(Click on the image above (or here) to open up a branding deck for the 'new' Glossier and for the new product that I created: Formula Z)
For this assignment, I picked Glossier (to rebrand) because they are one of the leading companies out there that truly have a strong brand image and identity and I wanted to take a stab at rebranding them for that exact reason alone; customers easily recognize their fun, quirky, and marketplace-disruptive media campaigns, and flock to their showroom and website to buy cult-favorite beauty and skincare products.
CEO & Founder Emily Weiss started Into The Gloss, a popular blog dedicated to all things beauty - what’s in celebrities/models/stylists bathroom shelves, what are the newest makeup and hair trends, what are some skincare tips from dermatologists, etc etc etc - back in 2010. Throughout those interviews with celebrities, makeup artists, and the like, Weiss noticed a discrepancy between companies and their consumers. In an interview with TechCrunch, she stated: “Though many women seemed to have an affinity for certain products, they didn’t necessarily know anything about those brands’ values or communicate with them in any way.” She created Glossier in 2014, which launched with just a few products but has now, by 2017, grown into a nearly full-fledged beauty/skincare brand (they’re still missing some key products such as mascara, bronzer, and eyeshadow - but that’s just my opinion!).
Their brand creates a story around “The Cool Girl”, a girl who has effortlessly clear skin, just needs a little “Boy Brow” (an eyebrow product that thickens, fills, and grooms ‘brows), maybe a touch of “Haloscope” (a iridescent highlighter) and a smudge of "Cloud Paint" in Dusk (a gel-cream blush).
Glossier is minimalist, chic (with a subtle French-like influence), pretty (just take a look at the packaging), and cute (have you read all the product names?). On one hand, we all aspire to be this cool girl: she lives in a modest apartment in NYC or Paris, is naturally beautiful (with radiant and glowing skin even if she eats cheeseburgers and runs on four hours of sleep), succeeds in everything she does and has plenty of friends and family to go around (who all like her too!).
While I do hope Glossier eventually rolls out product campaigns with women who have acne, scars, and other ‘traditionally unattractive’ features that mainstream media reminds us are ugly (since most of their campaigns so far have included women with pretty much perfect, scar-less skin), Glossier has already done a lot more than many other beauty companies by having models of color and models of different body sizes featured in their product photos and campaigns. For example, in their most recent product campaign for their new body oil wash and cream called “Body Hero Daily Oil Wash” and “Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream”, respectively, they had females of all different body shapes and backgrounds pose nudes (one model even had visible tattoos on the side of her hips/thighs which many companies usually edit out); it was both empowering and invigorating to see these women in their ‘most vulnerable’ state, even if they are selling two new Glossier products.
Glossier’s logo (left) is a very fanciful G monogram, with the company name, Glossier, in an Apercu font below it. Sometimes their logo is just the G monogram, and other times it is Glossier spelled out across a product or the packaging of it. Their most popular and well-known tagline is: “Skin first. Makeup second.”.
The color palette is primarily pastel baby-pink, with occasional yellows, peaches, creams, magentas, baby-blues (backdrop for photos) and well, other traditionally feminine, light, pastel and airy colors. Their products often come with a Glossier sticker (depending on the season (Summer, Winter) you purchase your products) and a sticker sheet, which includes stickers of a rainbow, googly eyes, Glossier spelt out in different typefaces, sparkles, a peace sign, smiley faces, lipsticks, and hearts; what better and more fun way for customers to show off the brand - besides using the products - than to add the stickers to their laptops, phones, notebooks, etc. and be a living, breathing brand-ambassador for the brand themselves? That’s branding done right.
Glossier started off as an online-only beauty brand, a very difficult concept to even consider, let alone push forward, given that beauty and makeup is a touch, feel, and use process. They had a few showroom pop-ups in their office building, but finally acquired the space and opened up an official showroom (architecture & interior design) in December of 2016 on 123 Lafayette St., between Howard and Canal in NY.
The showroom is light and airy, and despite it being relatively small in size for a showroom, with the way it’s decorated, the space seems rather vast. There are several mirrors for customers to see how products look on them, a few flowers in vases on some pink shelves/structures, quartz crystals and various products in clear-glass cases, a mirror that says “I look good” for people to take pictures of themselves (and thus share the experience of being in the Glossier showroom), pink and white walls, and photos of their various product campaigns on the walls (re: the second photo on the right - those photos with the ‘red theme’ were for their Balm Dot Com Cherry flavor campaign). Employees wear big, pink overalls and customers are encouraged to take lots of photos.
(Images on the left were taken by me in the Glossier showroom).
