Rare Beauty is Selena Gomez’s beauty brand. As a celebrity, her brand’s target audience is her fanbase of people between 16-35 years of age. To target this group, Rare Beauty has employed marketing strategies that help them sell products, as well as achieve their philanthropic mission of increasing access to mental health services in educational settings. This article examines Rare Beauty’s marketing strategies using the 4 Ps of marketing (product, place, price, and promotion) and the various other strategies the brand employs.
4 Ps of Marketing
Rare Beauty sells makeup products for the face, lips, and eyes. Some items are blush (cream and liquid), lipstick (liquid, cream, gloss, and balm), foundation, concealer, liquid eyeliner, and highlighter. They also sell tools such as makeup brushes, mirrors, and a sponge. In total, they have over 200 products. It goes without saying that having products for every step of a makeup routine is necessary to show consumers they can get all their needs from one brand, which increases brand loyalty. For Rare Beauty, their aim with their products is to have them be lightweight and breathable but also still buildable. With that said, people who prefer a more natural look tend to love Rare Beauty products.
Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush
Among their 200 products, their blushes are their most loved products. Allure, an American women’s beauty magazine, awarded Rare Beauty a Best of Beauty Award for the brand’s Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush. The reason why consumers love the Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush is because it is true to its name; it easily melts into the skin. It also comes in five different shades that actually show up on darker skin tones. Rare Beauty values creating shades that cater to a wide range of skin tones.
Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation & Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer
Rare Beauty has 48 shades of their Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation and the same 48 shades for their Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer. The shades are split into 6 different categories: Light, Light-Med, Medium, Medium-Tan, Med-Deep, and Deep. Within these categories, there are 8 shades that cater to different skin colors and undertones. Having a wide range of colors, shades, and undertones when it becomes to face base products is starting to become the norm for new beauty brands because it shows that the brand wants to have a diverse audience and values spending the extra money to make many shades.
Prices for Rare Beauty’s makeup products range from $14-$29. They are more expensive compared to drugstore makeup brands but cheaper than luxury brands. They are in line with their celebrity competitors. Ariana Grande’s r.e.m. beauty ranges from $15-$24, and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty ranges from $20-$39. Overall, Rare Beauty is pretty affordable, which consumers love.
A Worldwide Brand
Rare Beauty was first launched in North America on September 3, 2020. It wasn’t until the summer of 2021 that the brand expanded into select countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. Selena Gomez has a large global fanbase, so having her brand’s products be available worldwide is important in not making consumers feel left out and in increasing sales. The brand is expected to continue expanding into other countries and regions in the future.
The products are sold exclusively at Sephora (in stores and online) and on the Rare Beauty website. Getting sold at a store is crucial to makeup brands because consumers want to physically see and test the makeup to make sure it is something they will like and use. This process is difficult to do through a screen, so makeup users tend to be more cautious when buying makeup online or completely avoid doing so. Rare Beauty has made it easy for consumers to test them out in person by being available in Sephora. Sephora is one of the largest multi-brand retailers in the world with over 2,000 stores in 35 countries. As many people go to Sephora to buy makeup, Rare Beauty has increased visibility that they wouldn’t get from only being sold online.
United Kingdom – Space NK
As Sephora doesn’t ship to the UK and doesn’t have any UK stores, Rare Beauty partnered with British beauty retailer, Space NK, to make their products available in Space NK stores and on their website. This was their most recent expansion as it happened at the end of February 2022. Rare Beauty also announced that Space NK will be donating an additional 1% of their Rare Beauty sales to the Rare Impact Fund. This Fund is Rare Beauty’s way of raising money to increase access to mental health services in educational settings.
Selena Gomez as the Face of the Brand
Selena Gomez does a lot of promotion for her brand as her face alone will attract people’s attention. She promotes Rare Beauty by posting about the brand on her social media accounts. Her Instagram account is where she first announced the new venture. On February 4, 2020, she posted a video of the behind-the-scenes process of her creating Rare Beauty. The video garnered over 8 million views and over 1.8 million likes. When the brand has exciting news to share like its launch, the release of new products, and its arrival to Space NK in the UK, Selena Gomez makes announcement posts for her 300 million Instagram followers to see.
Selena Gomez is featured in a lot of posts for Rare Beauty’s social media accounts. On Rare Beauty’s Instagram account, where they have 3 million followers, they posted a behind-the-scenes photo of Selena Gomez in her look for the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards. In the caption, they wrote and linked all of the Rare Beauty products Selena Gomez used as part of her makeup look. In doing this, consumers can buy and recreate Selena Gomez’s exact SAG Awards makeup look down to the shades of each product. They can also buy the products through Instagram’s shopping feature, so they don’t even have to leave the app.
