I love makeup. Along with millions of other women on this planet, I love opening a new package, smelling a new product and carrying it around with me in my purse all day and every day!
Naturally then, I love Sephora.
If you do not know what Sephora is, let me put it this way: it is a grown woman’s candy shop. If you have ever wondered why children go crazy in candy stores and melt down when they can’t have what they want, then take a trip to Sephora, if you love beauty products. It is that powerful. It is glitzy, beautifully designed. It has perfect displays all of the current top trending brands in cosmetics and all of them at incredible prices. I don’t mean incredible like WOAW DollarStore incredible. I mean incredible: that is going to cost me a weeks’ worth of groceries for a family of 4! That may be an exaggeration, but put a few products together at the cash and that’s what it will look like. So why indulge in such a costly and vain experience?
There are a few reasons, and social media is definitely a culprit in this hobby! No, the experience of Sephora alone, although tempting and at the same time frightening (because you don’t know how your emotions will sway you into buying something you don’t need!) is not enough to make me put up the cash on a coveted beauty product. What helps propel me into buying are the following strategies that are tried and tested in marketing to millennials (see references at the end of blogpost):
1) Authentic content is empowering;
2) Factual information plays well;
3) Short and sweet is the most effective strategy;
4) Collaboration is key- show me that you care about my input and that you are open to my creative ideas;
5) I appreciate honesty, and brands with transparent campaigns win.
That being said, this is what I turn to in the search of the above points reference:
- My YouTube subscriptions to makeup guru channels who tediously go out, purchase and review products so that women like me can make an informed decision as to whether or not we wish to splurge (this sounds like an awful job, doesn’t it?!!!)
- My Instagram feed– which company is posting the most attractive pictures that can lure me into looking up reviews?
- Personal blog posts by beauty bloggers who will swatch products, test them over time and even do some company research for us all;
Those are the channels which are definitely convenient for most makeup obsessed women, but let me add a personal flavour to the mix. I find it extremely difficult in a store of hundreds of products to narrow-down which foundation, concealer or eyeliner I want to purchase, when everyone is fighting for my attention and so many are getting good reviews and are all over social media! This is where branding and social responsibility become important to me. How do I slash out companies begging for attention?
Let’s have a look at what the appealing companies are doing well and in line with the 5 points of marketing above:
- They are all over social media in a way that creates a personal connection with the brand/spokesperson. Look at TooFaced’s Jerrod and his YouTube videos! Not only are they promotional but they are real, face to face type 5 minute updates on the brand.
- They show that they have responded to consumer feedback- again, TooFaced uses social media channels to not only promote new products, but to showcase how the product is a response to consumer feedback!
- Social responsibility- There is no reason why any company should still be conducting animal testing. There is no beauty product worth the abuse an animal has to go through to ensure it is safe for humans. We have far too much technology and humanity to consider such things as acceptable.
- Personal story behind the company. It is important to know what’s at the root of it all- why does the company exist? What motivates the founders to keep creating?
The example of TooFaced is a compelling one- this is a brand that releases new products online only and has their site crash due to the heavy traffic. They run out of stock within an hour of a new product launch- that is how hot they are to the consumer. They seem to have a right mix of creativity, beautiful packaging, quality product and social outreach through their various social media campaigns and mediums. Clearly they have done some good research!
Do you have a favourite brand that you feel just does it all right? How can companies like TooFaced continue to thrive in the busy and loud world of social media?