While Emily Weiss’ wildly popular Glossier brand does not currently ship outside the USA and Puerto Rico, it seems the entire world has been enchanted by their ‘millennial pink’ online branding and packaging, with a huge amount of hype around their products born out of the successful blog ‘Into The Gloss’, founded by Weiss in 2010. The two companies are closely intertwined, created out of love to celebrate ‘real girls, in real life’.
The products sound promising and look promising – I will not be at ease until one day, I hold a Glossier product in my own hands. But am I really that susceptible to a good backstory and a brand’s look online? Yes.
I first heard about Glossier through former-YouTuber Rachel Whitehurst, a Seattle-based podcaster with her boyfriend and two adorable cats. She received a PR package of Glossier’s two facemasks, the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack and the Moisturising Moon Mask. From hearing initial reviews, I remember not being terribly impressed. The products wouldn’t have been suitable for my skin and initially, seemed like they didn’t do a huge amount. But I was certainly curious enough about the brand and it’s history.
Emily Weiss, along with the editors and writers for Into The Gloss created Glossier in 2014, using their insider beauty knowledge and experience of running a full-time beauty blog. Based on their research and testing of beauty products, their own needs and the needs of readers, they saw a gap in the market, realising they could create something big and offer their expertise to the world. As they say themselves, “Glossier is distilled from years of recommendations from the coolest girls on the planet.” Natural products, with skincare as the first base always. The brand heavily promotes its skincare ‘hook’. Nowadays, any new beauty products are boosted by the promise that it’s all been people-tried, people-tested and people-reviewed. Approved by real people, like you and I.
I’ve been observing Glossier over the last three years since first hearing of them – and since I can’t get my hands on their products, observe is all I’ve been able to do. But the team are well aware of this, and creating a world-wide eagerness to try the products in the global beauty community through their charming aesthetic is a clever marketing tactic. Pink tones upon pink, pretty fonts and minimal iconic packaging – that trademark ‘G’ stamped over products and emblazoned across the header of the website. Pastel tones run rampant. It makes me want to scroll on and on, despite not being able to purchase anything at present.
Their Instagram features bright reposts from customers, encouraging engagement and fostering a sense of community. Snippets of information about their products, macro shots of applicator and behind-the scenes shots culminate to create one of the most dynamic brand presences on the social scene. Glossier’s social media is so true to brand – it’s almost an extension of their products. It’s no wonder they have 571K followers and a global appeal. It’s a clever move when you have limited shipping options for the rest of your fanbase, when Glossier’s products are available in more countries fans will jump at the chance to get their hands on the products they’ve been hearing about for so long. Glossier’s PR packages give bloggers, YouTubers and popular Instagrammers the chance to become brand ambassadors, offering others exclusive codes to get a small discount off their first purchase, further extending their online reach and increasing buzz around products.
They’ve got online marketing sussed out, which is why I’ve totally fallen for them – along with thousands of others around the world despite never trying even one of their products. I love their online portrayal, so recognisable and sweet enough to get everyone interested. They have you dreaming in Glossier pink even though you can’t get any of their range. Quite an achievement.
Their product lines have also come on hugely over the past few years. Their ‘iconic’ Boy Brow, brow gel that promises natural, full and fluffy looking brows and the Generation G lipstick / lip-blot, have been joined by a range of skin serums (which look so beautiful), the ever-photogenic Cloud Paint cream blushes and most recently, an invisible suncream, which I desperately need. There’s even a Glossier sweatshirt and a terrycloth headband.
Arguably, these products fill a niche that wasn’t there before, the invisible suncream perhaps the most. The colour tones for the blushes go hand-in-hand with Glossier’s overall colour palette, an attention to detail I really enjoy. Yet the love for their products really does come from how the company’s image and message is portrayed online. You perfect your natural skin, then enhance your natural beauty with makeup. Skin first, makeup second. It’s a striking message, not lost on consumers.
It’s the appearance and cohesive online presence that does most of the work for the brand. The brand’s aesthetic is captured and continued across all content, from the logo, to the fonts and colouring. The Glossier website is just so easy on the eyes, full of cute quirks, clean photography and a clear layout. Their Instagram offers a unique behind the scenes insight, the colour swatches and packaging give the products almost another purpose – to simply look gorgeous. Why do I want a simple, clear lipgloss from Glossier, that may be no different to a clear lipgloss from Boots?
Because it looks Glossier-cute, and it’s pink. And looks good in photos from customers and on the website. Rumours have it that they plan to start shipping to the U.K. before the end of the year – I’ll be ready, money in hand.