Pop and R&B singer, Rihanna, founded Fenty Beauty in 2017 in hopes of creating a brand so that women everywhere would feel included (LVMH). Rihanna wanted to fill a gap in the beauty industry by focusing her attention on reaching underrepresented skin tones. They originally launched with 40 shades, but have since expanded to 50. Makeup is a tool to enhance someone’s beauty, but it is also fun to experiment and take chances!
Fenty Beauty is an organization that harnesses the power of social media to build their community. Fenty brings awareness of issues surrounding exclusivity in the beauty industry. Rihanna has established Fenty Beauty’s “why.” The brand is highly successful because of this connection with the audience.
Diversity X Beauty
With the racial-justice movement of 2020, diversity in all aspects has been amplified. This includes the beauty industry. Women of color have often been an afterthought, with the industry focusing on Eurocentric beauty standards for centuries.
Black models, like Naomi Campbell, in the industry were instructed to bring their own makeup and beauty products to shoots, because makeup artists did not carry their shade. However, white models were not asked to do the same.
We are starting to see more and more representation of all skin tones, hair types, and body shapes in all aspects of advertising, but especially the beauty industry. Fenty Beauty was one of the first brands to introduce inclusive products for everyone.
The industry is realizing the demand for inclusive products.
Fenty means Business
What makes Fenty different from other celebrity backed brands is that Rihanna focused on the customer when producing her products. She did not just rely on her name and reputation to sell her product. She wanted to increase diversity.
All Fenty’s brand marketing features models and celebrities who are Black, Asian, or part of another minority group. Appealing directly to anyone who may feel excluded from white brand marketing.
Fenty built a foundation on social media
Awareness for the brand came from social media and through working with influencers. When it came time for Rihanna to launch her beauty brand, she went on an untraditional route. She invited influencers to a party during NYC fashion week. Those who took the samples at the launch party were asked to leave honest reviews about the products on social media. Opinions, suggestions, and feedback from the target audience were considered to improve products.
On Instagram, Fenty is responsive and engages their followers. This encourages the supportive community that’s been built. One example, a follower commented that they were told red lipstick did not suit them. Many people commented encouraging and meaningful words as a response. The official brand Instagram commented that their red lipstick is for everyone.
On Twitter, it is not uncommon for Fenty to tweet something that goes viral (MEDIUM). They use memes to their advantage and turn trends into content to further promote the brand or product. Customers will tweet at the brand (@FentyBeauty) and have a conversation, as if they’re talking to a friend, not a business. Fenty has an excellent response record on social media.
User-generated content is also powerful. By using hashtags like #FentyFace or #FentyGlow, fans of Fenty could be featured on the brand's social media page. That is a huge deal for fans! In extends Fenty’s message of inclusivity in a real way, by including fans in their promotions.
Fenty Beauty also builds their online community by expanding the features of their website. “Show Us Your #FentyFace” highlights real-life, every day Fenty Beauty users on the website. These features include images, social media handles, and a testimonial for the products and brands, and you can shop the look!
People want to recognize themselves represented in brands they invest in. Fenty is meaningful and inspiring. Fenty has established a valuable relationship with its users. Since the launch of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna has expanded the brand to include skin care and undergarments.
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