How E.l.f. Noticed A 49% Improve in Gross sales by Focusing On Gen Z


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Is there something extra satisfying than getting an amazing deal on a extra reasonably priced model of a preferred product? Followers of the wonder firm e.l.f. don’t appear to assume so.

Based in 2004, e.l.f. (an acronym for eyes, lips, and face) was created to supply high-quality cosmetics at a low price. On the time of its launch, most of e.l.f.’s merchandise price between $1 to $3.

In its first decade, the corporate skilled a interval of regular progress, increasing its product line, opening its personal retail areas, and discovering some success in digital marketing. However by 2018, e.l.f. was experiencing a plateau in sales, and closed its standing retail shops, priming the model for a advertising and marketing pivot.

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E.l.f.’s shift to TikTok

In 2019, the hashtag #elfcosmetics had over 3 million views on TikTok earlier than e.l.f. even had its personal presence on the platform. With this in thoughts, the corporate shifted its advertising and marketing technique to concentrate on TikTok’s consumer base (which was overwhelmingly Gen Z), leveraging short-form video and user-generated content material in its #EyesLipsFace campaign.

Alongside Brooklyn-based company Movers + Shakers, e.l.f. commissioned an unique track that was catchy sufficient to go viral and inspired TikTok customers to characteristic the track and the hashtag #EyesLipsFace. The marketing campaign was amongst TikTok’s most viral and cemented e.l.f.’s newfound concentrate on a Gen Z viewers.

To maintain the thrill going, e.l.f. centered its messaging on key factors that Gen Z values when making buying choices:

  • Social accountability: 50% of Gen Z consumers received’t buy merchandise from magnificence manufacturers that aren’t cruelty-free.
  • Affordability: Gen Z may be extra frugal than different generations. 80% of Gen Z consumers will wait till an merchandise goes on sale to purchase it, and 60% of Gen Z patrons mentioned the worth of a product was the primary issue they take into account when making buying choices.

These are two areas e.l.f. cosmetics can ship on. Since its founding, e.l.f. has been cruelty-free and continues to middle this level in its messaging. In comparison with different magnificence manufacturers, e.l.f. continues to be among the many most reasonably priced choices.

Carry on the dupes

Capitalizing on its repute as an reasonably priced model, e.l.f. started introducing extra budget-friendly alternate options to viral magnificence merchandise, often known as dupes. 

A few of e.l.f.’s dupes which have gone viral on social media embrace:

  • Halo Glow Liquid Filter ($14): a preferred dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter ($49)
  • Energy Grip Primer ($10): a make-up primer that has drawn comparisons to the Hydro Grip Primer by Milk Make-up ($38)
  • Hydrating Camo Concealer ($7): a concealer product that customers have in comparison with Tarte’s Form Tape ($31)
  • Halo Glow Magnificence Wands ($9): blush, highlighter, and contour sticks which might be paying homage to Charlotte Tilbury’s Magnificence Gentle Wands ($42)
  • Forehead Elevate ($6): an eyebrow gel that’s thought of a dupe of the Forehead Freeze product by Anastasia Beverly Hills ($23)
  • Whoa Glow ($14): a tinted facial sunscreen that’s much like Supergoop’s well-liked Glow Display product ($38)

From the packaging to the formulations, it’s clear that e.l.f. is hoping to seize budget-conscious clients who’re on the lookout for reasonably priced alternate options to those higher-end merchandise. When these clients share their findings, it typically leads to user-generated content material that has excessive attain and engagement potential.

Along with creating dupes of well-liked high-end merchandise, e.l.f. has additionally launched a sequence of high-profile collaborations designed to be a magnet for Gen Z together with:

  • A December 2022 holiday-themed campaign starring singer Meghan Trainor in collaboration with The Climate Channel.
  • A 2023 denim-themed collection in partnership with American Eagle Outfitters (which can also be a preferred model amongst Gen Z buyers).

How efficient was e.l.f.’s pivot to concentrate on Gen Z?

Based mostly on the knowledge accessible, these ways have definitely been efficient. In response to Piper Sandler’s spring 2023 survey, e.l.f. is the technology’s top cosmetics brand, and this discovering is mirrored within the gross sales numbers.

E.l.f. reported a 49% increase in sales from 2021 to 2022. Moreover, e.l.f.’s progress outpaced the general progress of the cosmetics business. In 2021, the cosmetics business noticed an 8% year-over-year improve, whereas e.l.f. grew by 36% and the momentum is predicted to proceed. Earlier this yr, e.l.f. raised its 2023 outlook by practically $100 million.

That’s lots of concealer.

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