Selena Gomez's Rare Beauty Triumphs, Blush On Sales Surpass $70 Million

Selena Gomez
(Image: instagram @rarebeauty)
American singer and actress Selena Gomez has successfully navigated the transition from child star to a major celebrity, not only as an artist but also as a businesswoman with her cosmetics brand, Rare Beauty.

As reported by Strait Times on Sunday, July 23, 2023, Selena Gomez has amassed nine hit songs, over 12 platinum singles, and starred in the comedy series "Only Murders in The Building" from 2021 till the present.

Now, her makeup line has proven to be a goldmine. Rare Beauty's popularity has soared since its debut less than three years ago, despite fierce competition in the celebrity-endorsed cosmetics market.

The company has achieved remarkable success in the global beauty industry, valued at $250 billion or 332 billion Singapore dollars. 

Offering simple makeup, affordable prices, and leveraging Selena Gomez's immense popularity on platforms like TikTok, Rare Beauty has captured the attention of beauty enthusiasts.

"People are looking for performance and value in their products, and Rare Beauty delivers that exceptionally well," said New York-based Beauty Writer Sable Yong, as quoted in Straits Times.

"It's not just about the novelty of Selena Gomez being the founder. Even if she were not in the picture, it is a well-formulated product that works effectively at an affordable price," she added.

The brand is continuing its upward trajectory in 2023, having tripled its sales from the previous year. In 2022, the company recorded 3.1 million sales of its best-selling blush on, priced at $23, generating a whopping $70 million in revenue. However, the company has not disclosed further financial details, including its list of investors.

Rare Beauty's Unique Approach, Staying True to Itself

Securing success as a celebrity brand is no guarantee. Consumer preferences can change, and many celebrity-backed brands have faltered after an initially strong start. Earlier this year, American actress Kristen Bell closed down her skincare line.

Sephora also stopped selling the celebrity-endorsed brands of American TikTok stars Addison Rae (22) and Hyram Yarbro (27). American singer-actress Ariana Grande (3) acquired the physical assets of her company r.e.m beauty from Forma Brands for $15 million, as the big bet on celebrity influencers backfired and pushed the brand into bankruptcy.

"There is less forgiveness for celebrity brands," said Rich Gersten, one of the founders and managing partners of True Beauty Ventures, a private equity firm specializing in beauty and self-care.

"If the product isn't good, it won't scale," he added.

In contrast, Rare Beauty does not focus on chasing trends, such as eyeshadow palettes with dozens of colors. The company creates accessible and user-friendly products, including $15 lip liners and $30 liquid foundation in 48 shades.

The Success of Rare Beauty's Social Mission

Rare Beauty
(source: Doc.Sephora)
Rare Beauty is not just another heavy-hitting industry player; it is characterized by its underlying social purpose. Selena Gomez is an advocate for mental health, openly discussing her own struggles.

The brand has pledged to dedicate 1% of its sales to related social causes. So far, it has accumulated $5 million, according to the 2022 social impact report.

The label is part of Gomez's growing business empire. She co-founded Wondermind, a startup focused on mental health improvement, valued at $100 million last year. Gomez has exclusive shows on Netflix and HBO Max and partnerships with brands like Puma.

Rare Beauty's success is also attributed to Gomez's massive fan base, with over 400 million followers on Instagram. Additionally, the brand boasts an executive team of industry veterans.

Joyce Kim, Chief Product Officer of Rare Beauty and former executive at L'Oreal's NYX Professional Makeup, was assigned by Gomez to create products that would withstand both her red carpet appearances and her customers' everyday lives.

"It has to feel lightweight and easy to apply. But it has to hold up for an event," said Kim.

Revolutionizing Marketing Strategies

On the marketing front, Rare Beauty excels in creating groundbreaking social media content. With over 3 million followers on TikTok and 6 million on Instagram, the brand customizes content across all its platforms.

"Fearless experimentation has helped," said Katie Welch, Chief Marketing Officer of Rare Beauty.

Gomez herself has praised the brand and provides tutorials on her own account.

In the early months after the launch, she spent hours doing her makeup for one of her TV shows, the HBO Max cooking series "Selena + Chef," from 2020 till the present. The team then edited the session into clips lasting no more than one minute each. Other snippets feature Selena Gomez lip-syncing to TikTok, offering comments about Rare Beauty products.

"The reception from influencers and online users has been overwhelmingly positive," said Artemis Patrick, Global Chief Merchandising Officer of Sephora.

Rare Beauty continues to expand its product range, including gel eyeliner, and its distribution has recently expanded to Indonesia and India.

The brand also aims to revive past hits, including a sparkling powder highlighter from 2010. By not just creating new trends but reviving existing ones, the brand hopes to make a lasting impact on the beauty industry.

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