A billion-dollar brand from a blog? The following is an explanation of how Emily Weiss successfully built the beauty company Glossier from her blog Into The Gloss.
It is amazing storytelling and the best practices that all DNVBs use today. One example of a brand that has been successful is Glossier. It was founded 11 years ago, and in that time, it has raised a total of $266 million from private investors. It also has a worldwide reputation for being the company that revolutionized the shopping experience for women by putting the client first.
This is the story of Emily Weiss, the founder of Glossier, who went from writing a beauty advice blog to build a company that is now worth more than one billion dollars.
What is Glossier?
Emily Weiss established the cosmetics and beauty business Glossier in 2014. The company sells its products directly to consumers and has its headquarters in New York City. It leverages content and community to deliver a superior shopping experience. Within the field of beauty and cosmetics, it was among the earliest examples of a lifestyle brand.
Glossier has managed to secure a total of $266.4 million in funding from a total of 19 investors, some of which include Sequoia Capital and Institutional Venture Partners. Glossier has received $80 million in its most recent round of funding, and the company is currently valued at $1.8 billion as of July 2021.
Who is Emily Weiss, the creator of the Into The Gloss blog and the Glossier brand?
Emily Weiss is a former assistant stylist for Vogue who used to write reviews for beauty products herself.
And why not write them myself?
So, this is how Into the Gloss came to be in the first place. The blog utilized social media in order to spread awareness of its existence among the millennial population.
Emily Weiss took a different strategy by not being affiliated with any particular brand and instead positioning herself on the side of the consumer by paying attention to what her audience desired, enjoyed, and anticipated from the products.
Here are the types of questions she asked her audience:
“If you could describe the ideal face wash, what would it be like?”
Emily Weiss is able to uncover the deep needs of her audience as well as their desires thanks to a conversational method that has been finely tuned. Her success can be attributed to the fact that she pays close attention to what her readers have to say and then creates items that are a good fit for what they tell her.
Into The Gloss
“The Top Shelf” was a category on her Into The Gloss blog where Emily interviews the influential women of the world about their beauty routines. This is what got the blog off the ground at the time, as the format was very appealing
Looking at the influential women in the world on their beauty routines, Emily Weiss noticed that only these women have an influence on the brands for research and development. Because “cosmetic experts” evaluate the major brands of cosmetics, give their opinion on those products, and are typically compensated for their work, very few innovations are created as a result, and customers tend to follow those opinions.
By involving the customer directly, without going through experts or other influencers, Into The Gloss places the customer once again at the heart of the research and development process for the product.
The results are obvious, consumers listen to experts in their purchasing decisions and do not have the knowledge to say what they want. They don’t say what they really want but follow the “experts” advice.
By giving them a real voice and impact in the decision to create Glossier products, Emily Weiss is completely changing the trends by producing and selling products that her clients really like at a reasonable cost.
“Often, brands ask me how they can make their communities feel involved. The answer is simple: get them involved! Don’t fake it. Otherwise, it’s just marketing posturing.”
The Glossier customer-centric approach
“I was struck by the distance between beauty brands and their customers. I wanted to create an alternative, unmediated way to serve the consumer.”
The Into The Gloss blog serves as a consumer market study. It identifies the expectations and needs of customers through the collection of their comments.
A formula is then created and tested with selected consumers. Then when the final version is ready, it is sent as a preview to the active community, or rather the influential fans.
This generates opinions on the product before its commercialization and the official launch of the range.
Engaging marketing: Generating engagement and interaction
Creating conversation is Glossier’s ultimate goal because, without feedback, there is no material to study for product launches and improvements.
Because the Glossier business reposts content from its consumers and promotes its fans as actual beauty influencers, social media plays an essential part in the marketing strategy.
However, Emily Weiss did not end her work there. Customers have the option to schedule consultations with Glossier experts or participate in peer-to-peer conversations on a specific Slack channel.
Developing acquisition channels
Glossier also uses affiliate marketing heavily, which accounts for about 6% of its traffic (source SEM Rush). Thanks to its army of representatives on social media.
The brand offers affiliate links in order to give a slice of the cake to its loyal fans, who can also capture a percentage of the revenue from sales made with their affiliate links.
The marketing lesson on the cosmetics industry
Building an audience in a very competitive industry
Emily Weiss was successful in bringing together people interested in beauty and cosmetics shopping thanks to Into the Gloss. Her readers were already consumers of products with needs and problems with what was already offered.
Even while competition is fierce in the cosmetics market, it appeared that none of the major competitors cared nearly as much about the requirements of their clients as they should have.
Emily Weiss was aware of this fact, and as a result, she decided to cultivate her audience and inquire from them about their requirements to co-create items using their feedback.
Creating a highly engaged community
Consumers felt heard and did not hesitate to share their opinions on what they would like to have. Emily Weiss then decided to extend her communication channels from the blog to social media and private communication applications (Slack) or even direct calls.
Engaging marketing was a trend also used by the sportswear DNVB Gymshark. The goal is to create conversation on social media to gain visibility and make noise.
Involve your community in creating your products
After collecting all of these comments and thoughts, Emily Weiss decided to do market research by making special offers to her most devoted followers in the form of merchandise.
The idea of consistency was adhered to, and the visitors turned into customers because they were the ones who brought forth the requirements for the development of these products.
Building on customer feedback
Emily Weiss repeated this process of product creation to identify her greatest sellers by listening to the feedback of her community, which was expanding daily. Her clients were responsible for the preliminary testing of the product, which was done in order to produce a final version that offered sufficient value.
The experience of Emily Weiss and her blog, Into the Gloss, which she developed into a thriving e-commerce firm, demonstrates that there is no such thing as a completely saturated market.
Historic players in the beauty and cosmetics industry, such as Ester Lauder, L’Oréal, and Shiseido, were primarily responsible for the industry’s dominance. Glossier was able to carve out a space for itself by adopting a strategy that differentiated it from its competitors, establishing itself in a market niche in which its rivals did not exist, and maintaining a tight relationship with its clientele.
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