Five years ago a concept launched into the UK that would change the face
of beauty forever. The Glossybox subscription service was heralded as
the most innovative idea in years, delivering thousands of monthly
teasers and samples to women across the country – all with the aim of
encouraging discovery and injecting passion back into beauty. Women
signed up in their droves and the copycats soon followed, but when this all started did we really understand the significance it would play for years to come? Although the beauty box market has had its ups and downs, there’s no denying that Glossybox have been leading the way and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with one little pink box. Their focus is very much on providing a platform for
women to discover fabulous products that they may never have known
about otherwise, but over the years this has evolved into much more than that; Glossybox is a brand in its own right and it’s not shying away anywhere soon. Looking back, here are the five ways I think they’ve impacted the beauty industry since their inception.
THEY TOOK BEAUTY SAMPLING TO A NEW LEVEL
Until the launch of beauty boxes, beauty sampling was restricted to experiences on counter and freebies attached to the cover of a magazine. It was incredibly hard to try new products and new brands, and even harder for brands to gain the exposure required to make significant sales, but beauty boxes changed that completely. It was now possible to be exposed to brands and products across the spectrum, in order to make informed decisions about what was worth spending money on. Like blogs opened up beauty enthusiasts to a plethora of unbiased opinion, beauty boxes injected democracy back into purchasing choices.
THEY INJECTED EXCITEMENT BACK INTO DISCOVERY
For a long time we were all stuck in a beauty rut, turning to age old brands and long-term favourites rather than fueling the desire to try something new. A handful of brands had our attention, but they became repetitive and stale; the dawn of beauty boxes injected the excitement back into discovery and allowed us to feel proud when we found something worth sharing with our mates. Like it became cool to find a Primark bargain, it’s become totally on-trend to find a beauty bargain or a new brand that nobody else knows about.
THEY PUSHED BOUNDARIES & TOLD STORIES
Over the years Glossybox has evolved from being a pink box full of mini samples, into a monthly moment that tells a story. They’ve started working with editorial heavyweights (including Evie Leatham of Stylist and Net-A-Porter Magazine fame) and now carefully edit each month’s selection to include a set of products that together make up a timely and relevant theme. From summer must-haves and festival essentials, to party season saviours and quick beauty treats, there’s a reason for being; so much so that we all spend as much time as possible opening up the box and getting to grips with our new swag.
THEY MADE BEAUTY BOXES A PREMIUM OFFERING
Beauty boxes may have started as a cheap way to experience new products and an affordable means to topping up your holiday mini sizes, but over the years they’ve evolved into something new entirely. Glossybox have proved that partnering with relevant and aspirational
brands is a key way to achieve success. Their collaboration with NARS
sold out in minutes, their illustrated boxes have become collectors
items and even Snoop Dogg stores his bling in a little pink box. Glossybox have managed to create a unique, aspirational and lustworthy offering via their limited edition collaborations and one-off brand boxes. With the likes of Stella & Dot and Harvey Nichols within their repertoire, it’s hard to compete; similarly, with a huge portfolio of premium brands scrambling to be the next in the box, there’s simply no other beauty box like it.
THEY UNDERSTOOD THAT THE CUSTOMER HAS THE POWER
It’s not unusual for beauty brands to be a little bit arrogant and keep pushing out what they think their customer wants, rather than actually listening to them. Glossybox is refreshingly open in a world full of brands that aren’t interested in feedback, frequently implementing suggestions and being open to change. Not only have they created a hub for their customers to channel their love of beauty, but they’re frequently sharing features and reviews across their platforms. From interviewing bloggers and having them edit collections, to sharing imagery and quotes across their website, this is a brand that understands the power of the consumer – and embraces it wholeheartedly.
Have you been a Glossybox subscriber over the last five years? What have you liked and disliked about the service? Do you think they have the edge over similar concepts?
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Find out more about Glossybox on their website: www.glossybox.co.uk Subscriptions start from £8.50 per month.
Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.