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It's All in the Delivery: A Case Study in Message Placement
By: Christine Vadala
Posted: August 26, 2013, from the September 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.
- For young, small brands with a unique point of view, getting the word out can be a challenge. GlamNatural found that by knowing its target market well, it could develop loyal inroads.
- GlamNatural’s grassroots efforts focused on local tastemakers, turning its fans into brand advocates.
- GlamNatural worked with hands-on beauty experts and influences—such as makeup artists and spa professionals—aligning the brand with and gaining buy in from professionals who helped advocate to consumers.
- GlamNatural remains true and authentic to its values, further entrenching its loyal brand fans.
Have you ever watched a comedian on stage, engaging the audience with his best joke only to deliver a punch line to a crowd that just didn’t get it? What went wrong? Was something lost in translation?
It’s difficult to re-engage your audience once they have disengaged. While some performers are talented enough to pull the audience back in, most comedians will just fade away. Beauty brands are no different when it comes to delivering the punch line—or, as we marketers call it, the brand message.
If, in fact, you get only one shot at delivering the brand message, it’s prudent to consider what is the most effective way to tell the story of your brand. For makeup brand GlamNatural, it was imperative to select a vehicle that allowed sufficient time with its customers to educate and train them about the product while delivering its message.
The Brand Standards
GlamNatural is a green cosmetic company that produces and manufactures a healthy, high-performance alternative to chemically based makeup for women who enjoy being glamorous in a natural way. The goal of the company and its founders was to create a makeup line that holds itself to the highest possible standard for safety and performance. To do so, the company set aside standard industry formulation and instead decided to adhere to what it calls its BodySafe Promise.
To qualify as BodySafe, all products must be vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, formaldehyde- and paraben-free, phthalate-free, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and free of synthetic fragrances and dye. It also is PETA-approved and European Cosmetics Directive compliant.
The eventual success of GlamNatural has been predicated upon first identifying the demographics that will be receptive to its message and then delivering that message through a platform that offers the opportunity to capture the attention and interest of the BodySafe, GlamNatural consumer—which is, ironically, more difficult than realizing the brand’s message to begin with.
Most consumers view natural cosmetics as low-performing makeup, while consumers that buy high-performance makeup often have little concern or knowledge about the ingredients on the label. It typically takes a large marketing budget to educate and change buying habits. A big sampling budget is also helpful.
However, when you don’t have either, what are your options?
Grassroots marketing will most likely prevail. GlamNatural found local customers were more receptive to local companies. They are more inclined to sample products they might otherwise pass on. The company invited community opinion leaders to focus group sessions and asked for feedback on its product. GlamNatural also involved them on packaging decisions, product naming and special pricing opportunities. The company wanted these women to help mold that brand. As GlamNatural’s story began to evolve, it had a clearer direction on who is was—and, more importantly, who it wasn’t.
It was through this grassroots marketing method that the company learned how to train its customers to use its product. Take, for example, GlamNatural’s hydrating foundation. It’s concentrated, non-aqueous and only has six ingredients. Its patent-pending formula is unique from any other foundation on the market. Through website videos and personal training, GlamNatural educated its new customers on how to use it properly. This case is unique, because the application is just as unique as the formula itself: pump, rub, dab and blend.
Shortly after the success of that program, the company went on to develop broader outreach events. For example, GlamNatural’s team invited its focus group participants and their friends to a garden party held at a brand co-owner’s home, where they allowed the BodySafe educational exchange to happen organically. Local salon owners and makeup artists were also on the invite list. This social affair allowed everyone to meet the owners of the company, experience the GlamNatural brand, and to hear the buzz on that products first-hand.