Conseil en innovation stratégique

Glossier, the brand created by and for millennials

A year ago, Glossier landed in France. Launched in 2014 on the internet, the American brand is already cult for the Instagram generation and its 2 million subscribers. The start-up of barely 5 years is now valued at $1.2 billion and has not finished shaking up the world of cosmetics…

We decipher for you the 5 secrets that allow it to be so disruptive.

Secret #1: Originally was the blog

For Emily Weiss, founder of Glossier, the story begins in 2010. At the time an intern at Vogue, she launched her beauty blog ” Into the Gloss ” where readers could discover the routines and advice of fashion elites every week.

In addition to attracting readers eager for advice, the blog has become an anthill of potential customers … but above all a real chance to have live access to thousands of people sharing their needs, frustrations and desires for new products. In other words: a living, permanent customer study, almost free and easy to access.

Secret #2: Our products are yours 

Thanks to her blog, the founder was able to analyze the needs of her future customers and create products exactly made to meet them. She immediately realizes the importance of involving them throughout the creative process: from the type of product to the packaging, down to the smallest details such as smell, texture…
As such, the brand hosts a Slack discussion group with their top 100 customers, where hundreds of messages are exchanged every day to co-create new products. Emily Weiss, herself a millennial, has understood that her clients want a peer-to-peer relationship with brands. Indeed, more than 60% of millennials say they are more likely to give their loyalty to brands that interact with them personally on social networks.

Secret #3: In each of you lives an influencer

Historically, brands have tended to establish themselves as experts, in positions of strength, in order to tell their customers what to do, what to choose… At Glossier, the consumer is the expert. The strength of the brand lies in its ability to give a voice to its customers, to push them to generate content for it and to promote it on its networks. Everyone is seen and valued as an influencer, whether we are called Beyonce or Madame Toulemonde.
Glossier also plays on authenticity by reposting the photos of its customers, in other words “real people”, instead of using supermodels or a top-down communication approach.

Secret #4: Dare to go against the tide of trends

Clean, natural, organic… essential trends in cosmetics? Not for Glossier who takes the risk of not communicating on the details of its formulations or offering 100% “clean” products. According to the founder, if the products are effective and have the expected sensory effect, it does not matter the formulation. What consumers want are experiences…

Secret #5: Create seamless experiences between digital and real life

Needless to say, not so easy to create experiences for a brand originally 100% digital. With its flagship store in New York opened last November, Glossier succeeded in combining physical and digital experience.  Every month, nearly 50,000 customers visit the store.
In the shop, everything has been designed to create maximum engagement on Instagram: giant makeup tubes, red mouth-shaped benches, photo stands… The experience is at its peak and fans are rushing to create content online.
However, the relationship is not put in the closet. Dressed in pink overalls, the advisors are called “editors” and implement a series of small attentions to amaze their customers: perfume fitting, refreshing mist, but especially personal conversations with each of them.

‽ What if you positioned yourself as a “Glossier” to disrupt your market? Tilt ideas can help you disrupt the rules and habits established in your market or in your company in order to innovate.

Aude, consultant