To rebrand Glossier, I wanted to also create a new product: an acne cream. Glossier currently has a serum, “The Super Pure”, which, according to the product description is supposed to help fight acne:
Freaked-out skin, meet your match. The niacinamide and zinc in Super Pure visibly soothe redness and help calm blemishes, respectively—especially useful during that time just before your period. Junk food and stress are other skin-disrupting triggers that Super Pure helps counteract. It gets troubled skin in check and flushes out impurities, including excess sebum that builds up inside pores. (Glossier)
However, I believe there is room for a product that is more targeted to acne breakouts and pimples, such as a cream that goes over one or two pimples as opposed to a serum that one applies to their whole face. Most acne-targeted products typically are meant to be used on pimples that are sporadically spread out on someone's face, and not to be used on the entire face since the product may have slightly harsh ingredients that are best to fight a pimple and not healthy, non-pimpled skin. While Glossier recently (Winter 2018) released Solution, a physical exfoliator that contains a 10% blend of three acid actives, we don't know the actual percentages of each of the three acids (besides the fact that it's 10% in total). Furthermore, Caroline Hirons points out that Solution also has fragrance (which can cause skin reactions a.k.a. a no-no for people with acne), and the "high % of sodium hydroxide" "will also potentially aggravate your acid mantle, and not in the way acids are supposed to". JenReviews similarly points out that customers should " try to be gentle when you wash the area and if you use any exfoliating care products", and that any "excess rubbing and friction will cause your pimples to leak and make matters worse". Therefore, I believe that a targeted acne/zit cream (not an exfoliator or serum) that can fight acne while also being gentle on the skin is a product Glossier should look into developing.
The Target Market for this new Glossier acne-fighting product, Formula Z, will be Female Hispanic-Americans between the ages of 16-34. Hispanic-Americans, just like every other ethnic group, suffer from acne at a high rate (Acne.org). Additionally, according to Acne.org, Hispanic-Americans are only half as likely to seek treatment for acne compared with Caucasian people and experience a higher occurrence of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (the medical term for the dark/red spots that are left behind after acne lesions have healed). To prevent this post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, we need to create a product that will stop pimples and zits in their place before they can leave behind red-marks behind that take months to fade.
Additionally, a lot of acne products may sometimes also lighten the skin way too much (a little bit can be understandable), which for darker skin tones (many Hispanic-Americans tend to have a darker complexion) is not always ideal since it will lead to a spotty and uneven skin tone. In fact, there are many products on the market that are meant to brighten and whiten skin (especially in the Asian market where skin bleaching products are sold and bought at high rates) because of the idea that ‘white skin is pure and beautiful’. Formula Z is not going to do that. Instead, Formula Z’s goal is to minimize the pimple/zit in its place and allow it to heal naturally in a way that reduces the chance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Ingredients in Formula Z (Z standing for Zit) that are up for consideration, but are not limited to (since I am not a biology/chemistry/ingredient-mixing major) are: aloe, traces of tea-tree oil (antibacterial), rosehip oil (nourishing, rejuvenating), Vitamin C (to lighten the redness that comes with zits), turmeric (anti-inflammatory), Vitamin E (skin-plumping), neem (antioxidant and astringent properties), willow bark extract (a natural form of salicylic acid to remove dead skin cells), sage extract (to protect skin), and allicin (a potent acne-fighter, as well as a chemical compound found in raw garlic, which is a popular ingredient used in Hispanic-American dishes - Glossier’s nod to Hispanic-American culture).
Even though Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most well-known and used acne-fighting products, I would suggest avoiding benzoyl peroxide as an ingredient if we’re targeting only Hispanic-Americans with this product. According to some research, and anecdotal reports, an unusually large number of Hispanics are sensitive to the ingredient; “certain brown and olive skin types skin are already making relatively large amounts of brown pigment” and so “the brown spots that occur after acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide can be especially dark” (FacingAcne).
While acne can often be mitigated through lifestyle factors such as better sleep, exercise, and a healthier diet, many people are often not lucky enough and seek out topical creams and even antiobiotic treatments (which can cause harmful side effects and can negatively damage your gut flora for many years after you finish your course of treatment). Many acne-sufferers also take Accutane, one of the most well-known acne treatments in the world; however, Accutane doesn't come without a whole slew of side effects (some of which include: depressed mood, seizures, joint pain, hearing problems, blurred vision). To avoid these kinds of negative effects, most people would change their lifestyle and test topical treatments which tend to be less harmful and invasive.
