This morning we had the absolute pleasure of listening to the inspiring Emily Weiss, the Founder & CEO of Glossier who made it sound as if starting a multi-million dollar company was easy (ha!).

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For those of you who haven’t heard of Glossier it is a makeup and skincare company that Emily started as an extension to her popular beauty blog “Into The Gloss”.  This morning at The Next Web conference, Emily shared her non-traditional approach to a “community” and the world of conversational commerce.

Key Learning: Engage the consumer and facilitate digital conversation

 Emily accredits the success Glossier to the fact that the company holistically involves their consumer’s, from product ideation, iteration to promotion. Having consumer’s involved in the company has in turn fostered an online community of brand-loyal consumer’s who are able to engage with the brand, products, share their beauty knowledge and learn from others.

Emily’s key to success: “Figure out ways to get them (consumers) involved. Don’t make them feel involved that’s a marketing ploy, actually involve them.”

Emily continued to detail how involving consumers is imperative to a successful business or “platform.” When Glossier were developing their new moisturizer they openly asked their social following exactly what they were looking for. They received thousands of completed surveys specifying their preferred texture, look, packaging etc. In return for their contribution, Glossier sent 1000 women the finished product before it hit their online store, free of charge.

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The point? As Emily stated “Listen to your consumers, they will tell you exactly what they want!”

And it worked, their process of engaging the consumer and facilitating digital conversation was a win-win for both parties involved. The women received a product with the attributes they desired (1000 also received it for free) and Glossier released one of their most successful products to date (she also mentioned that the free gifting generated a lot of “earned” media for the company through the women instagramming their products).

Key Takeaways:
1. Involve your consumer: listen to them and they will help you
2. Develop an online community to facilitate conversation, which will in turn increase engagement and brand loyalty

Author Kate Hall

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