The fidget spinner craze isn’t dying out anytime soon.
“BuzzFeed is a publication that leverages social media in a huge way, so we launched the product very simply by putting a video online,” said Ben Kaufman, head of BuzzFeed Product Labs, on how the launch video, which has over 5.2 million views and saw a 28 percent conversion into sales, made the toy go viral. “[The video] immediately started driving sales and then the whole thing kind of spiraled from there.”
In partnership with Taste Beauty, a cosmetics manufacturer that makes quick-to-market, pop-culture-inspired products, Product Labs took inspiration from the popular three-pronged spinning toy and added in the beauty element with three fruit-flavored lip balms.
Taste Beauty, which launched a similar buzzy lip balm based on the “bye Felicia” meme in April at Sephora, reached out to the Product Labs to capitalize on the fidget spinner craze. By using a fast-beauty production model, the two were able to get from idea generation to launching Glamspin in roughly 28 days.
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“It’s hard to predict the success of a product and what the demand will be, but you’re able to capitalize on a trend and merchandise against it,” Kaufman said on the pros and cons of using a fast production model. “Most cosmetics companies predict a trend that is happening 18 months from now and somehow artificially create it. Building an agile, responsive supply chain that allows us to see something happening, think of an idea and quickly bring it to market feels much more aligned with the way BuzzFeed thinks about its content.”
The Product Labs, which was founded last October, sees Millennial and Gen Z customers as the target customer for the product based on their familiarity with the popular toy. Since its launch, Product Labs has created other buzzy products, like Homesick Candles, candles that are meant to emulate a state’s scent, and the Fondoodler, a cheese-filled hot glue gun. Other beauty products are currently in the works, but no information is currently available.
While they declined to comment on units sold and estimated retail sales, Product Labs is leveraging its social media presence to drive sales, already seeing 35 percent of purchases come directly from social media, mainly through Facebook.
“We were confident BuzzFeed was the ideal partner for Glamspin,” said Alex Fogelson, cofounder and managing partner at Taste Beauty. “Their powerful, cross-platform media network has allowed us to maximize the product’s reach and awareness, and we knew it would be a perfect fit for BuzzFeed’s editorial voice and audience.”
After its rollout on sephora.com, Glamspin will also enter Dylan’s Candy Bar and Saks Fifth Avenue kid’s departments as well as their online sites.
Glamspin will be available starting Aug. 2 on sephora.com for $9.99.