Therefore, another avenue for Glossier to explore is to develop an Acne-Kit (a kit of several products targeting acne and hyper-pigmentation and scarring), as one product may not be enough for combatting acne, and this would additionally allow Glossier to combine other products they already have and group them into a kit. For example, Glossier's Invisible Shield is a daily sunscreen (SPF 35). As Acne.org points out: "20-30 minutes per day for people with darker skin may actually prove beneficial for acne symptoms. However, over-exposure to the sun will damage the skin." Sunscreen, besides being an important preventative measure for skin cancer, is also an important arsenal in skincare as many acne treatments (particularly acids) will often dry-out skin and make it extremely sensitive to sun exposure.
Target Market Research
Hispanic-Americans are a very family-heavy and community-reliant culture. However, unlike their immigrant parents, this group strongly exhibits a preference for English as their primary mode of communication(Hispanic-Marketing). Hispanic Millennials struggle to find their footing, and many feel the need to fit into the mainstream culture, but also want to maintain their cultural identity (AnneLoehr). In fact, 67% of Hispanic Millennials surveyed want to stand out as Latino, yet only 47% say they feel close or somewhat close to their culture, accordingly to research for *The Hispanic Millennial Project (HMP). Furthermore, it is important that we don’t sell Formula Z and then leave, expecting our target audience to buy our product. Instead, we need to show the “target customer that the brand actually cares about who they are” and contribute to their community in some way (AnneLoehr); in return for showing we care about their demographic, we can earn brand loyalty. Also, it’s important to ensure this campaign is bicultural and inclusive, so we will use Hispanic-American females to convey this biculturalism - and avoid any stereotypes in the process.
The new Tagline for this particular product would be “Dare to Dream”, and the campaign slogan would be “Not afraid to Dream. Not afraid to be me.”; both of these taglines/slogans are aimed at acne-sufferers who hold themselves back from pursuing their dreams because of their acne, while also sending a message to the Dreamers who dare to dream and come to the U.S. to have a better life for themselves and their families (Dreamers are those affected by the Trump organization’s rescinding of DACA). In the context of the overall brand, “Dare to Dream” serves as a statement to empower women to follow and pursue their dreams, even in the face of adversity. Like Emily Weiss who dared to dream and create Glossier, women all around the world are encouraged to do the same, no matter what.
Many people with acne-prone skin have low self-esteem and feel uncomfortable being out in public where others can see their skin. Having acne and acne-scarred skin is emotionally exhausting and can often time keep people from going after what they want because they’re scared they’re not good enough, pretty enough, or worthy enough. Many acne patients report that they are acutely sensitive about how others perceive them on first meetings and almost half of the patients in one study felt that others considered them to be dirty because of their acne (News-Medical). In addition, children with acne may not want to attend school during breakouts for fear of taunting or because of a low self-confidence, and even adults with acne may refuse to attend work or may be fearful of taking up certain jobs which demand a ‘perfect appearance’ in their eyes (News-Medical). So, acne-sufferers may hold themselves back from pursuing their dreams because of their acne.
With light of recent news of Mr. Trump wanting to rescind DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), I wanted to create a tagline that takes into account the several hundreds of thousands of Hispanic-Americans who Mr. Trump is harmfully, and wrongfully damaging; they are known as Dreamers after the DREAM Act Bill (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act). According to Wikipedia, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) “was an American immigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit”. There are approximately 800,000 individuals—referred to as Dreamers after the DREAM Act bill—that were enrolled in the program created by DACA, a policy established by the Obama administration in June 2012 and now rescinded by the Trump administration in September 2017. While it is a common belief that a majority of “applicants to the DACA program have been from Mexico and other predominantly Latino countries [...], seven of the top 24 countries with the highest acceptance rate for DACA applicants are in Asia, Europe or the Caribbean” (Washington Post); nonetheless, Hispanic-Americans still make up a large majority of Dreamers and that was taken into consideration for this tagline/slogan.
*** On an important note, I’m very aware of not trying to take advantage of this terrible situation (with Mr. Trump and his decisions) for profit and sales and taglines/slogans, so I suggest taking a portion of the profits of Formula Z and donating them to immigration charities (x). The goal of this campaign/rebranding is to highlight how acne issues can impede females (particularly Hispanic-American females) and lower their self-esteem, thus preventing them from reaching their full potential and going after their 'dreams'. Also, this campaign does not assume each Hispanic-American female is a 'Dreamer' (that would be a very narrow-minded and problematic belief) as there are millions of U.S. born Hispanic-American females that have no involvement with the DACA or Dreamers program in any way. Ultimately, we want to empower women to go after what they want and fight against acne - and continue to fight against wrongful actions and decisions in whichever way they may present themselves in these women's' lives.***
The Color Palette I came up with incorporates colors that are very common to several cultures in the Hispanic-American world such as red, yellow and orange. The brown and cream-like color offset the more vivid red, orange and yellow to create a palette that is warm, comforting, and culturally appropriate (Image Source: Coolors).
