branding

Every Time I Look at You, I Buy a Little: What’s In a Brand’s Look

Posted: September 29, 2017 by Kiku Gross

They say you never forget your first time.

I remember mine clearly.

For a creative, I’m a bit of a cynic. I don’t believe in true love, or fairytale endings. Romantic comedies make me sicker than most horror flicks I’ve seen, and I’ve got some weird friends.

But then it happened.

Blush pink, rose-scented, and yet, completely no-nonsense. Something that managed to appeal to both my utilitarian sensibilities and tap into the very, very…very deeply buried femininity within me.

Yes, if you know me well enough, you already know I’m talking about Glossier (pronounced “glossy-eh,” as the French would say), the beauty brand brainchild that came from a fellow super-intern with a super German last name, Emily Weiss.

For those of you who aren’t within the narrow niche that Glossier caters to, let me explain. They’re a beauty brand curated by beauty editors. Their slogan, Skin First, Makeup Second. Smile Always. implies that beauty should be natural, easy and sensible. Like the made up “French Girl” beauty stereotype, the idea is that all you’d need to be just as beautiful as the models in their high-contrast, soft-blur photos is their skin tint and some lip balm. Oh and loads of Millennial Pink, because branding. Their aesthetics are so, well, glossy.

I’ve waxed poetic long enough, but every time I think of this brand I think of something my Advertising Procedures Professor told me, which was nothing short of genius.

When you’re trying to figure out a brand’s voice, try and personify it. Who does that brand look like? And more importantly, what do the consumers of that brand want it to look like?

Weiss herself has said her aim was, “…building a company around what women want, not just from a product perspective but from an engagement perspective, from a distribution perspective, and from a values perspective.”

Look. Love makes you do crazy things. Like mindlessly buy anything a brand puts out against your better, logical judgment, because they’ve got such a well curated image you think you’re going to look like the pretty girls in the photos.

But wait—there’s more. Weiss built Glossier as a content company. A cornerstone of their success is their dedicated, snap-happy social media following who know that when they post a photo of a Glossier product, it could very likely be reposted, and that when they leave a comment, it will be read by Weiss herself (she’s said she reads every single one. Swoon.).

Engagement. Check.

And more—Glossier’s most recent “Body Hero” product line campaign features a diverse group of models who are confident, naked and seemingly emboldened by the words, “Body Hero.” It’s clean, simple, inclusive and body-positive.

Values. Check.

A “Body Hero” decal is also included with every product purchase, so Glossier’s loyal followers are invited to be their own shameless, body-loving body heroes, and of course, post about it on Instagram.

Voilá. You are the pretty girl in their photos.

Which makes you one step closer to being Weiss herself (not in a creepy way). Remember when I called myself a “super-intern” earlier? Do I believe I was one? I mean, not really. But Ms. Weiss was one. Her hair was always perfect, her skin always dewy, and she managed to dethrone Lauren Conrad from a very coveted Teen Vogue spot.

And yeah, my greatest aspirations are to live in a fancy New York loft with a fluffy white cat and run a beauty blog. I want to curate the perfect Fashion Week diet and interview the wives and stepdaughters of The Strokes.

I don’t idolize people. But if I did, Emily Weiss would near the top of my list.

And that’s the illusion that Glossier sells. Skin First. Makeup Second. Smile Always. Easy to say when your world revolves around beauty. I wish I was trendy and cute, and sipped on lemon waters in my silk pajamas in the morning. Instead I’m writing this blog on about three cups of coffee in a Target (pronounced “Tar-jay,” as the French would say) tee shirt. Some of us want to have glowy skin and good hair, but some of us are still in college, and have client deadlines, dammit.

And don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have it any other way, really. But everyone’s gotta have dreams.

So, when you’re figuring out your brand’s voice, who your brand really is, think of who your demographic is, and then think of who they want to be. We here at Jeffrey Scott could help you sort that out.

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