PALM DESERT, CA: Glossier, the beauty company, believes that its “community-first” ethos has been vital to building meaningful bonds with consumers and spreading impactful word of mouth.

Henry Davis, Glossier’s President/COO, discussed this subject during a session at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) 2018 Annual Leadership Meeting.

“We think ‘community-first’ always,” he said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: Glossier’s eight smart tips to build a better e-commerce business.)

Davis had some statistical evidence to support this strategy: “Fifty-nine percent of people who make purchase decisions about beauty products base their selection on a friend or family recommendation,” he said.

Such an insight has clear marketing consequences. “That means the entire marketing budget of the beauty industry … is chasing the other 41%,” he added.

As Glossier aims to foster a sense of community, it works with consumers throughout the product and marketing lifecycles. “We involve our customers in literally everything that we do,” Davis explained.

More broadly, its brand philosophy is based around “helping people find what they want,” he continued. “We’re not going to be the best product in every category for every customer.

“No one goes out dressed head to toe in one thing or has a medicine cabinet full of one thing. It is weird that it’s taken so long for brands to realise that – the fact that they’re part of a larger ecosystem and that we all can, and should, play nicely together.”

Another aspect of its approach, in turn, reflects one of Glossier’s core growth drivers. “We can’t grow unless we are conversational,” Davis said. “Eighty percent of Glossier’s new customers come from peer-to-peer channels.

“We do invest in marketing for the [other 20%] … But, at some point, you tap out of marketing and, ultimately, it’s the marketplace that drives growth.”

Rather than forcing consumers through the funnel as rapidly as possible, the “community-first” approach places a greater value on long-term relationships, too.

“We want our customers to engage in the product – to understand what it is they’re buying, and why, and who we are,” Davis said.

Sourced from WARC