Additionally, I recreated the Logo, which is typically the ‘G’ monogram as shown before, to be: a red cloud and three sparkling stars to the right of the cloud, which would be above the company name (to depict the Dreamers), and below the company name would be an icon of a girl to represent women (since Glossier is a mostly-female company that targets primarily to females).
Finally, I created three print ads for this product and target market (see below). They serve to show different Hispanic-American females between the ages of 16-34 in their daily lives, wearing Formula Z, either bare-faced or over their makeup; for the ones that would have it over their makeup, it would underscore how their acne is so glaring and obvious at times, but despite that, these women won’t let it get in their way - and neither should you. The first ad poignantly captures the political message I referred to earlier (in regards to DACA and Dreamers) while the second ad is more product-oriented; the third ad (for the sake of this assignment, we will assume that’s a cultural dress and necklace) is most reflective of the woman’s Hispanic-American background.
Resources and References
A daily face exfoliator. (n.d.). Retrieved February, 2018, from https://www.glossier.com/products/solution
Accutane Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Warnings. (n.d.). Retrieved February, 2018, from https://www.drugs.com/accutane.html
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://intersectretail.com/insight/glossier-brand-study/
Coolors. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://coolors.co/ffd275-e8ae68-a57f60-e3a587-db5a42
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. (2017, September 22). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferred_Action_for_Childhood_Arrivals
Glossier. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.leslie-david.com/Glossier
Goffan, H., & Latino, T. (2016, September 30). Characteristics of Hispanic Millennials. Retrieved from http://hispanic-marketing.com/characteristics-of-hispanic-millennials/
Hirons, C. (2018, January 29). GLOSSIER SOLUTION. Retrieved February, 2018, from https://www.carolinehirons.com/2018/01/glossier-solution.html
Customer Review of Glossier's Solution
Hopp, D. (2016, November 25). The Best Natural Ingredients That Fight Acne, as Proven by Science. Retrieved from http://www.byrdie.com/how-to-treat-acne-natural-ingredients/slide4
Is There Really Such a Thing as Hispanic Acne Care? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.facingacne.com/hispanic-acne-care/
Jen. (2018, January 28). How to Get Rid of Acne – The Ultimate Guide. Retrieved February, 2018, from https://www.jenreviews.com/how-to-get-rid-of-acne/
Comprehensive How-To Get Rid of Acne Guide
Kasana, M. (2017, September 11). 9 Immigration Organizations To Donate To If You Want To Support DACA Recipients. Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/p/9-immigration-organizations-to-donate-to-if-you-want-to-support-daca-recipients-80757
Latino skin and acne. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.acne.org/ethnic-latino-skin.html
Loizos, C. (2017, February 17). How to build a brand in 2017: Tips from Glossier CEO Emily Weiss. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/17/beauty-guru-emily-weiss-on-building-a-brand-from-scratch-in-2017/
Robey, T. E. (2016, November 14). Inside Glossier's Unmarketing. Retrieved from https://www.racked.com/2016/11/14/13455582/glossier-referral-marketing-bloggers
Scott, E. (2017, September 07). Analysis | ‘Dreamers’ aren’t just coming from Latin America. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/09/07/dreamers-arent-just-coming-from-latin-america/?utm_term=.e0b0f9b2734d
Seltzer, R., & Renee Seltzer Renee is a 15 year Digital Marketing Executive with a broad range of experience in private, post- secondary education and B-2-B and B-2-C. Her marketing career covers everything digital- from social media, video, analytics, storytelling, content strategy, email marketing, lead nurturing, PPC, SEO, website development, usability and the list goes on. She's also the proud mom to 2 year old twins. (2016, July 26). Get to Know Hispanic Generation Z and What Marketing Strategies Work. Retrieved from http://www.tribecamarketinggroup.com/tribecatrending/get-to-know-hispanic-generation-z/
Six Tips For Marketing to Hispanic Millennials. (2015, November 06). Retrieved from http://www.anneloehr.com/2015/10/09/six-tips-for-marketing-to-hispanic-millennials/
Sunscreen (SPF) and acne. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2018, from https://www.acne.org/spf-sunscreen.html
Super Pure. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.glossier.com/products/super-pure
Thomas, M. L. (2016, November 17). Acne and Self-Esteem. Retrieved from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Acne-and-Self-Esteem.aspx
Yi, D. (2016, August 25). How Glossier became a beauty brand born entirely on the web. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2016/08/25/glossier-emily-weiss/#vCyp49ojbkqp
Ad Images Source: Unsplash.com