One, small pot of sparking, green shadow at our local pharmacy, and that was all it took to get me hooked.
Years later, after 36 months of being a stay-at-home mom, my once well-stocked makeup kit was empty and I didn’t know where to begin. Did I need foundation? Did I need lip liner? What on earth was primer, and why was everyone talking about it? I made a trip to my local Sephora and discovered what would become my all-time favorite line of lotions and potions: Benefit Cosmetics.
I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for packaging and when it comes to falling in love, one quality above all others makes me swoon, and that’s a sense of humor. Benefit offers both, in the form of adorable, retro design and a tongue-in-cheek approach to beautification, which is just what a woman of mumble-mumble age like me wants when she approaches that magnifying mirror. Benefit’s tagline is “Laughter is the best cosmetic.”
Customer Engagement, Made Beautiful
When Benefit Cosmetics talks, I feel like they’re talking directly to me. While their products are widely available at various retail outlets like Sephora and Ulta Beauty, I tend to spend a lot of time perusing their website and social channels, particularly Instagram. The website offers not only the option to buy directly, but is also loaded with tips, tricks and plenty of video tutorials for those of us who are cosmetically challenged.
A recent campaign on Instagram capitalizes on the selfie phenomenon. Branded #Realsies, the social contest asks women to capture and share photos of themselves using Benefit’s latest mascara product, They’re Real. Users get a chance to show off their mad makeup skills and win a year’s supply of the product.
The campaign appeals to the current cultural compulsion to share. The contest has its own microsite featuring thousands of customer photos, many of which perfectly capture the brand messaging: humor + cosmetics = modern, individual beauty.
Not only is the brand social adept, it’s also at the cutting edge with a mobile gaming app, “Easy Does It.” Users play a circus-themed game to win products. The first level asks players to keep a woman balanced on a tightrope—there’s that wink-and-nod to the modern woman’s busy life.
Personalization wins loyalty
Benefit jumped into the personalization arena, as well, demonstrating a keen understanding of what it takes to engage customers in a crowded marketplace. The website allows users to compile their own personal makeup kit, offering up a number of its top-selling products that form the basis of any complete cosmetics drawer. Those who buy also get free samples, but are able to choose the ones they prefer instead of being offered a one-sample-fits-all product. I love this because it lets me try products I’m not quite sure about with sample large enough to provide for at least two applications. That’s smart engagement, and it keeps me coming back for more.
My first visit to an Ulta Beauty location happened just a few weeks ago. I was thrilled to find Benefit Cosmetics not only had a strong presence in the store, but also offered their fantastic Brow Bar, which lets you get your brows (or other areas) waxed right then and there. It’s genius—I’m busy, makeup and beauty are on my mind and the sales associate asks if I am in need of a brow cleanup…yes, please!
The brand is also well aware of the importance of mobile and how it can be leveraged in-store. As early as 2011 it was using an iPad app inside its retail locations to educate and engage shoppers.
And, of course, I’m smitten with their Beauty Bus, a makeup vending machine placed in select airports that not only lets you purchase products you may have forgotten, but also makes personalized recommendations for you. In a market as crowded as cosmetics, Benefit clearly understands how the modern woman shops.
Personalization: It’s not magic.
Find out who does it best HERE.