disrupt: drastically alter or destroy the structure of.
Are you always playing by the rules?
Do you always want to be safe?
Sometimes, being safe works, but in this new age of technology, the ones who are leading the pack are those who are “not playing safe”. They are the ones who are changing the game, breaking traditional molds and reinventing old systems.
They are the Disruptors.
One of such examples is Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO of Glossier Cosmetics.
Emily started out her career in Editorial at Vogue, and she then went off to start a wildly successfully Blog, Into The Gloss, where she shares beauty tips, makeup tutorials, product reviews, and techniques from industry leaders worldwide.
After running this blog for a couple of years, Emily decided to start her own beauty brand.
But Emily did not just want to start “another beauty brand”.
She wanted to do it in her own way.
She wanted to change the game
And she did just that.
The Global Beauty Industry is filled with multimillion dollar companies who decide what the trends in beauty are (from research, beauty bloggers etc.), and then make products to fit this trend: this is called a “push strategy”. Also, traditional companies play on “the transformational fantasy”: selling women the idea that they can look like someone else.
Emily Weiss decided to take another path…
In 2013, after raising $2 million in venture capital, Emily launched Glossier, a makeup brand tailored to millennials. Rather than adopt the “push strategy” of most global beauty brands, she adopted a “pull strategy”: she involved her loyal fan base (Into the Gloss attracts 1.5 million unique visitors in a month) into aspects of the production of the beauty products. Also, rather than selling her customers “the transformational fantasy” like traditional beauty companies. Glossier’s target is the woman of today who wants to look beautiful and cool, but still look like herself. Emily created “easy beauty” products that women will actually wear comfortably in their everyday life. The products are simple to use and easy on the skin. This “easy beauty strategy” is also evident in their packaging. According to Forbes, “While the packaging is unadorned, each batch comes with a set of stickers that look suspiciously like the Japanese emoji characters so beloved of the iPhone crowd.”
With this “easy beauty strategy”, unique customer engagement and strong social media marketing, Glossier has gone on to be a massive success: In 2016, the brand had 10,000 people on a waiting list for two of its products. The Journal says that Emily has “democratised” Beauty and Forbes even goes further to say that she has “reinvented the Beauty Industry”.
With all the hype around Glossier, one would think the company has complex distribution channels and many products in their range. However, the reverse is the case. Glossier has no wholesalers or retailers, as they only sell products via their website and pop up shops. Glossier also has just 14 products in its range.
With this disruptive pull strategy (engaging with her consumers and creating products exclusively for them), Emily Weiss has established a multi-million-dollar Beauty Company that has landed her on the and websites of Forbes, Tech Cruch, Thrive Global, Business Insider and many other big media houses.
And wait for it… Emily is just 29.
How was she able to achieve this?
She asked herself one question: How can I do this differently.
She thought outside of the box.
She was not afraid to take a risk
She was not afraid to disrupt the market place.
Emily Weiss is not alone in this new gang of disruptors. Steve Jobs (iPhone, iPod, iPad, Apple Music, need we say more!), Bill Gates (Hello! I typed this on Microsoft Word!) and Tara Fela Durotoye (International Beauty Brands were nudged off their throne when House of Tara was born) are also honorary members of this gang.
So, for those of you who want to be part of this gang, ask yourself these questions:
How can I do this differently?
How can I change the game in this Industry?
How can I be a disruptor?
To help you on your disruptive journey, check out the 2017 CNBC Disruptor 50 Companies. You will see familiar names like Airbnb, Spotify, Pinterest and the almighty Uber!
Good Luck on your disruptive journey!
Photo Credit: Business Insider