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BIE 3 – Industry Trends

Hey. Hi. Hello. Did you miss me? Of course not, I bet y’all didn’t even notice I was gone, but surprise, I WAS. I took an unexpected last minute trip to the Riviera Maya with my family to celebrate my newfound freedom aka unemployment. While there, I wanted to focus all my energy on relaxing, so I didn’t account for any blog posts to go up. Now, I’m back in snowy New York (yes, you heard that right, it snowed here today) and I’m enjoying unemployment as best I can – read: I’m sitting on my couch bingeing Bill Nye Saves the World.

Now, I wish I was coming out guns blazing after my little hiatus with a hard-hitting post for this Makeup Monday. However, my unemployed self appears to be stuck in relaxation mode and all I want to do is sleep. So, instead, I’m coming at you with another activity from my Beauty Industry Essentials course. Hopefully, I can conjure up enough energy in the next few hours to start working on the last of my job applications, but if not today’s only Monday, and there’s a whole week ahead of me. So, keep reading if you care about this activity, and feel free to leave your thoughts/opinnies in the comments. But if you don’t care, then I’ll catch you on Friday xoxo

Activity: Your favorite beauty brands are most likely among those brands that are leveraging the power of digital media to raise brand awareness and reach consumers in novel ways. How do they do it? Go to your favorite social media platform and find an example. Grab an image or a link and upload it with your reasons for selecting it. 

With the wide reach of the internet these days, many companies are utilizing this space to exist solely within the digital realm. This provides new companies a chance to compete with already existing brands by dedicating more of their time towards leveraging their impact on free social media platforms as opposed to competing within brick and mortar locations. However, by existing only online, it makes it harder for a diverse customer base to interact with products in order to know facts like the texture, how the product applies, if it will compliment a certain undertone, etc. This means that companies have to utilize their social media spaces in a smart way, such as posting swatches on different skin tones or PR gifts to influencers for reviews in order to better inform potential consumers in order to convince them to purchase their products, and then spread the word to their friends so that sales increase.

Some brands are partnering with influencers to create products, giving the company the assurance that they will have good profits under the assumption that the followers of a particular influencer will flock to buy the products in support. However, some influencers have strayed away from partnering with brands, and have gone on to create their own product lines. One such influencer is Kathleen Fuentes, known online as KathleenLights.

While Kathleen continues to partner with successful online (and now in Sephora) brand Colourpop, within the last two years she has released her own line of nail polishes called KL Polish. With a following of nearly 4 million subscribers on YouTube, this line of polishes would probably be successful on their own without Kathleen having to spice things up on social media. However, Kathleen has leveraged the social media pages for this company for peak consumer interaction, especially around the launch of a new collection. As seen below, when a new collection is being released, Mrs. Fuentes will post a picture to the KL Polish Instagram in black and white, revealing on the shade tones and their names, but not the actual colors themselves. Then, in the six days before, a new promotional image for a shade will be released, until followers have seen all six shades in the collection.

The first image of the collection released in black and white creates a frenzy around this brand. Firstly, it alerts consumers that a new line is about to be released. Once this image is posted, we as consumers know that a new collection will be out within the week, and that’s obviously exciting enough. However, the picture then becomes more creative. For the next six days, consumers are desperately trying to guess the color of each shade, based on what colors have been released before, and what could be missing. For myself personally, my friend and I stay on top of the KL Polish Instagram during this time to see if our predictions were correct, and whether or not we are surprised by the colors.

Doing this sort of social media release is a great way to increase consumer engagement and excitement. Social media engagement during this time will increase dramatically within individuals trying to guess shades. It’s easy for brands to simply release promotional images for new products, but there’s an increasing trend for brands to post close up images or tease videos for new products, especially on Instagram, in order to raise excitement for a new launch, and I think the way that KL Polish goes about this is very refreshing in comparison.

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