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How Glossier’s Marketing Strategy Has Created a Beauty Empire

“Glossier is cult, it’s not niche.” Emily Weiss, Founder of Glossier

marketing strategy glossier sign

If you live in San Francisco and use social media, rode BART or Muni, or walked anywhere downtown in early 2018, you probably saw a Glossier advertisement. The San Francisco pop-up shop is now gone, but the beauty brand sure left a mark on our city and its residents. In 2017, beauty was a $49 billion industry – so how did Glossier create a marketing strategy to stand out from the rest?

We looked a little deeper into the brand and found a few key strategies that jumped out at us:

1. The brand is their focus.

While the logo may be simple, their advertisements are recognizable – natural-looking makeup, a sans-serif font, and their signature color: a soft pink. The packaging is simple, yet unique – complete with a reusable pink pouch and branded stickers to decorate products (or phones, laptops, etc.) with.

2. They’re selective.

Glossier first started as an online store. They have one showroom in New York, and just wrapped up a month-long pop-up shop in San Francisco at a favorite local restaurant – Rhea’s Cafe. Saying they play hard to get is an understatement – but the exclusivity is what makes being part of their girl gang so exciting. Their products are also not sold at any major beauty stores – they can only be purchased through the Glossier website or at one of their limited locations. They also know their audience well – according to the market research company IRI, 69 percent of beauty shoppers prefer browsing and shopping online.

3. They love their customers – and they show it!

Glossier fans are the brand’s best advocates. They get to know their audience and curate most of their content from their customers. Whether it’s reposting Instagram stories of customers at the New York showroom or sharing photos of celebrities rocking a new product on the red carpet, Glossier’s marketing team turns to the people who love their products most to create content.

4. Shopping is an experience.

Some members of our team stopped by the showroom and it was unlike any other shopping experience in San Francisco. And founder Emily Weiss intends for it to be that way. The company has invested time and money to make the customer experience one you will never forget. Greeted by team members in soft pink jumpsuits, you are guided through the showroom where you can test any and all Glossier products until your beauty desires are complete. When you’re ready to check out your order is filled in the back. Once ready, a personalized bag is delivered to you by another friendly team member.

5. Their targeting is on point.

The Glossier marketing team delivers quality, interesting, and helpful content that is targeted to the right people. Their social media advertisements were useful and personal, without feeling creepy. Whether they’re launching a new product, opening a new location, or providing a ‘how-to’, it feels natural and real. Additionally, there are no gimmicks or tricks. One of my colleagues came across a video ad for Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser, where similar to the video below, someone explained how to use the product and what makes it stand out from the rest. The Milky Jelly Cleanser was once a product she would have never considered, but the effective visualization and glowing reviews moved it to the top of her want list.

It’s no surprise that 80 percent of Glossier’s growth is reported to come from peer-to-peer recommendations. The brand is opening their second store in Los Angeles later this year. We can’t wait to see where they go from here.

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