Anatomy of the Glossier Retail Experience
Since its founding in 2014 with an initial product launch of only four core items, Glossier has grown into a $1.8 billion dollar beauty juggernaut beloved by the most coveted of consumers, Millennials and Gen Z. How did this upstart brand achieve such a feat? Read on for inspiring takeaways from this beauty brand’s rise.
Creating a Community of Customers
Glossier has been an innovator in beauty by erasing many of the boundaries between company and consumer and successfully inviting customers into the brand and product creation process. A good example of this is the company’s milky jelly cleanser which was born out of feedback from actual customers about what they’d like to see in a cleanser product.
Why is this approach so successful? It creates the most evangelical of supporters by stimulating the most effective form of marketing: word of mouth, and ensures that the majority of Glossier’s customers try the brand because of a recommendation from a friend.
Growing from Humble beginnings
Glossier was founded out of founder Emily Weiss’ beauty blog, Into The Gloss. In keeping with that social media-oriented foundation, the company has long sought to cultivate a passionate connection with influencers and fans. That connection in turn powers the brands significant word-of-mouth with millennial consumers.
Providing an immersive customer experience
While Glossier’s retail operations were shuttered during the pandemic, the company plans to bring them back. Why? Because much like Apple and Sephora, they are modeled on providing the customer with an immersive experience that encourages exploration and experimentation.
Maintaining a Small Product Line
Another key to Glossier’s success is possibly counter-intuitive. The brand’s line of products is intentionally small, only about forty items. Why does this help the company’s bottom line? It’s simple. It’s just another way to maintain brand integrity and help consumers identify Glossier with a particular product experience.
Keeping Control of the brand experience
Glossier departs from what is customary in the beauty world by selling only through direct channels like the brand’s website and retail stores. Cosmetic and skincare brands typically depend on brand partnerships and placement in department stores and drugstores.
The upside of this arrangement is that Glossier retains complete control of how its brand is perceived by consumers.
Finding Key Executive Hires
Glossier is rare in the sense that the founder retains her CEO position of the growing company. But other key executive hires shows a company attempting to balance strengths in traditional retail marketing with cutting edge digital know-how.
- In 2019, the company hired Melissa Eamer away from Amazon to serve as COO. Eamer had been with Amazon for nearly two decades.
- In October, the company named Kristy Maynes, a Lululemon veteran, SVP of retail. She is expected to help the brand reboot retail locations that were shuttered during the pandemic.
- Seun Sodipo will be joining the company in February 2022 as Chief Financial Officer. Seun was at Stripe most recently.
- Cole Haan veteran Kyle Leahy is joining Glossier in November 29th as their first-ever Chief Commercial Officer.