Beauty startup Julep has grown up in the age of social. The brand uses Facebook, blogs, and surveys in order to interact with customers and encourage them to have a stake in the brand.
“We’re one of the first beauty brands to have grown up post-social media,” CEO and founder Jane Park said.
After all, what customer wouldn’t want to buy an item she crowd funded into production, or a nail polish color she voted on? The brand started out building a chain of nail salons in 2007 but has since shifted focus to its ecommerce line of beauty products as well as its subscription beauty box.
Julep releases 300 products a year thanks to input from its 6,000-strong Idea Lab, a panel of customers who answer surveys to help inform Julep’s product direction. To create its new nail polish applicator, the Plié Wand, it turned to crowd funding, asking Julep’s customers to pre-order the wand in order to fund its production.
Julep also has a subscription program in which members – or “Mavens” – receive a monthly box of goodies and discounts in the ecommerce store. They’re also among Julep’s most loyal, engaged customers.
Julep’s social, collaborative ethos also comes into play with its marketing. Julep creates ads for important moments in the customer’s life, be it a birthday or an engagement, through social ads on Facebook. It’s one of the beta partners with Pinterest as Julep attempts to monetize its DIY-driven audience.
“We want to be the most transparent and collaborative company in beauty at scale,” founder and CEO Jane Park said. The brand is on track to triple its revenue this year, after experiencing similar growth from 2012 to 2013.
The social native brand moves fast and hard into new territory in digital marketing. (“My team is probably going to die if they hear the word 'click-to-install' from me one more time,” Park said about an upcoming app campaign.)
“If you’re a bigger company used to two-year timelines around marketing campaigns, shooting a celebrity on a photo shoot and buying print advertising for it, then it’s really scary to start interacting socially because it cuts against everything you’re doing,” Park said. “We grew up in an era where it was, why don’t we do this? Can’t we build a brand faster without the heavy machinery of more traditional marketing?”
Park talked to AdExchanger at the Shop.org Summit about how Julep approaches digital marketing in a social media age. (more…)