Keeping it real has kept the growth engine fueled for cosmetics brand E.l.f. Beauty.The company’s marketing strategy has long focused on bucking the trend of partnering with mega bloggers and vloggers in favor of the microinfluencers with smaller yet perhaps more engaged followings, and opinions and insights all their own that are funneled back into a constant E.l.f. research-and-development feedback loop.“Brand building today has really become this series of micro interactions,” said E.l.f. vice president of consumer engagement Ashleigh Young last week at the WWD Digital Forum Los Angeles. “So, as a result, we decided to go small to grow big.”The company, which originally started out direct-to-consumer online selling products all priced at $1, has since moved into higher price points and the retail space with its own stores and distribution at places such as Target and Ulta. E.l.f. also went public last year and expects to hit $270 million in net sales this year with adjusted net income forecasted to be $28 million.The company has a roster of some 1,000 microinfluencers it works with. These are individuals the company may reach out to for events, solicit feedback on products that have not yet been released or just invite over to headquarters for a visit.All of those activities are tied up under the banner of E.l.f.’s Beautyscape influencer program, which was born out of the company’s strategy of going around the same small group of mega influencers most brands work with to reach out to influencers with smaller follower counts but more meaningful engagement with those followers. It’s that latter group that has the more authentic, down-to-earth content that would resonate with the company’s customers, E.l.f. decided.“There is a whole new generation of beauty consumers out there that are changing the game,” Young said. “While other companies talk to them, we really saw an opportunity to build our world with them in a way that other companies weren’t. It’s as simple as giving them a say. They talk, we listen and then we react quickly.”What that boils down to is a new product strategy that calls for the launch of items through E.l.f.’s direct channels first where the company carefully tracks online reviews and then adjusts accordingly based on feedback. A constant pipeline of new products helps fuel continued engagement, while keeping the pulse on what people are saying keeps the company on point with what consumers want. This year alone, the company will have launched 90 new items.A good case study for what results with that strategy was a daily moisturizer with SPF that the company released. The $8 price point was attractive to customers as was the SPF, but reviews online were generating consistent comments critical of the consistency with some users calling it oily. E.l.f. was able to reformulate the product in a week and then sent out the new formulation to much more positive feedback.
Breaking: @cushnieetochs’ co-founders @carlycushnie and @ochsmichelle are parting ways. After a 10-year run, Ochs is leaving the brand. Get the full story on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
@maybelline’s Kanako Takase had snow bunnies in mind when creating the beauty look for @philipppleininternational. Playing off of the bedazzled snowboards in the collection, Takase mixed two highlighters together for a luminous sheen. #wwdbeauty #nyfw (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
“There’s a huge gap between the old way of doing things and today. It takes the youth to help evolve that. You have to count on the kids today to help lead you into the future. A lot of these retailers are stuck in the past. Communication is the biggest thing,” said @ronniefieg of @kith on the youth’s role in retail. On Monday night, Jeff Staple moderated a keynote session with Fieg and @syresmith at Assembly - a series of workshops, talks and keynotes addressing topics or issues in the apparel industry. Head to WWD.com to read more advice from Fieg and what Smith thinks of his dad @willsmith’s Instagram account and sustainability (📷: @weston.wells)
@joansmalls closed the @michaelkors fall 2018 show in black sequined pants and a varsity T printed with 19 on the front and 81 on the back. 1981 – the year Kors went into business. #wwdfashion #nfyw (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“You think your life is going to be a certain way, and nothing you thought would happen ends up happening. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be designing clothes and working with Mickey Drexler, and building something I’m deeply proud of,” said Jenna Lyons. Nine months after leaving @jcrew, Lyons is exploring the meaning of happiness. Read the interview, where Lyons talks about reinvention and more on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Farrell) #jennalyons #jcrew