5 Brand message lessons from world's most popular beauty brands

Posted by Beck Chen on

Branding is the art of defining your brand by distinguishing it from everyone else. There was a time – not even 10 years ago – when talking about body positivity and inclusivity was treated as a brand’s unique selling point, its distinguishing factor. Brand message is an important factor in anything you put out to the world, including your products and storefront.

In 2022, diversity and inclusivity is a given. As a new beauty brand, how can you stand out?

Not only can you start by creating a beauty brand logo, you should still consider the central idea of what your brand stands for.

Dealing with more aware customers of today, beauty brands need to showcase their brand in new ways. A branding message that’s grounded to your core values resonates with your target audience.

Here are 5 mega beauty brands who have figured out their authentic message and have successfully marketed their brand values in different ways.

How are they doing it? Let’s take a look.

Fenty: Beauty for all

Do you know how many shades of foundation Fenty offers? At the time of writing this article, they have a range of 50 unique and diverse shades of foundation products. Who knows what Rihanna can do in the next 7 days? Release 20 new shades, write a song, deliver her baby – it’s the queen’s prerogative.

While Rihanna is a global icon of talent, the success of her beauty brand is less about her and more about its range of products. It’s one of the very few celebrity-powered beauty brands that genuinely seems to care about diversity, inclusivity, and representation.

This is where Fenty has created its calling. Their brand message is simple: to create beauty products that keep customers front and center of their chemistry and formulas. By creating 50 individual shades of foundation, Fenty has essentially eliminated compromise from daily beauty regimens.

Fenty followers – from the entire skin color spectrum – don’t have to settle, nor do they have to mix multiple shades to get their right skin tone. For all of us, there is at least one shade available, true to our pigmentation and designed to enhance it.

Brand message lesson

Even if your brand can’t create 100 shades of something, creating one product that you believe in and that solves a customer problem. If it’s a product that you can solidly back, you won’t have to spend millions to make it a cult-favorite.

Birchbox: Education-Rich Beauty Content

Birchbox has a few defining features that separate it from other brands in the beauty box space.

  • Monthly subscription boxes of scientifically-curated and customized beauty and grooming products.
  • A thriving ecommerce store, housing cosmetic products from purpose-driven beauty brands, such as ‘female founded’ and ‘clean beauty’ companies.
  • A knowledge-focused blog where Birchbox educates its readers about beauty, self-care, and empowerment.

Birchbox is built on a promise for compassionate beauty care. It keeps its products secondary to what their customers are asking for. The website asks you to fill out a short survey so you can have personalized products that match your beauty concerns.

The blog routinely invites experts from the beauty, wellness, and self-development industry to educate and inspire customers on how they can take care of themselves, inside and out.

Brand message lesson

When everyone in your industry is focusing on one thing, there is something they all are ignoring. Find what they have all missed and set up camp there. Be sure to approach this gap with intent and mindfulness so you can create products and services that will resonate with your target audience.

Aesop: Taxonomy of Design

Aesop can teach all the brands in this list a thing or two about brand experience. Brand experience is the whole range of emotions – sensations, feelings, thoughts – you experience when you engage with a brand, online and offline.

They call their stores a Taxonomy of Design – and they have perfected this brand experience. Each Aesop store is designed and built differently, their brand message exuding from every part of their store.

Using parts and pieces of their community, brand culture, and history, they ensure to combine each meaningful story into their brick-and-mortar store. As you visit their stores, you are invited to experience the heritage as much as the products themselves. Aesop has separated itself from the crowd by creating entirely new experiences.

Brand message lesson

Branding is as much about your brand as it’s about the products you are creating. It benefits to focus on the emotions and feelings you want customers to experience when they interact with you.

Glossier: Customers as influencers

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Image: Instagram

If you are a Glossier customer, you may have noticed the brand’s enthusiastic championing of its users. It regularly reposts its users’ content, calls itself a people-powered beauty ecosystem, and has an army of loyal beauty evangelists ready to hype up the brand every chance they get.

How did the brand forge such a deep connection with its consumers? By paying attention!

Before Glossier was a billion dollar business, it was a beauty blog – Into the Gloss. Its founder Emily Weiss spent years creating content that will resonate with the audience. It’s the deep understanding of consumer sentiment and ‘what works’ that she has brought to the table.

Instead of snagging mega influencers, the brand has gone to its roots: its customers. It operates a direct-to-consumer model, where they love interacting with their users, and listens to them when thinking of new products to launch.

They also have a strong referral program to increase brand awareness in pockets of the consumer market that have yet to try one of their products. Using customers as influencers and ambassadors allows Glossier to keep their finger on the pulse and keep shifting to meet consumer demands as and when they arise.

Brand message lesson

Most beauty brands are busy promoting their products. Be different by focusing on your consumers and allowing them to tell you the products they want to see. It ensures your products will always sell and you won’t have to resort to marketing gimmicks to get your inventory out the door.

Bleach London: Make digital your playground

Image: Because

What to do when the global pandemic doesn’t let your customers come to you and shop with you? You throw the biggest party and take it to your customers!

Much like what Bleach London did.

During the peak of the pandemic when the brand (like so many other businesses) suffered from massive reduction in foot traffic, they decided to take things digital.

Through their Bleach Hair Party platform, they have established a dedicated live digital salon. To get in, you need to buy any Bleach London product and the login details are sent to you via email. The platform offers great at-home hair dye tutorials, tips and advice from well-known hair experts, and live conversations with professionals.

What helped them separate their digital pivot from every other brand’s, is how they deep-dived into it. It’s not just a few how-to videos and some celebrity long-form advice posts. It’s a separate platform with engagement from industry experts and it shows live hair transformations on Zoom.

With hair care being so essential, these live tutorials have been saviors for many.

Bleach London’s Hair Party has made hair care into a form of self-expression. Thousands of TikTok creators used this platform and showed what they can do with a bit of hair color guidance.

Brand message lesson

If you are making a pivot that everyone else is making too, make your brand bigger, bolder, and more fun.

What’s Next?

It’s important to learn from the masters, but it’s even more important to understand when and where to apply brand message lessons. While each of these brands have perfected their brand message to their core, these lessons can only work as ideas or inspirations for you.

What holds true for your own brand may be something entirely different than what Glossier or Birchbox have done. So, let these lessons keep you focused as you explore how your beauty brand startup can connect with its audience in its own way.


Author Bio: Michael has been a seasoned online writer for the past 10 years. An online marketer and writer, he’s written for Marshmallow Challenge and Online Ebiz Booster.

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