Innovation and customer experience are a consistent priority for all brands as they approach 2017. Still, this is even more true in the beauty vertical, where organizations must create products to stay ahead of popular trends and relate to consumers’ shifting priorities. One brand that stands out for its ability to capture customer sentiment within its products is Smashbox Cosmetics.
The 10-year old cosmetics brand, and Estee Lauder subsidiary, born out of the legendary Smashbox Studios in L.A., understands dramatic makeup as a mandate for empowering its bold and beautiful customers. Just last week the brand launched its new Cover Shot collection with seven diverse eye palettes, which have already proven to be crowd favorites. Coming off the heels of this launch and into the holidays, we wanted to chat with the iconic brand to learn about industry trends, authenticity in marketing, and plans for the future. Take a look at our interview below with Smashbox Cosmetics’ E-commerce Assistant Manager, Eunice Chun, to pick up some great digital marketing strategy tips for 2017:
In the beauty industry, there has been a lot of talk around “authenticity.” What does the term mean to you?
Ah, this is kind of a loaded term to me, but what it comes down to is genuineness, transparency, and originality. People are looking for what’s real, something or someone they can connect to. It’s not about just being able to achieve a certain look or watching how someone puts their makeup on, it’s about being able to relate to that person in some way or another. That’s why the b/vlogger world is so big right now because millennials are looking to their “peers” for help.
Wishing these blazing golden tones would warm me up because baby it’s cold outside!!! ? Highlight: #SLAYNALI diamond glow powder ✨Big congrats to my girl @ourfazinali on her collab with @artistcouture ✨ Eyes: ABLAZE #CoverShotPalette by @smashboxcosmetics topped with @doseofcolors •MAPLE• Eyedeal Duo ?
Which consumer trends do you see driving the next few years in digital marketing? Are there any trends you’ve noticed that surprised you?
I know marketers are always saying mobile-first, but it’s something that continues to ring true, especially since consumers are becoming more and more impatient. Consumers are also looking for experiences, which is why personalization and omni-channel initiatives are becoming increasingly important. I think a well-executed cross-channel shopping experience would not only be convenient, but it’d be seamless, personalized, and relevant. Text commerce and VR are just a couple of examples to result from these trends.
How has user-generated, or “earned,” content helped Smashbox to create deeper, more impactful relationships with its audience?
UGC has really helped us create our own Smashbox community and it’s allowed us to connect and engage with our most loyal, die-hard fans on a whole other level. It’s become another way to continue the conversation, and also be inspired as well! It’s awesome to see what people are doing with the products we work so hard to create!
What are a few ways in which brands can better involve their consumers in marketing programs?
Simply ask them! Ask them what they think of your products through ratings & reviews. Leverage your social media channels to ACTUALLY engage and interact with them; utilize those hashtags! Also, pay attention to your most loyal customers and let them be the first to try new products or get access to your most exclusive offers. Any way you can target certain segments and personalize content is only going to be beneficial. It’s a no brainer and a win-win.
? @makeupshayla ? #glamspire ・・・ Haven’t done pink in a minute ? @flutterlashesinc islay lashes @smashboxcosmetics Ablaze and Smokey #Covershot palette @coverfx liquid foundation @maybelline Big Shot mascara @tartecosmetics #tarteistxshayla Palette @artistcouture Labronze and Slaynali Highlight @hudabeauty Gossip Girl liquid lipstick —————————————— #shophudabeauty #alyakattan #hudabeautyliquidmatte #monakattan #hudabeauty #maybelline #tarte #artistcouture #tartecosmetics #coverfx #smashbox #smashboxcosmetics #flutterlashes #lashes #eyelashes #liquidlipstick #lipstick #mascara #highlight #highlighters #highlighter #eyeshadowpalette #eyeshadows #eyeshadow #foundation #makeupartist #mua
How does Smashbox work to engage millennials? Has the brand started to address Gen-Z with specific strategies?
Absolutely. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to build our community of Smashbox makeup artists, fans, and influencers and we have programs that are specifically centered around that. This includes initiatives like our Made at Smashbox program where we give digital influencers access to our studios and all they have to do is credit us for using our space—no product placement required, which has allowed these relationships to be as organic as possible. That actually evolved into another program where we’ve invited a few influencers to come and mix their own custom shade gloss then give them away for free. The amount of reach these v/bloggers have is insane, and we feel very fortunate to have partnered and continue to partner with so many of them in an authentic way.
It’s clear that Smashbox has found success and loyalty by investing in its biggest fans and creating a omni-channel marketing experience. Whether it’s celebrities, vloggers, influencers, or everyday customers the cosmetics brand understands each level of influence and creates products that cater to each audience. To learn how to better incorporate consumers into your marketing strategy for increased engagement, check out our latest Earned Content Guide for Beauty Brands.