From Alicia Keys to JLo, celebrities have found a lucrative way to flex their star power and generate wealth: beauty companies. Celebrities have delved into creating their own beauty lines before, but it isn’t far off to notice, that the success of Kylie Jenner’s makeup line started the recent boom.
In 2018, Kylie sold a 51% stake in her cosmetic brand for $600 million to Coty. Her company’s valuation catapulted her to billionaire status. For celebrities, it’s no longer enough to endorse or be the spokesperson for established companies. The money comes from creating and packaging your own product. Social media reach combined with technological innovation, such as easily setting up an online store, allow celebrities to sell products directly.
So how are celebrities selling their products? As the market gets saturated, branding becomes even more crucial for sales. What kind of messaging drives these beauty campaigns and which ones work for you?
With Soulcare (2020), Alicia taps into connecting the physical body, ancient practices, with spiritual experiences. One way to nourish your soul is through beauty rituals. She wants to combine beauty products with mysticism and positive affirmations. Through the process of taking care of your skin, you’re practicing self-love.
She gleans on ancient beliefs and ingredients, such as the benefits of burning sage or the use of certain minerals for wellness. Plant-based ingredients, also seem to be a selling point.
She launched her line with a skin care ritual, which involves a cream, candle, and a facial roller. Light the sage candle for clarity, start massaging your face with the cream and the facial roller, and your “consciousness shifts”.
Compared to other branding, Soulcare focuses on how YOU will feel. These products are meant to help you find your me-time.
From a revenue standpoint, the strategy entices people to buy more than one product to get the full ritual.
Jessica Alba launched her beauty products under the Honest brand, which started off as a baby product company centered on non-toxic ingredients in 2011. Similar to her baby care line, Honest Beauty focuses on “clean” ingredients. This refers to cruelty-free ingredients and the site claims that they work with toxicologists to audit their products.
With product names such as calm, magic, and elevated, Honest Beauty also taps into a space of tranquility, similar to Soulcare, but the approach leans less on mysticism and more on scientific experts and technology. Jessica actively posts tutorials on YouTube on how to use the merchandise and the website prominently uses her pictures. Therefore, her lifestyle and personality also play a critical role in the overall branding aside from clean ingredients.
With a full release in January 2021, JLo Beauty’s marketing message centers on JLo: use her products and you’ll feel and look like her. JLo represents power, sex appeal, and beauty. You’ll get all three, plus her “superstar glow” with her products.
If Alicia’s Soulcare turns to the ancient for beauty wisdom, Jessica to science, JLo turns to her family for beauty traditions. Olive oil seems to be a key ingredient in her products and she attributes this to her mom. The ties to family fits the overall branding narrative well, that these products provide you with a bit of her and her superstar juju.
Selena’s Rare beauty, on the other hand moves away from making Selena the blueprint for what you will feel if you use her products. Rather, you will find who you are and celebrate your uniqueness: “beauty is not about being someone else, but being who you are.” From the website, celebrating uniqueness appears to be centered on color, with the ability to find various shades for different skin tones.
Aside from color, however, it’s unclear how the products let you celebrate uniqueness.
The online store prominently features causes that the company contributes to, such as mental health and chronic diseases. The brand is grounded on social impact and issues and wants to attract a social conscious audience.
Why Deconstructing Brand Strategies Helps You Understand Yourself
When you deconstruct brand strategies, you get to understand what works on you. In turn, you get a better sense of what you’re looking for, what you need, and what you believe in. If Soulcare speaks to you, maybe you need more spa days at home, uninterrupted. That can mean taking more time to put moisturizer on, or try not to hurry when you’re showering and enjoy the moment. If it’s JLo Beauty, maybe you want to feel more successful in life, and what can you do to achieve your goals? Are you the type that wants clear scientific approval on top of celebrity endorsements? Or do you gravitate more towards emotional social messaging, such as inclusion and diversity?