Posted on April 17, 2019 by staff

Millennials are building beauty empires through social media


Following our recent article on how influencers are the most powerful marketing tool, more young women than ever before are dominating this field with cosmetic lines completely disrupting the beauty industry as we have previously known it.

Which millennials are dominating the beauty space?

Emily Weiss, who is the CEO and founder of the now iconic beauty brand Glossier is one of the women leading the scene.

So successful has the beauty empire been that in March this year, the brand hit unicorn status, putting its estimated value at 1.2 billion dollars after receiving new funding.

The success of Glossier has been largely as a result of utilising social media. Having previously launched in 2019 the blog Into the Gloss, which gained 10 million page views every month, Weiss had built a solid platform in which to launch her beauty brand.

Weiss crowdsourced her products through using links, social-platforms and affiliate sponsorship instead of aiming at wholesale.

In a recent interview, Weiss highlighted the importance of Instagram to promote products, stating that it ‘has been an incredible tool to show a lot of user-generated content.”

Rihanna is another notable millennial who has garnered a hugely successful beauty empire in part through social media.

With over 69 million followers on Instagram, Rihanna launched her Fenty Beauty brand through an Instagram story. Within a month it had earned a staggering 72 million dollars in earned media value.

What’s more, a phenomenal 132 million had watched online Fenty beauty tutorials within just a month of the original launch.

By the end of its first year, Fenty Beauty had made $566 million. Comparatively, the huge beauty empire Estee Lauder took over a decade to earn the same amount.

Other key players

Of course, it would be amiss to not mention the most successful social media beauty billionaire of them all: Kylie Jenner. However, she is just narrowly under the millennial bracket, at 21 years old but rather Gen Z.

Nevertheless, the cosmetics line she launched in 2015, Kylie Cosmetics amasses a revenue estimated $360 million yearly, with her brand worth $900 million in total, leading Jenner to be called the world’s youngest self-made billionaires ever.

The presence of influencers

Due to the new shift towards user-generated content, more and more influencers and celebrities are creating their own beauty lines and marketing them to their strong social media fanbase, generating this into income.

Specialist agencies, like Zak Agency have become increasingly commonplace, whereby they specialize in matching brands with millennials and this could be through experiential marketing, social media and through influencers.

Why? Because the success of brands who use social media effectively in their marketing campaigns are able to leverage a two-way street communication, facilitating brand interest and loyalty.

Evolution of the beauty industry

The way in which beauty brands market their programme has changed dramatically as a result of the presence of social media platforms.

Whilst beauty behemoths such as Bobbi Brown and Estee Lauder got their companies going through word-of mouth and traditional ad-campaigns, launches now tend to involve Snapchat, user-generated content and Instagram to generate interest in a new brand.