How Glossier Climbed to the Top with Spectacular PR

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I first got into Glossier in 2016. Back then, it was still a small, indie brand (only two years old). The sole reason I knew about the company was that a friend raved to me about how much she loved their products. After trying a facial cleanser, I was instantly hooked. Through Glossier’s spectacular PR and marketing, they’ve been able to climb their way to the top and become a multimillion-dollar beauty and skincare company.

Some background on the brand:

The Founder of Glossier, Emily Weiss, started her beauty blog, Into the Gloss in 2010. The website not only reviews skincare and makeup, but, according to Weiss, “celebrates women’s brains and beauty, fosters community, and brings to light the best products in the world.” The first post from Into the Gloss was about Nicky Deam, a publicist, listing her beauty must-haves. The mini beauty-interviews continue on the website with actresses, makeup artists, fashion consultants, designers, models, and even the beauty director of Teen Vogue.

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Into the Gloss gave (and still gives) readers a “for-us-by-us” vibe to other young women. Weiss has carried over her refreshing and inspiring voice into Glossier’s mission statement. The brand officially launched in October 2014, after securing $2 million in funding from Kirsten Green, a venture capitalist. At the time, there were only four products: lip balm, moisturizer, face spray, and foundation. Due to Weiss’ dedicated fan-base and sophisticated marketing, the products were a smash hit.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it has been five years since the company launched, and Glossier’s value is already approximately $1.2 billion.

Glossier was able to do this in five years by separating from normalities in the skincare and makeup industry. The beauty industry has become a competitive industry with companies trying to be the most luxurious quality at the lowest price, but Glossier stands out because it did the opposite.

About the Brand: 

Instead of trying to be elite or unapproachable like most brands, Glossier still brings the “for-us-by-us” vibe from Weiss’s original blog into their business model. Glossier’s marketing approach welcomes a refreshing change of pace to the beauty and skincare industry.

Unedited photos and realistic captions ooze freshness and diversity. For once, a beauty company is starting to feel down-to-earth. Their customer service comes in the form of a friendly email ( from representatives personally who respond within 24 hours.

Transparency is another one of their strengths: The product ingredients are, of course, listed on the website, it is also possible to request the clinical results from their skincare tests. Glossier has refined its approachability by responding to every comment on their social media platforms.

Their product names are adorable and approachable. I dare Huda Beauty or Urban Decay to come up with a cuter name for lip balm than Balm Dotcom. As a college student with little time to do hours of research about skincare, Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser get the job done. 6 fl oz for $18? SOLD.

One of their taglines, “for you, by you” isn’t a lie—most of their employees started as customers. One of the product developers responsible for making Cloud Paint, Glossier’s creme blush, got a job offer after approaching Weiss on the subway as a fan.

If there’s one thing any company should learn from Glossier is brand loyalty. It is only been five years since Glossier opened their brick-and-mortar store in NYC. Considering the company was able to make $190 million in direct-to-consumer sales marketed through social media and peer-to-peer referrals (which make up 70% of online traffic), a strong fan-base is a testament to how powerful word of mouth is. Making their audience love the brand enough to advocate for it (like I am with this blog post), must mean Glossier’s Public Relations’ department is doing something right.

Emily Weiss said it best: “Snobby isn’t cool. Happy is cool.”

-Louisa Ahlqvist


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