Sephora is a famous beauty brand that has captured the hearts of millions of beauty shoppers worldwide. This company is also expanding around the globe and is available in several countries. The brand offers different beauty products from high-end beauty brands and makes them accessible to users even before purchasing. This brand is considered one of the best specialty beauty retailers in the beauty industry and shows no sign of slowing down. In this article, we’ll explore Sephora history and features of the brand you need to know.
Sephora History – How It All Started
One of the reasons Sephora is so successful is the brand’s ability to adapt over the years. They have made significant changes over the years, and that’s why it’s essential to take a look at the brand’s history. Dominique Mandonnaud founded Sephora in France in 1970. He was a painter and sculptor who got his first job as a soap seller in his parents’ store. Not long after, he decided to open a perfumery shop of his own. The shop was initially named Shop 8 and formed the first network of self-service perfumery stores in France. One of the acquired locations during the expansion of Shop 8 is Paris Sephora’s shop which is how the network got its new name.
A revolutionary concept contributing to this brand’s success is the self-service idea in makeup and perfumery. It became a norm in Sephora and the industry generally to offer product testers along the aisle. People used to be skeptical about buying cosmetic products because they didn’t know if they would be an ideal fit. This feature confined the industry potential before Sephora came in and changed that.
Why Sephora is a Success
Although Sephora’s history shows that the brand started with perfumery, it has expanded into different product lines over the years. The brand has also experienced significant wins in the beauty industry and is one of the leading beauty retail brands globally. One must wonder what it is about them that other brands struggle to keep up with. In this section, we’ll be exploring the top factors that contribute to Sephora’s success.
Unique Customer Loyalty Structure
One thing that differentiates Sephora from others is its approach to rewards. Although the business has a point-for-purchase model, many factors go into this. You can count on new incentives every Tuesday and Thursday in their rewards bazaar. Additionally, customers have the opportunity to browse a massive collection of available products. There are also unique collections with limited editions available only for reward members. That’s not all the customer loyalty reward program offers, as there are other perks like birthday samples, free makeovers, and many more.
It launched the Customer Loyalty Rewards Program in 2017 to provide customers with access to events in addition to the rewards listed above. The company also launched another reward program with more payment methods. The beauty brand introduced different credit card products, and the holders had access to Visa signature benefits.
Socially Responsible Brand
Sephora’s goal is to make sure that its sales are socially responsible. It took a step in this direction in 2018 when it announced the Clean Beauty category. This category features only organic and eco-friendly products free of harmful chemical ingredients. The company also launched a campaign to promote inclusivity in 2019 tagged ‘We Belong to Something Beautiful.’ Its Sephora Stands initiative focuses on three main programs: Sephora Accelerate for Women Entrepreneurs and Classes for Confidence, aimed at supporting local communities, the LGBTQ community, and cancer patients. Finally, it also includes Sephora Stands together, which focuses on Sephora employees.
While the Black Lives Matter Movement was ongoing and after the protest for the death of George Floyd, Sephora joined the 15 Percent. This movement required Sephora to dedicate 15% of its stores’ shelf space to products owned by black people. This beauty retail company was the first in the United States to take the 15 Percent Pledge.
Sephora has also become a stand for what other cosmetic brands should do with their user-generated content. Its Insider Beauty community consists of forums surrounding chats with influencers, photo galleries, and beauty tips. The platform also has other channels where they post for customers to see pictures designed to help them with their purchasing decision. This feature has helped Sephora grow. It also maintains a massive presence on varying social media platforms. It has over 15 million subscribers on its website and various social media pages.
Whether online or in-person, Sephora has ways to retain and reward its customers. The beauty retail brand effectively advertises its loyal program on all networks to improve online sales. They also put a unique spin on its omnichannel strategy using live events. Additionally, Sephora constantly advertises beauty classes and makeover events. The Sephora platform is another top way they connect with their audience. At Sephora, influencers, celebrities, and patrons come together to discuss the happenings in beauty.
