Emily Weiss has come from being a mean girl on reality TV, to a lifestyle blogger, to founder and CEO of the high-end beauty company. That company is Glossier. Glossier differs from other beauty companies because it was born on the Internet. But before we get into it, let’s take a few steps back to see how all of this started.
The story starts in 2010, when Weiss started her beauty blog, Into the Gloss. She attributes starting this blog to her “…yearning to connect with other women.” The blog quickly took off for its beauty reviews and insights. It also featured interviews with influential female celebrities such as Tory Burch, Selena Gomez, and Kim Kardashian. With 1.5 million unique views each month, Weiss saw her next step; using the knowledge from the community she had crafted online, she would create the products that women were seeking.
HOW DOES ONE START A BEAUTY EMPIRE?
Glossier’s initial financial backing came from Forerunner Ventures, “an early stage venture capital firm dedicated to investing in ambitious entrepreneurs to define and dominate a new generation of commerce.” Weiss came to her investors with the question, “Wouldn’t it be so cool if we could use the Internet to build a better beauty brand?” And that is exactly what they did.
WHAT MAKES GLOSSIER SO DIFFERENT
- Glossier has a very strong brand identity. Packaging was designed with smartphone technology in mind. So when a consumer is spending $22 on a 3 fluid ounce jar of a facemask, they aren’t just buying the facemask. It is almost as if they are buying entry into a community with their own values and beliefs on beauty. They enter this community digitally by Instagram, Youtube, or another social platform, which brings us to reason number two of how Glossier differentiates themselves from other brands.
- Glossier relies on the Web to get their message out to consumers. When speaking to why Glossier chose this route Weiss says, “Beauty has really gone online, because that’s where the consumer is.” The consumers actually end up doing a fair amount of the marketing because of the user-generated content such as Instagram posts and beauty hashtags. An example of this is a super serum that Glossier released on September 12, 2016 which users started to hashtag as #thesupers.
WHAT DOES A DIGITAL BRAND DO IRL?
When a brand has developed and created a gathering of loyal followers on the Internet, what do they do next? The take it to the streets, or shall we say the train. At the beginning of this month Glossier started a campaign in which they covered the Bedford subway stop in Brooklyn, NY with pink ads and 500 pink roses. Consumers of the brand were thrilled because not only are they seeing a brand they love where they commute, but they also are having IRL (in real life) interactions that they have not had with the brand before. Some responses that were shared on social media were, Adorbs, brilliant!” and “OMG THERE ARE @glossier SUBWAY ADS. GOD SAVE MY CHECKING ACCOUNT.”
Emily Weiss’ story of how she turned her blog, something she loved, into a business can be an inspiration to all creatives out there. But it didn’t happen by chance, her plans were researched and strategic. Glossier in itself is a testament to how digital is the new forefront in advertising and marketing communications because it generates a two-way system of communication between the company and the consumer that did not exist until just recently.