If you’ve ever questioned the power of social media on retail then look no further. Julep is a nail polish brand that has utilized social media to transform their business. Forbes magazine predicts this company is the next billion dollar brand in the beauty industry. Julep is a prime example of why it is essential for the beauty industry to re-evalute their social media strategy.
Julep CEO and Founder Jane Park started the company because she wanted to give women something different. Most nail polishes contain toxins and chemicals. Creating a safe nail polish became her passion and thus Julep was born. Parks credits her success by “not telling the customer what they want, we’re giving them what they want” (Tice, 2014). She has done this through social media and distribution feedback.
On Facebook Julep actively solicits images from their followers. They hold contests with these photos and the photo with the most likes will receive a prize package. Julep is giving the consumer an incentive to follow and interact with them on social media.
Julep also provides their consumers with a unique shopping experience by offering them the chance to subscribe to their business. For $19.99 per month subscribers receive a custom gift box with fresh products. Most Julep products sell for $14 apiece so receiving a variety of products for this small fee is a huge incentive for Julep devotees. Park says once consumers receive their gift boxes the photos roll in on social media and the interactions begin (Tice, 2014). These interactions allow Julep to see how their products are used and reviewed.
Julep partner Jason Stoffer notes “beauty is a business where women talk to each other about what products they’re trying. It’s one of the most social businesses there is” (Tice, 2014). Having a booming business online has not only helped Park learn about her customers, it’s also helped her network with beauty retailers. Julep is not only sold on their personal website but in major retailers Nordstrom and QVC. By offering incentives, having a creative approach, and networking on social media Forbes projects Julep is well on it’s way to being the next billion dollar beauty brand (Tice, 2014).
Julep is utilizing their social following and taking it one step further. After listening to their consumers Julep has recently begun crowdsourcing on their website to create a one-of-a-kind nail polish pen (Tice, 2014). This was requested by and curated specifically for their consumers. Talk about advocacy.
The Julep story is important, an inspiration, and one every retailer should hear. Consumers don’t want to feel connected to brands on social media. They want benefits…a tangible experience. Those involved in the beauty industry should take a look at the Julep story and begin to implement similar practices.