How New Beauty Brands Leverage Social to Stand Out

If you’re interested in the CX strategies behind the most successful new beauty brands, you can learn more in our whitepaper.

There is no denying that the success of new beauty is due in part to the complete saturation of social media in how we discover and learn about new products in our daily lives. Influencers, style mavens, celebrities, and industry insiders are constantly competing for your attention as they talk up the virtues of the latest products on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and anywhere else.

And it works. A Facebook IQ report from 2016 found that 53% of beauty purchases are influenced by what beauty experts share on social, while 44% are influenced by the brand’s posts.

With such a large amount of purchases being influenced by highly-visual social media, new beauty brands are taking advantage of this trend by focusing on beautiful products and packaging. “It’s such a saturated market, and packaging designs today are so beautiful,” says Glow Recipe C-Founder Jennifer Lee in a piece with Glossy. “Everything is screaming for attention and you definitely need a point of difference.”

To catch more eyes, beauty subscription brand Birchbox redesigned their shippers to a soothing Millennial pink, designating each customer’s name with a sobriquet such as “The Tenacious….” or “The Clever….” to further personalize the experience—and dramatically increased the number of customers posting their boxes on social.

New beauty brands know that an Instagram post is worth a thousand words, and succeed at taking every opportunity to get influencers and regular customers to talk about and share their brand with the world.

As more and more customers interact with beauty brands first or primarily on digital, it’s crucial that your agents are trained to act like sales associates and beauty consultants whenever customers interact with them. If your brand lives on digital, your agents are your sales associates. Glossier’s agents are on-hand to consult with customers over chat or phone wherever they are in the purchase process. Knowledgeable agents, empowered by responsive technology and a single view of the customer, can go a long way towards influencing purchases and building loyalty with your brand.

Here are some of our favorite beauty brands to follow for social inspiration:

Birchbox (@birchbox): Custom beauty sample subscription box.
Boxycharm (@boxycharm): Subscription box with awesome full-size products.
Fenty Beauty (@fentybeauty): Rihanna’s next generation of inclusive beauty.
Glossier (@glossier): The DTC beauty brand to beat.
Soko Glam (@sokoglam): Your trusted source for Korean beauty.

Read more about New Beauty in our whitepaper: How New Beauty Brands Disrupt the Industry.

For Fashion and Beauty Brands, Diversity Is More than Skin Deep


Customer experience starts before your customers reach out to you—if they feel uncomfortable or excluded by your product range, advertising, or any other factor, you’ve already lost the chance to build a relationship. New fashion and beauty brands are overtaking legacy offerings by taking advantage of underserved markets, building on those lost relationships and offering a better experience.

Beauty brands specifically are reaching a wider audience by diversifying their color palettes and offering hair and skincare products that suit a greater variety of textures and shades. For new companies, this approach is capturing the attention of customers who have felt left out, and for more established ones, it’s allowing them to grow audiences in new demographics using their existing brand caché.Legacy beauty has historically focused on creating palettes for light skin while creating only a few or no options for other skin types. New beauty has taken the opposite approach, appealing to those customers who have felt left out for decades. Rihanna’s uber-popular Fenty Beauty has made a name for itself by offering a more diverse product range. That includes 40 shades of foundation, which puts most of beauty’s biggest names to shame.

Sephora (a fellow LVMH brand) called Fenty “the most inclusive beauty brand in the world,” and it was dubbed “Invention of the Year” by TIME.

Fenty’s approach has already more than paid off. Fenty Beauty’s customers are some of the biggest spenders on beauty products in general, spending an average of $471 a year on makeup according to a report by Slice Intelligence.

A similar story has been unfolding in the fashion space, but not around the color of customers’ skin. Instead, it’s been around body-type. Legacy fashion brands have historically only offered a narrow range of sizes up to around size 12, limiting their appeal to only a handful of body types. But today, two-thirds of American women are above size 14. This means that these legacy brands are holding themselves back from a market worth $20 billion (and growing).

New brands like Universal Standard offer a range of sizes, from 00 – 32, making sure no one is left out and winning customers and praise in the process. Good American Denim sells their extensive size range in a single place, not relegating them to a separate plus-size section. These brands lead with positivity and acceptance, rather than the traditional snobbery and exclusiveness some luxury fashion brands have grown a reputation for.

However, some traditional apparel brands are picking up on the trend as well. Target has seen great success after launching an extended size range in 2015, and Nike credits its expanded size range as one the main factors boosting their bottom line. Expanding your size range can be expensive, but lucrative luxury brands like Gucci have no excuse for not keeping up.

The lesson for established brands is clear: delivering a relevant experience to an ignored customer base can yield dividends.

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