PALM DESERT, CA: Glossier, the beauty brand, believes values such as “belonging” and “community” are far more powerful than the “negging” – or deliberately undermining the confidence of women – that has often typified the category in the past.

Henry Davis, President/COO of Glossier – which launched its first products in 2014 – discussed this subject during a session at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) 2018 Annual Leadership Meeting.

“The brands of the future will be based on belonging and community,” he said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Glossier’s digital commerce changed the face of beauty.)

Elaborating on this theme, Davis argued that attempts to guilt and shame women should have no role in how beauty brands engage with their target audiences.

“Millennials are rejecting that. They are in a different place in their lives. They want brands as a peer. They’re choosing [the] inclusive. They’re choosing nice. They’re choosing real,” he said.

Enterprises like SoulCycle, the fitness company, and Supreme, a fashion and lifestyle firm, have built rapidly-growing brands through fostering these types of “meaningful connections” in the physical world.

On its part, Glossier seeks to generate similar outcomes in the digital space. “That is the future of brands. Digital is what allows brands to make meaningful connections with people … and do it to scale. That’s the key,” Davis said.

And that approach represents a shift from the traditional strategy often seen in the beauty industry which, Davis, suggested, has been among the worst practitioner of “negging” in marketing by “creating anxiety relievable by purchase.”

Some illustrations of this tactic, either implied or stated outright in ads, include notions such as, “‘Your lips are not full enough.’ ‘Your lashes are not big enough.’ ‘Your skin is not clear enough.’

“Millennials are just fed up with being preached to,” said Davis. “A recent survey said two-thirds [of millennials] are annoyed by mass marketing. And you know the ads: ‘You’re not thin enough.’ ‘You’re not man enough.’ ‘You’re not mom enough.’”

Sourced from WARC