgia. She has an Instagram account where she posts pictures of her everyday outfit. What truly is unique about her, is her personal style and the bold vision she has for current trends. â€œTo me having style has nothing to do with the amount of money you have. I believe style has to do with the creativity you put into the outfits you wear with the things you already have.â€? Blutstein has generated 5.33 million social actions on her Instagram account, with 2,944 average likes and 19 comments per post, and 3.83 percent average engagement rate.
Fun. Natural. Young. Adventurous. Social. Marla Catherine is 14 years old, she started two years ago with a Youtube channel where she discussed babysitting 101. She lives in Utah and right now her content is mostly focused towards lifestyle and fashion. She is part of a bigger influencer gang, but itâ€™s her fun and imperfect essence that defines her. Catherine has over 500,000 Youtube subscribers, with an average of 300,00 views per video with 1,000 comments. She has a strong opinion and constantly discusses skincare and beauty with her followers. This is her key competitive advantage, for Generation Z this social media channel is essential.
Natural. Authentic. Bold. Opinionated. Fun. Yara Shahidi is an 18-year-old model, actress, and activist with Iranian and African American descendence. She is best known for her ABC tv shows, her aerie campaigns and her strong political statements in social media. â€œYaraâ€™s seeming contradictions are what make her so singular, especially in a world where the message women and people of color tend to hear is that they can be one thing rather than possess the multitude of identities we all encapsulate.â€? Teen Vogue and Vogue have stated that Shahidi is a must-follow when it comes to beauty. She as 2million followers on Instagram and an average of 300,000 likes per photo with 3000 comments.
Natural. Young. Fun. Authentic. Brave. Sadie Sink is a 15-year-old American actress and model who is still in High School. She is best known for her debut in Stranger Things season 2 and will soon take over the runway. Sink keeps a constant very natural look, even for â€œimportantâ€? events, she could be the perfect Glossier girl. She recognizes she is still young but stands strong with her personality and opinions. Social media wise, Sink is very passive with her own channels. Even though she is extremely popular, on Instagram she has 3.8 million followers with an average of 1 million likes per photo with 8,000 comments. Sink is also very active in interviews and appearances.
Natural. Authentic. Real. Fun. Beauty Fan. Salem Mitchell is a 19-year-old model discovered on Instagram a couple years ago. She is best known for her campaigns with Paper Magazine, Vogue, Gucci, and Aerie. Mitchell is very active on her social media channels, especially Instagram, she has 168 thousand followers with an average of 20,000 like per photo with 150 comments. She is very much into beauty and already a Glossier fan. “She has an angelic yet very powerful face, beautifully adorned with freckles. The amazing thing about Salem is that she’s not just a sweet face, but also an extremely intelligent girl who is both socially aware and active in conversations. There’s no question that Salem is a rising star and her success knows no bounds.”
Natural. Young. Fierce. Funny. Strong. Barbie Ferreira is a 21-year-old American model, actress, and Instagram phenomenon. She is best known for her campaigns with Aerie and Eckhaus Latta. As well as for being a candid champion of body confidence Ferreira is opinionated and not afraid to share her voice with her followers. She has a natural bombshell looks that inspire many out there. Currently, she has over 400 thousand followers with an average of 20,000 likes per photo with 100 comments. “The people that really keep me going are the people that I chat with online, the young girls. I’m not the epitome of representation, but a lot of girls can look at me and finally see themselves doing something like that. Along with a bunch of other girls, we’re showing that diversity isn’t represented in everyday media, it has never been.”
“Glossier is all about products inspired by the people
who use them, along with people to be inspired by, and
for you to inspire. Glossier was founded on the fact that beauty isn’t made in a boardroom—it happens when
the individual is celebrated. Personal choice is the most important decision a brand can never make.”
For content development, I wanted to showcase variety in media and in products. A brief Skincare Guide was developed in print to conserve the essence of the Glossier, skincare is essential and makeup is a choice. A Glossier You advertising campaign was built with subtle but intriguing messages. Stop motion took over
makeup with one of my favorite model/blogger, Olivia, where she showed us in a fun mood her top Glossier choices. Of course, let's not forget Into The Gloss, the editorial soul of this millennial pink cult. I let my creativity run free and developed trendy visuals that would be ideal to support an ITG article.
This skincare guide has the purpose to instruct new skincare geeks to the world of Glossier and Into The Gloss. It is also meant as a reminder for the masters already
geniuses in the language of moisturizer and masking. It does bear repeating that skincare doesnâ€™t need to be complicated to work wonders. It just needs to be thoughtful. This little book is meant to be distributed in stores and online with purchases. Especially to those customers buying the phase one set. A piece of your favorite beauty-editor-friends to keep close at home.
After a very successful pop-up store, Glossier You continues to be the ultimate personal fragrance. Inspired by a wonderful advertising campaign for Body Hero, I decided to create images where the essence of this eau de parfum came to life. The goal was to create an intimate space through the camera and mix ti, with clever sentences, don't reveal the publicity purpose. It is meant to intrigue you, the audience, which at the end is the first ingredient of this fragrance. This advertising campaign is meant to go viral when needed, a special marketing boost for Glossier You. Social media, posters, newspapers, online, niche-publications, etc.
Glossier best competitive advantage is their social media, this is a brand that is best
represent by its Instagram feed. GIF or Stop Motion, whichever you prefer, are a great way to interact with consumers through these platforms. I decided to create a series with exclusively makeup products. Olivia, shows us how she applies the products and what shades/colors she uses. All very natural, fun, easy, imperfect and smooth. These images are meant to inspire all the Glossier customers out there, to transmit the true message of the brand and to show how the girl brings the products to life.
For some Glossier customers, skincare geeks and beauty fans, there is a place that complements the brand perfectly. A place
that feels like blog-heaven, where you are surrounded by words of wisdom and truth. This place is Into The Gloss. This outstanding blog is as much part as Glossier as any product. Because I have decided to create visual content ideal to accompany an article on this platform. I was inspired by holographic, gloss, and glitter trends, something ITG could definitely write about. The visuals of the blog are always carefully produced and curated, it is the editorial arm of Glossier.
During the development of this project I learned and grow tons. I gained an incredible understanding of Glossier, if I was a fan before, now I'm a loyal customer with a master of the brand's DNA. I truly dedicated time to research and planning, so the execution of all content creation was on brand, professional and creative. I must say the customer development strategy was a challenge, but it was worth it. I never thought how much research could by analyzing social media behavior and customer interaction. I really believe I chose the right target customer to expand the brand and the right ambassadors for my influencer partnership proposals. Generation Z is the future of beauty, and this future is closer than we realize. After understanding as much as I could from the brand, ITG, and Weiss itself, I felt choosing the right people was about the right values and views. It all fell into line. I believe Glossier is an outstanding brand, not only because of all the good qualities of its products but also because of the people behind it. I was lucky to live through some important moments
for Glossier while I was doing this project, and with this, I realized that the soul of this brand truly
relays on the founder and her team. Emily Weiss is an entrepreneurship example for all of us and her progress, even though is short, is changing the industry towards a better tomorrow.
â€œGlossier is really for anyone who wants to
embrace the present and live in the now. It's about embracing constant change and who
you are at any given moment, and that's often someone who's imperfect - and that's cool.â€?
Senior thesis that discusses different marketing approaches for Glossier, including influencer strategies and promotional content.