Wondering how you can compete with giant cosmetic brands? Maybe just seeking the way or motivation to do your best and achieve success? Glossier used its opportunities to build a people-powered beauty ecosystem and fight against social standards.

 A key part of Glossier’s success has been Weiss’ commitment to its brand identity.

Glossier has always been known for its signature pink hue, playful marketing voice, and images of diverse women with minimal makeup.

Minimal Makeup

The most defining part of its business model is its customer feedback system.

The product team depends on the user community and feedback to innovate and iterate.

Between 2016 and 2018, the company raised $76 million in two rounds of funding and opened two stores: a showroom in New York (which transitioned into a permanent flagship store) and a store in Los Angeles.

How Did Glossier Start?

 Founder and CEO of Glossier Emily Weiss started the company in 2014 after running a well-known blog, Into The Gloss, for four years. Weiss has turned traditional beauty retail on its head and cracked the code for selling makeup directly to consumers through Instagram, where the brand has more than 2 million followers.

After graduating from The New York University in 2007, Weiss worked briefly for W magazine before moving to Vogue, where she worked as a fashion assistant. While working as a fashion assistant, Weiss set up her beauty blog, Into The Gloss, spotting a gap in the market for beauty product coverage. Weiss would candidly interview celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Karlie Kloss about their beauty regimens.

The blog quickly gained a following among beauty enthusiasts who commented on posts to share their experiences with various products and make suggestions to other readers.

Weiss decided to leave her job to focus on the blog full-time. Weiss re-launched the website and upped the number of posts; overnight traffic to the site tripled.

Product feedback on the blog laid the foundation for what was to come. Weiss was now armed with a wealth of information to create products that were directly tied to what readers wanted.

A year later, Glossier was born.

Weiss teased the new brand on Instagram about four weeks before launch. Within the first week of selling the new products, she had more than 18,000 followers.

Instagram influencers and celebrities spread the message, posting photos of themselves in Glossier swag. Glossier launched with four products: a facial mist, moisturizer, skin tint, and balm. These products were intended to give off a “no-makeup” look.

What is Glossier’s Mission Statement?

To create a people-powered beauty ecosystem, where you’ll find products inspired by the people who use them, along with people to be inspired by, and for you to inspire.

What is Glossier’s Strategic Intent?

Glossier is powered by a fierce and loyal dedication to its customers, so the vision of the company is to remain as a customer-centric brand.

What are Glossier’s Company Values?

The main values of Glossier are to be inclusive, courageous, discerning, curious and devoted to customer. The customers are at the core of everything the brand does. Glossier appreciate the individuality and distinctive style of every customer. Glossier is a natural progression of a mission to democratize beauty – to make women feel good about themselves rather than insecure about the way they look. Glossier is not product-led, but values-led. The Glossier line is completely secondary to the Glossier idea, and that’s what women buy into.

What are the Glossier’s Distinctive Competencies?

The core skills of Glossier are how the brand communicates with its customers and also its user-generated content, Co-creation, and community. True to its blog and social-media roots, Glossier makes the most of its two-way communication with its readers and followers. What people say to Glossier or, even better, about Glossier to others is more important than what Glossier says to them. It’s through those customer conversations often stimulated by its originating content that enables co-creating new products. Unlike traditional beauty brands where products are developed first, after which the brands must figure out how to sell them, Glossier puts the specific consumer product need out front thus simplifying the sales process. In this way, Glossier co-creates its product offerings.

What is Glossier’s Competitive Positioning?

Glossier has some unique advantages compared to traditional beauty conglomerates as a direct-to-consumer brand. The vast majority of beauty brands still sell products through third-party retailers, like Ulta and Sephora, drugstores, and department store beauty counters. Meanwhile, Glossier sells its products through its website, Los Angeles and New York stores, and its regular pop-ups across the country. This strategy allows Glossier to sell products without retail markup, but more importantly, it means the brand can gather more data from its customers about their needs–which could be a valuable tool in Glossier’s arsenal as it takes on the cosmetic giants.

Glossier owns all channels, which sets the brand apart. Glossier has a much more direct channel of communication with customers. Estée Lauder doesn’t own beauty counters, and L’Oréal doesn’t own drugstores. Glossier learns a great deal from the way customers shop on its site, as well as how they engage with customer service representatives and chat with the brand on social media. For instance, before the company began work on a face wash, Weiss asked readers of Glosser’s blog, Into the Gloss, a simple question: “What would your dream cleanser look like? Smell like? Feel like? Do for you? Not do for you? Who would play this cleanser in a movie?” The post generated more than 380 responses, which the product team used to create what would end up being Glossier’s popular Milky Jelly Cleanser.

Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser

Who is Glossier’s Target Audience?

The target segment of Glossier is diverse. As the brand is e-commerce its customers are millennial women who are digital-friendly and active in social media. Next level is to look at the bigger picture as generation Z is more and more interested in beauty products it would be easier to enter their market.

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