May 23 | 2019

Marketing, the 2019 Way: How Glossier created a cult following with Gen Z and Millennials

By: Kirsten Cave, Account Director.



How are my eyebrows always on fleek you ask? Introducing Glossier and their game-changing product: Boy Brow.


Glossier is a skincare and lifestyle beauty brand and I’ve proudly self-appointed myself as their brand ambassador because their products are the real deal. Not only do they have a badass female CEO ruling the game, their products last all day and their marketing is diverse and inclusive. In fact, if I continue to spam them with tags on my Instagram I could personally be featured in their feed – goals.


Maintaining loyalty within a cohort of consumers with fleeting attention spans is difficult, but Glossier has managed to generate a loyal following who have driven them to financial unicorn status in just 5 years. So yes, it’s not just me fangirling over their products.


The company has successfully surpassed revenues of USD$100 Million in 2018 and is now valued at USD$1.2 Billion. They’ve been named the most innovative company by Fast Company (2017) and their founder, Emily Weiss, won this year’s Webby Entrepreneur of the Year award. Now that’s a #girlboss.


Their belief in community challenges the traditional sales model – while most companies focus on sales figures in the short-term, Glossier understands their consumers appreciate authenticity and community. Focusing then on an evolved purchasing cycle with WOM at its core, as opposed to quick, short-term sales.


Obsessing over their boy brow D2C marketing model has shifted my needs from a brand:


Rehumanize marketing

Glossier not only listens to feedback but involves their customers in the product development process. They also consider any customer an influencer and feature them on their channels regularly, including a section of their website dedicated to super fans they appoint as brand ambassadors (sadly, not yet me).


DO: Invest in your customers as co-creators and acknowledge the power of user-generated content. Be authentic in your marketing. Don’t forget that fact-checking is just a Google click away.


Enrich the unboxing experience

My first Glossier package arrived in a plain cardboard box, with a big GLOSSIER logo on the outside. I took a picture. When I opened the box, the inside was flooded with a light pink colour and the words “YOU LOOK GOOD”. I took a picture (and they were right, I DID look good). Then, of course, the products were packaged beautifully (read: Instagrammable) and they even came with adorable Glossier stylized stickers to personalize my products. I took another picture and then I posted it all to Instagram. Get it? User-generated content = free marketing, people! And guess what, they liked my post! Dreams really can come true.


DO: Ensure consistency in your brand experience, transitioning from the digital to the physical world. Design products to encourage customer content, focusing on the customer at-home experience.


Speak their language

As an avocado toast-loving Millennial myself, I like brands to have a bit of charisma and to not read off a script when I’m engaging with them. Take a peek at Glossier’s Instagram feed and you’ll get an array of relevant, sassy and alluring content. They quickly reply to customer comments and engage in the conversation.


DO: Digital is great, but don’t be a robot. Consumers want to communicate in their language, your brand should emulate this. Meet your customers where they are, personalize their customer service on their preferred channels.


As purchasing power has shifted into the hands of a new generation of consumers, the landscape has changed. Customers are at the forefront of brand decisions, with the ability to drive the conversation both online and offline. As a brand, encourage conversation, let your customers be heard and then do something about it.


Basically, I’m just writing this post because I really want them to start shipping to the Netherlands…

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