Consumers can see how much Selena Gomez loves her products through her using and talking about them. She has made multiple “Get Ready with Me” videos for Rare Beauty’s Youtube channel where she shows her doing her entire makeup routine only using Rare Beauty products. Selena Gomez also uses Rare Beauty on other Youtube channels. She’s filmed an Everyday Spring Makeup Routine for Sephora and a Guide to the Perfect Cat Eye for Vogue. When asked what her favorite products are, she answers with the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer, Positive Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara, Positive Strokes Matte Liquid Liner, and Stay Vulnerable Glossy Lip Balm. Fans want to have and use exactly what their favorite celebrity uses, so by Selena showing what she uses, she drives sales.
With the launch of another celebrity brand, people become interested in testing out the products to see whether they are good or not. When Rare Beauty launched, the first people to try it out were talking about how great it was, which influenced others to buy and try out the products themselves. This is how the Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush became so popular and highly-rated online. Beauty YouTubers like Jackie Aina, Nyma Tang, and Tati contributed to the discussion around Rare Beauty by posting review videos of the brand’s products. Typically, these review videos are not sponsored, so viewers are more likely to purchase from a brand, specifically the products positively reviewed, after watching them.
Rare Beauty doesn’t leave out the normal, everyday person as part of their Rare Beauty community by using real people in their campaigns. Rare Beauty posted on their Instagram that they were holding a #WeAreRare community call to be part of their #WeAreRare campaign. To apply, one had to tell a story about what makes them “rare” and share their Sephora Color IQ and Instagram handle. About 50 or so people were chosen. Rare Beauty also invites people who use their products to post a photo of themselves on social media using #RareRoutine and tagging @rarebeauty. Rare Beauty posts these photos on their social media accounts and uploads them on their website. When looking at the people featured in the campaigns, on the website, and on Rare Beauty’s social media accounts, there is a lot of diversity in appearances and makeup looks. This, along with the 48 shades of foundation and concealer, shows that a wide range of people can use Rare Beauty making the brand inclusive.
When looking at the packaging of the liquid products (the Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation, Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer, Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, and Positive Light Liquid Luminizer), they all have a ball on the screw-top lid. To many, this seems like an interesting packaging design. However, it was made intentionally to help people who have arthritis. Founder Selena Gomez suffers from lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects her joints. Because of the disease, she experiences arthritis, a common side effect of lupus. People who have arthritis, like Selena Gomez, have difficulty unscrewing lids due to their weak grip and lack of hand strength. The ball on the lids helps people with arthritis grip onto the products better so that they can easily open them. When people who have arthritis found out about this packaging design, they were very intrigued and wanted to test out the packaging and try out the products.
Mental Health Awareness
As much as Rare Beauty is about makeup products, they also have a mission to educate, increase awareness of, and raise money for mental health support and services. By creating the Rare Impact Fund, pledging to donate 1% of all gross sales to the Fund, and making it their goal to raise $100 million in 10 years, they are showing their commitment to their mission. They also raise funds with philanthropic foundations, corporate partners, and individuals in their community, share information and resources, and hold mental health education campaigns. Millions of people worldwide suffer from some form of mental illness, so mental health awareness is a very important cause for many people. Those who are directly affected by mental health or simply want to support the cause feel more compelled to support brands like Rare Beauty.
Cruelty-Free & Eco-Friendly
All of Rare Beauty’s products are cruelty-free and vegan, and the brand is certified by PETA’s Global Beauty Without Bunnies. They also make sure that all of their ingredients are researched and tested by scientific experts. In terms of packaging, they use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified, responsibly sourced, 100% recyclable materials, and water-based inks for printing. Their shipping materials (boxes, tissue, tape, and welcome card) are all 100% recyclable, and their packing foam is compostable and dissolves with water. Brands vary in their commitment to sustainability. Some only have a vegan, cruelty-free line, while others try and use recyclable materials. Rare Beauty doesn’t want to implement sustainability in just one step of the process. From their products to the packaging and shipping materials, Rare Beauty makes a conscious effort to limit waste and be kinder to the earth at every step of the process.
Rare Beauty is a brand that adheres to their values on all ends and uses their commitment to their values to structure their marketing strategies. They want to be a diverse and inclusive brand, so they create many shades and show real people using their products. They want to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, so everything they put out is cruelty-free, vegan, recyclable, etc. They want to raise money for mental health services, so they created the Rare Impact Fund through which they do philanthropic work. The products are important, but people today care a lot more about the heart behind the brand. Rare Beauty’s really believes in their initiatives and wants to make a positive impact, which is why they have successful marketing strategies.