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Building a Beauty Empire

How to Build a Sustainable Beauty Company That Will Pass Its Way Through Social Media Critics

Owning your own brand, especially the beauty one seems to be very prestigious, otherwise, it’s impossible to explain a number of beauty companies growing from day to day even faster than mushrooms after the rain. A careless business and marketing strategy, a neglectful approach to product development, a weak customer relationship system and slow feedback may lead to grandiose scandals that destroy brand reputation at the click of the fingers make a potential audience turn their head away of your company. The requirements for emerging (and not only) brands are getting stronger – they need to follow contemporary social trends, do their work carefully and control the quality of their products at a high established level. How to survive in the market among much stronger competitors and social media sensitivity, don’t lose a nerve and money, and sustain with a loyal amount of followers – here are some rules.

1. Inclusive product range and advertising

If you’re an emergent beauty brand take an example from more experienced giants that have millions of customers and know how to attract a new audience. If already Dior and Lancôme have launched more than forty shades of foundation, you have no justification to produce less, of course, if you want to build a steady brand trusted and chosen by customers for its variety and attention to every client with every skin tone. Tarte and Beauty Blender have already tarnished themselves by having a wider range of light shades than the darker ones.

The same applies to advertising that reminds your audience you take care of them all and of each separately. If you make swatches – demonstrate them on various skin tones in order to showcase how the products look like with different shadows. If you shoot a makeup tutorial – go inclusive and cast people with different age, body shape, skin tone, gender etc. Got it?

2. Appropriate naming

This paragraph is a continuation of the previous part. The good naming may turn a product into an iconic one – remember famous lipstick shades «Ruby Woo» and «Russian Red» by MAC, an «Orgasm» blush by NARS, and «Better than Sex» mascara by Too Faced. Most names of products and their shades make people infuriate over them, so you better be careful with an appropriate choice for every single detail.

Many dark skin customers are truly pissed off by companies’ habits to name their foundations after coffee, desserts or a «typo» as a counterweight to «alabaster» and «porcelain» that are used to determine lighter shades. It seems to be a whim once again, but while white people are mostly responsible for the production of cosmetics for «people of colour» they should be reinsured. As most successful and appropriate neutral examples you may implement in you naming game are brightness characteristics (deep, light, rose, etc.), names (Celeste, Baby doll, Calypso), or simply numbers (2.1 F; 04).

…while white people are mostly responsible for the production of cosmetics for «people of colour» they should be reinsured.

3. Gender-neutral products

Forget the shampoo «for men», shower gel «for men», toothpaste «for men», cream «for men», brutal chocolate «for men» capable to provoke speedy growing beard on woman’s face if she eats it because it wasn’t meant for «her». Cosmetics and perfumery don’t have gender – the skincare is picked up by individual skin needs, types and conditions. Look at trendy Instagram makeup artists – almost a half of them are men, and using makeup by a stronger half of humanity becomes a regular thing in the last several years. So if you’re based only on women cosmetics, remember that it also may be used by men and gender-nonconformal people considering the fact in your communication.

4. Eco-friendly formula and packaging

Natural cosmetics is on top among any other possible products, and its popularity will be growing exponentially with every year. In the world facing ecological problems, environmental issues, water pollution, bad habits, food and stressful life, principled people need to have at least a qualitative, organic-based formulas and harmless packaging in order to make a contribution into a nature saving. To get this result is kinda difficult – it requires a lot of financial investments and researches because eco-friendly packaging is expensive and you need to know how to produce it. If you aren’t ready to spend half of the budget on packaging, at least try to reduce plastic consumption or switch to recycled one.

5. Maintaining the cruelty-free concept 

Animal testing is forbidden in Europe, meanwhile in China is obligatory for import cosmetics. In order to save money, you refuse to get a special organisation sign approved your products are cruelty-free, and just don’t test ingredients and formulas on animals and mention it on the package. There will no difference for a broad audience, but if the lie reveals, a scandal will be destructive.

There’s another story with makeup brushes: some companies which use a natural animal pile claim that they get it without any harm for animals. But without specifying the way they get it, we may fairly suspect whether it was really made harmless for animals, or brands prefer to hide something.

6. Tell and write the truth

With the development of the Internet and social media people are savvy and want to know more about products they use, ingredients included, how it affects on the skin and won’t it be unsafe for them as daily usage. Rating and product feedback are the key purchase-driven factors that make the customer go a store and buy cosmetics that will be effective and suitable for them. Successful and sincere brands aren’t afraid to enlighten their customers and let them know what their favourite products are made of and explain how it acts on the skin on their social media pages, official sites and packages. Don’t even try to imitate the scientific researches if you didn’t even have it, don’t try to falsify evidence of results – if no one notices it, there will appear one very curious blogger who will reveal the truths, and… Bye-bye, reputation.

Don’t even try to imitate the scientific researches if you didn’t even have it, don’t try to falsify evidence of results…

7. Be socially active

In order to earn and maintain a good brand-reputation and recognition afterwards, try to be social. Launch a new specified for any occasion limited-edition collection and share the part of sales revenue with an animal shelter, an organisation devoted to women support or children suffered from war and global environmental problems. If you claim yourself as a company taking care not only of your own but everyone around, it will bring you thousands of points on top and make people respect you.

8. Take care of your employees

The good relationship within your company’s environment is crucial in order to remain sustainable and healthy. Don’t be rude and disrespectful to people you work with, don’t force them to do things they don’t need to do or what can insult them, don’t set them free without giving their salary back and spoiled impression of yourself and the way you behave towards others. It’s the 21st century – today you hurt you, employees – tomorrow the whole world already knows about it and who you really are. Positive and good vibes only within your team. Amen.

9. Be professional at SMM

We are talking about the beauty industry, but I can’t not to mention the first impression that comes to mind when I think about bad SMM-strategy. Vogue Russia has been already accused many times of having an unprofessional manager taking care of social media, basically of Instagram. In February, by posting a photo of supermodel Natalia Vodianova in the day of her birthday as a description of the new article announcement dedicated to non-surgical ways of achieving tighten up face oval, they wrote: «…if you’re young enough to get lay down under the surgeon’s knife, but your oval is already blurring…». I hope you got me.

Never. Ever. Do. This. Thing. If you even delete the post afterwards, someone has already saved it as evidence of unprofessional and boorish behaviour that is inadmissible inside a conscious, customer-oriented company. Get you a manager willing to understand the beauty industry, who knows how to communicate to the audience and instantly deal with negative feedback, and is always in-the-know within cosmetic trends and global beauty issues. Don’t take an example from Vogue – better learn from others’ mistakes.