Emily Weiss’ Glossier Creates A Customer Relationship Paradise

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By Cathy Guadagno

As I stared in the mirror eyeing my first Glossier Generation G lipstick in shade “Leo,” I knew I loved the shade, but I wasn’t in love with the shade. I had done customer service return emails in the past for these kinds of products; the standard, telling the company what you didn’t like and asking them to send a PDF of a return label. What I didn’t expect was an email inviting me to keep my product, and that the brand would be sending me the color I thought I would like more for free. Wouldn’t they lose money with such a practice? And when did dealing with customer service become so pleasant?

As Glossier began to boom these past few years, I began to wonder: Is this what makes Glossier so successful?

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Glossier, the women owned start up company founded in 2014, has recently reached “Unicorn Status.” Their iconic “no makeup-makeup” cover their millennial pink, aesthetically pleasing website and ads plastered all over social media, and subway platforms. So how did a solely e-commerce based start up reach such an exclusive status in less than 5 years?

Glossier came to be from the brains behind beauty blog Into the Gloss’, Emily Weiss. Emily wanted to create a brand that put their customers as their top priority, also known as, as “emotional commerce.” This emotional commerce can be seen through their impeccable customer service, and their value to their customers as not a dollar sign, but as a beauty bestie; or even that cool babysitter that would talk on the phone all night to her quarterback boyfriend named Brad. 

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In essence, the company treats its customers like collaborators. Glossier has taken notes on customer needs and wants through the comment sections on their social media, or through customer feedback emails to develop products and return discontinued products back by popular demand. The creation of their popular “Milky Jelly Cleanser” was the customer suggestion of creating a face wash and makeup remover all in one to avoid the two step process.  

The brand also gives a sense of transparency to customers by giving consumers a look into their production process. Through an active blog, they give customers access to behind the scenes information, like, what they’re selling expectations for a product are, or the difficulties behind making the products themselves. 

Emily’s billion dollar baby - consisting of just 40 products - has made her a household name in the minimalist, chic community. By filling the void that huge beauty companies were not focusing on - personalized, customer service and transparent communications -  she created a product based around a “your skin but better” concept.

As CFO Henry Davis says, “We are making our customers into stakeholders. If we make them stakeholders they help us create better products, but they also become our sales channel.” Emily has done what not many brands are brave enough to do; make their customers their ambassadors rather than a dollar sign.