How Social Media is Transforming the Beauty Industry

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.

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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

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.

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Crowdsourcing via Kickstarter: A New Way to Get Funds!

Have you ever had to rely on other’s opinions or resources (i.e. money) to accomplish a project? If you have you are not alone! This phenomena, known as crowdsourcing is becoming a very common practice for many businesses. Just type in “crowdsourcing sites” on Google and you’ll be amazed at the sites available to help people reach their monetary needs. One such site is Kickstarter.

Kickstarter has thousands of projects for people to help fund ranging from photography to a family wanting to spend every day out of the year in theme parks in Florida (interesting goal in my opinion). Those interested in using Kickstarter for funds can provide audiences with information about their business, purpose, or goals via bios, links, and images. For people wanting to help those on Kickstarter you can browse by most popular/trending, category, discovery or by a search. I happen to use all of these methods and found some very interesting projects going on in our world.

homegrownWhen I first visited Kickstarter I looked in the trending/popular section of the site to see if there was anything that caught my eye. A site with the name HomeGrown.org interested me. This site houses projects across the country focused on providing people with actual home grown items like honey. I really like this concept because I try and support small businesses as much as I can. Unfortunately there were no projects going on in Florida or any that would provide me with benefits.

After spending some time looking in the popular/trending section of Kickstarter I decided to do a site search for “Florida.” Doing this lead to over 400 results! Browsing through the first ten pages of the results I found some really great projects occurring in Florida near my community and places I visit frequently. One that really fascinated me is called Uten-sil. The concept this inventor has is simple. It’s a fork and knife holder that keeps utensils from touching the table. I absolutely HATE when my silverware touches the table when I go out to eat! When I unroll the napkin to put on my lap and have to put my silverware on the table a small part of me dies…it grosses me out!  uten-sil 2

I really enjoyed reading about Uten-sil. The man behind the project, Matt Rothensberg laid out his goals, deadlines, and inspiration behind this product very well. He also provides incentives for donating. For instance, for an $8 donation you’ll receive a t-shirt. I loved this because many of the projects I looked at didn’t provide an incentive for people to donate. I feel in order to get attention on the site the user needs to have a catchy name. Uten-sil, Lean and Clean caught my eye and 33 other backers. The only thing that I am “concerned” about with Uten-sil is the timeframe they are hoping to raise $25,000…just a month! I think that is a lot to ask from people for a product that won’t be too expensive. Uten-sil

Overall, I think sites like Kickstarter will continue to benefit people trying to reach goals in their lives, both professionally and personally. I believe crowdsourcing will continue to grow in popularity and be integrated into our businesses.