By Grace Gaylard, Editorial Assistant, King Content.
Into The Gloss
When Emily Weiss decided to create an online platform for beauty content called Into The Gloss, she envisioned it as an online magazine for the beauty community.
Weiss started the blog while working full-time, posting content that revolved around peering into the beauty cabinets of well-known actresses, businesswomen and models three times a week. It quickly grew into a site with multiple contributors, millions of followers and a spin-off beauty company, Glossier.
Into The Gloss is now almost six years old and Glossier is approaching the two-year mark. With a huge following on the website and demand for its beauty products causing an unexpected backlog, I want to look at why Weiss’s company is becoming one of the most successful new beauty companies of recent years. How did a business model that goes against traditional brand creation take the (mostly millennial) marketplace by storm?
Online beauty content is a quickly growing industry – you only have to jump on YouTube to see how many beauty vloggers and tutorials are out there. A combination of consistency (regular posts), a profile in the industry (Weiss worked at Teen Vogue, Vogue and W), and access to well-known personalities were all factors in the gradual growth and awareness of the site. As was its platform, which encouraged conversation on a wider level – so it became more about the community than Weiss’s own personal blog.
A large part of Into The Gloss’s appeal is that the audience can see themselves reflected in the content. There are sections dedicated to opinion-based forums, as well as regular pieces on readers’ own beauty cabinets, careers and aspirations. Women (and men) from all over the world are featured, and it’s encouraging to see so many different perspectives on beauty.
“Who are we? We are you, listening to everyone, absorbing all of this information over the years, and trying to get at the core of what beauty is – and needs…” – Weiss, Into The Gloss
Glossier was borne out of recognising a need and a gap in the market – and a captured audience ready to go. Weiss and her team designed a capsule collection of skincare products that would be the basic foundation for a good skincare regimen: a skin tint, moisturiser, universal balm and a face mist.
They have since introduced new products, launched pop-up bricks-and-mortar stores, hosted panels, and given their products a voice via Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.
It was – and continues to be – a runaway success, with waitlists for products into the thousands. This is because it communicates directly with its consumers via multiple channels, and uses the feedback to help create and tweak products. Also, the brand champions authenticity and the ‘everywoman’, while its low price point, quality ingredients and simple packaging mean it can be marketed to a broad range of consumers.
Slowly but surely, Weiss was able to create a platform that held the attention of her future consumers and allowed them to talk to her and each other, creating a dialogue that was real and unpretentious. Glossier’s audience was built first and the products followed.
Tone of voice has also played a huge role in Glossier’s success. In an age where there’s an evident desire for transparency and authenticity, brands that can communicate friend-to-friend, rather than in an authoritarian or condescending manner, will always win out.
Unlike companies that seem to be tripping over themselves to make retroactive content, brands like Glossier are sitting back, taking stock and turning the industry on its head.
What can we take from Glossier’s inception and growth from a content perspective?
The importance of building trust, keeping up our end of the bargain, and creating quality content.