Benefit is going global for a new influencer-curated launch.
The cosmetics company, which regularly works with thousands of influencers, partnered with 10 influencers from around the world to create brow kits inspired by their individual looks. Starting online today, the brand will release 10 palettes chosen by U.S. influencer Desi Perkins, Anna Saccone of the U.K., German influencer Ischtar “Isi” Isik, Nicole Husel of Italy, Risabae of South Korea, Lizy P of Spain, MK of China, France’s Marie Lopez, Chloe Morello of Australia and Hanan Alnajadah of Kuwait.
“This is something we have never done before, and something that frankly has never been done with influencers before,” said Jean-Andre Rougeot, Benefit’s chief executive officer. “We wanted the influencers to tell us what is their favorite brow look — whether it be natural, extravagant, full. We wanted them to pick their own look based on their cultural backgrounds and then we worked with them on establishing a list of tips on how to actually get that look for those different products.”
The brow kits, which retail for $59 each, are limited edition and will be sold in each influencers’ local market, with some spillover — Perkins’ palette will also be sold in Canada and MK’s will be sold in Taiwan in addition to China. They were made in partnership with Julie Bell, Benefit’s head of product innovation.
Perkins’ palette will be available online starting today and in stores Dec. 4. The rest of the kits will begin rolling out on Jan. 1.
The global brow palette launch follows a series of influencer initiatives that Benefit has rolled out this year. In February, the brand partnered with 800 influencers for a series of events in support of its Badgal Bang mascara. Earlier this month, the company unveiled its Brow Now button, which is part of a larger strategy to both keep a steady flow of product to its influencer base and cut down on excess seeding packaging.
Benefit has seen much success from its influencer partnerships, which generate a large amount of social media buzz and in turn, earned media value. According to data from Tribe Dynamics, Benefit has consistently ranked as a top five EMV-earning prestige cosmetics brand in the U.S. in 2018. Tribe has been tracking EMV since 2015, and Benefit has landed in the top 10 since then.
Benefit’s forthcoming brow palettes are curations of existing product. Each influencer worked with Benefit’s art department on names — true to form, Perkins’ is called Bomb Ass Brows! — as well as the kit designs.
The project was a big undertaking for Benefit, which began outreach in 2017. According to Rougeot, the biggest challenge came from cultural differences.
“We spent a lot of time before we got into the work talking to them about where they came from, their families, their upbringings, what they like to do during the day, weekend, at night,” he said. “The Anglo-Saxons tend to be much more direct, much more in your face. The Asian influencers tend to be more subtle. So understanding that for our teams was quite a challenge.”
The influencer space is becoming increasingly saturated and some companies are beginning to soften their influencer marketing strategies as a result. Benefit, on the other hand, only sees these partnerships evolving — so long as influencers maintain their credibility in the space.
“Consumers have lost faith in institutions, whether it be brands or traditional p.r., and they’re looking at influencers as an honest voice,” Rougeot said. “We consider influencers as business partners. We work very closely with them, we just don’t send products to them. We try to learn about them, meet with them, exchange ideas. Influencer palettes is an excellent example of that kind of partnership, which goes beyond a pay-by-way. In my view, influencers are here to stay, as long as they remain authentic and honest in the way they communicate.”