Now that the dust has (somewhat) settled after the launch of Rihanna’s latest business venture, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, let’s discuss.
The pop star is well on her way to becoming a major power player in the cosmetics and personal care industries. Rihanna inked the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna deal with Kendo Brands (a division of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) last year at a rumored $10 million. She joined fellow cosmetics brands Kat Von D Beauty and Marc Jacobs Beauty under the Kendo umbrella.
The queen of collabs, she has already worked with MAC Cosmetics in 2013 for the widely popular limited edition RiRi Hearts MAC collection, and then again in 2014 representing Viva Glam lipstick to help raise funds for AIDS research. Following her collaboration with MAC came the release of seven fragrances with Parlux Ltd, the latest being Kiss by Rihanna released earlier this year. Talk about building a cosmetics industry portfolio!
Here are three things that Rihanna aced during her launch of Fenty Beauty:
1) Inclusion vs. Exclusion– Fenty Beauty arrived in stores and dropped online at midnight on September 8th. By September 10th, reports were swirling that all of the shades for women of color had sold out online and in various Sephora stores around the country. Needless to say, this sent the beauty industry into a frenzy.
Fun Fact: According to Poshly Insights, “Shade matching has historically been a major concern among consumers, with 60 percent reporting at least some difficulty finding a foundation that matches their skin.”
When it comes to picking cosmetics it can be especially difficult for women of color (including myself) to find makeup that actually matches our complexion. We have been screaming from the mountaintops for existing mainstream and new brands to offer a wider range of shades. Instead, we get offered what they want to sell us instead of what we actually want to buy. Rihanna clearly heard us and it is evident in the 20-or-so melanated shades the line carries.
What it all boils down to is this: it’s okay to be exclusive, but it’s not okay to slightly (read as: half-heartedly) satisfy, or ignore the needs of, a potentially profitable and loyal audience. Women of color currently hold a lot of buying power and can easily take our money, time, tutorials and endorsements elsewhere (in addition to taking to social media to voice our frustrations.) Fans of the line have actually gone as far as bashing fellow beauty-industry maven Kylie Jenner for missing this exact point.
2) Constantly and consistently create memorable experiences for your audience(s)- Rihanna is taking customer service to the next level with this launch. Not only is she making appearances at her launch events snapping selfies, exchanging hugs and blowing kisses, and interacting with her fans, but she takes it a step further by actually ringing up merchandise and even “beating” the faces of some of her fans. Talk about a personal touch!
3) Use your social media platforms to share what your audience is saying about their experiences with your product, not just to push your product- A quick scroll through Fenty Beauty‘s social media pages and you’ll see a very good mixture of content from sources representative of a variety of their audiences.
Perception is everything. They use each of their platforms, essentially their voice, to share their brand message. The brand’s Instagram alone includes glamorous product shots, MUA video tutorials, reposts from beauty enthusiasts (male and female), and of course content featuring the beautiful brand visionary herself, Rihanna. Meanwhile, the Twitter handle links readers with articles, insightful reviews, real-time commentary and witty memes from followers and the like.
**Bonus ♥**- Follow through with your brand promise– Social media has been raving about the line since they got it into their carts and hands. The general consensus? Fenty Beauty delivers on all of its brand promises. Dubbed “Beauty For All”, the brand made sure its entire color palette of foundation was available for its launch. If you had trouble finding the perfect shade before and couldn’t get to Sephora, the website offered a foundation shade finder that could lead a blind man in the right direction.
The website also currently boasts a 5-star rating for its Pro Filt’r foundation and is booming with insightful reviews, “flawlessly beat” selfies and hilarious commentary. It’s also no surprise that the majority of reviews on the website under the brand’s signature foundation are tagged under “deep” complexion.
Have you gotten your hands on any of the coveted Fenty Beauty products? How was your experience? Comment below!