Sephora’s influencer marketing strategy is quite different from others. This is because the brand puts most of the program’s decision-making into the hands of the influencer’s followers. At the beginning of Sephora history, the brand simply wanted 24 influencers to make up its Sephora Squad. However, the brand’s contest for the positions resulted in over 16,000 applicants. The brand tried to narrow it down by asking for testimonials from their followers and received over 250,000 from them. They valued this feedback, and they then asked the influencers and followers what their definition of beauty is and what they think is an ideal representation of beauty. Influencers chosen to be part of the Sephora brand usually receive payment and access to Sephora’s products. The beauty retail brand also offers access to resources and beauty experts.
A benefit of Sephora’s influencer marketing is that it offers a personalized experience between the influencer and the brand. It allows consumers to accept and respect the brand while still creating brand awareness and loyalty. It also helps to widen Sephora’s reach to the influencers’ loyal following. This influencer program helps meet the needs of different niche markets globally. It is a broad approach because it targets a vast number of consumers.
Sephora Marketing Mix
Sephora’s market mix analyzes the brand using the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotion, and Placement. This mix usually helps a company position itself competitively and achieve its business goals. From Sephora history, the brand effectively uses this marketing mix to succeed in a saturated industry; let’s take a look.
Sephora Product Strategy
Sephora is a beauty retail brand that offers beauty products, skincare, and perfume lines. Additionally, its target audience is young women, predominantly those in the middle to upper class. Its product range includes over 15,000 products and features fragrances, lipsticks, skincare, makeup kits, eyeliners, and many more. Sephora also offers some services which customers can freely access. The Beauty Insider program is membership-based and allows members to access products at a discounted range. The brand also provides events and contests that customers can engage in. This Sephora product strategy helps to improve customer engagement and strengthen its position in the market through a diverse range of products.
Sephora Pricing Strategy
Sephora is one of the top beauty retail brands in the industry, and it targets the upper-middle class and the upper class of society. Although the company started out focusing on women who were beauty conscious, it now provides men’s products. The company is well-positioned as a unique and qualitative brand that offers top-quality products at affordable prices. Sephora focuses on high-end products rather than drugstore products. While its products can be pretty pricey, this brand provides promotional pricing for its customers with incentives and discounts.
Sephora Promotion Strategy
Sephora utilizes different strategies in its marketing plan. Therefore, this brand believes in promotional activities and uses various methods to create awareness in the consumer market. These promotional strategies help create a vocal chain as customers talk to their families and friends. Sephora relies heavily on the word-of-mouth publicity of its customers as it tries to foster loyalty. This process helps the brand gain an extensive client list. It also offers tutorials to visitors as a part of in-store services. With the help of several beauty consultants, Sephora partakes in contests and events. It also provides beauty talks and tips to interested customers.
Sephora also promotes its products on print media like fashion magazines and catalogs it sends to its customers. It also uses celebrities and models in its ads to appeal to an even wider audience. There are also promotional ads and campaigns run on various social media platforms to increase awareness of the brand. The brand has over 17 million followers on Facebook and 2 million on its Twitter account. Its official website provides the brand’s entire product portfolio to attract buyers.
Sephora Placement Strategy
Sephora has its headquarters in Paris, and it started expanding overseas in 1998 when it opened a store in the US. Afterward, Sephora history shows the brand also launched a store in Canada in 2004. Currently, Sephora has over 600 stores in the United States alone. This beauty retail brand also has stores in Brazil, Denmark, Turkey, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Portugal, Singapore, Malaysia, Portugal. The brand believes in creating a solid bond between itself and its consumers. Therefore, it allows users to try products before purchasing them.
You will also receive advice from skincare experts on the ideal products for you. Sephora also increased its distribution by partnering with JC Penny, a departmental store. Sephora history also showed the brand made its products available online in 1999. Currently, Sephora boasts over 2000 stores in thirty-three countries.
Sephora is arguably the number one beauty retail brand globally, and it’s all due to how they’re different from other brands in the industry. This brand success portrays that providing customers with a different shopping experience that appeals to them will improve sales and brand awareness. This brand utilizes creative marketing strategies to reach an engaged society and turn customers into brand advocates. The beauty retail brand continues to grow despite Sephora history, and there’s a reason for that. The brand utilizes all the right loyalty and marketing strategy to increase its customer base. This insightful article provides you with everything you need to know about the brand to help your business grow.