Shortly after most people returned from their holiday breaks, Pür flew 16 beauty influencers to Anguilla as part of a promotional drive to generate demand for a slew of spring products.
Already a staple in marketing arsenals, the influencer trip is evolving as beauty and fashion brands become increasingly adept at harnessing the power of social media. Following a trip a year ago dedicated to developing connections with influencers and educating them on the brand, Pür stepped up its Instagram-ready travel itinerary this month by tying it to product introductions and countless opportunities for social-media outreach.
“We were very strategic on this trip to highlight our new product launches,” said Tisha Thompson, vice president of sales and marketing at Pür. “Our trip last year was about getting to know the entire brand and immersing them [influencers] in all the products. This time around, we focused just on these new products and really gave a first look at them.”
During the trip, which spanned five nights ending Jan. 11 at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla, Thompson said each day was devoted to product releases in a certain category (specifically, face, eyes, lips and skin care) that became available on Pür’s web site when they were revealed to influencers. Among the releases unveiled on the trip, the brand paid particular attention to Bare It All, a demi-matte foundation promising 12-hour wear and available in 10 shades, and Skin Perfecting Brushes in foundation and concealer varieties.
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In addition to Bare It All and the Skin Perfecting Brushes, Pür’s flood of releases included Chrome Glaze shiny lip gloss in six colors, eye-shadow primer Get a Grip, illuminator and primer No Filter, lip liner On Point in six tones, liquid lipstick Velvet Matte in 10 shades, peel-off Blue Agave Mask and palettes Dream Chaser and Goal Digger. The palettes contain four eye shadows, blush, bronzer and highlighter. The products will enter Ulta Beauty stores in February and are priced from $18 to $39.
“There has been enormous enthusiasm around these launches. We are scrambling for more foundations on the digital side of the house, and we’ve never seen more excitement about discovery digitally than we are seeing today,” said Robert Cohen, executive chairman of Pür parent company Astral Health & Beauty. “Digital used to be a platform for replenishment. Never before have I seen digital be a platform for discovery.”
Pür isn’t the only beauty brand to link an influencer trip to product launches. Tarte allowed consumers to buy products, notably its Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay Palette, as influencers were touting them while enjoying a jealousy inducing Bora Bora expedition about three months ago. On Pür’s Anguilla excursion, the brand built social-media buzz around launches by tapping influencers to take over its accounts, offering live beauty tutorials and providing discount codes for the products to spur purchases in real time. The brand also used images produced in Anguilla on its web site to demonstrate the transformative abilities of its products.
The Pür trip, spotlighted on social media with the hashtag #paradisewithpur, yielded some 250 Instagram posts and counting. A few influencers who joined were Melissa Alatorre, Jackie Aina, Angel Merino, Jade Marie Chapman, Karen Gonzalez, Nicol Concilio and Sona Gasparian. According to data supplied by Pür from marketing technology firm Tribe Dynamics, the brand is on track to reach more than $10 million in earned media value from social-media exposure tied to the Anguilla vacation, a 100 percent leap from the previous trip.
Beyond fueling immediate sales and posts, Pür views the trips as occasions to get closer to influencers to determine if they’d be a good fit for future partnerships. Merino and Chapman, social-media beauty gurus and participants in the Pür retreat in 2016 to Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort in Cabo San Lucas, ended up collaborating with the brand on merchandise. “It is not about a transaction or a quid pro quo,” said Cohen. “This is really about long-term, strategic relationships.”