American singer and actress Selena Gomez is considered to have successfully transcended the pitfalls of being a child star and become a major celebrity. Not only has she become a star, but she has also ventured into the business world with her cosmetics brand, Rare Beauty.
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According to Strait Times on Sunday (July 23, 2023), Selena Gomez has recorded nine hit songs, over 12 platinum singles, and starred in the comedy series “Only Murders in The Building” from 2021 until now.
Her makeup line, Rare Beauty, has been a huge financial success. Its popularity has soared since its debut less than three years ago, amidst a decline in many celebrity-backed cosmetic lines. The company has achieved success in the global beauty industry, valued at USD 250 billion or 332 billion Singaporean dollars (approximately Rp 3,750 trillion based on a USD to IDR exchange rate of 15,002).
By creating simple makeup looks, offering affordable prices, and leveraging Selena Gomez’s massive popularity on platforms like TikTok, Rare Beauty has captured attention. “People are looking for performance and value in their products, and Rare has done it very well,” said New York-based Beauty Writer Sable Yong, as quoted from Straits Times. “Yes, it’s cute. Yes, Selena Gomez is the founder. But even if she wasn’t in the picture, it’s a well-formulated product that works great and comes at an affordable price,” she added.
The brand’s success has been evident in 2023, with sales tripling from 2022. In 2022, the company recorded 3.1 million sales of its best-selling blush, generating a revenue of USD 70 million from the product’s USD 23 price. The company has not disclosed further financial details, including a list of investors.
Rare Beauty’s approach differs from others, as it doesn’t chase trends like eyeshadow palettes with dozens of colors. Instead, the company focuses on creating accessible and user-friendly products, such as a USD 15 lip liner and a USD 30 liquid foundation available in 48 shades.
Success of Rare Beauty:
The brand was also founded with a social purpose at its core. It appeals to a younger demographic but is not limited to the heavyweights of the industry. Selena Gomez has been an advocate for mental health, openly discussing her own struggles.
Rare Beauty promises to dedicate 1% of its sales to relevant social funds. As of 2022, it has collected USD 5 million, according to the social impact report.
The label is part of Gomez’s developed business empire. She co-founded Wondermind, a start-up focusing on mental health, valued at USD 100 million last year. Gomez has exclusive shows on Netflix and HBO Max and partnerships with brands like Puma.
Rare Beauty’s immense success is also attributed to Gomez’s fan base, which has exceeded 400 million followers on Instagram. Additionally, the brand boasts an executive team comprising industry veterans.
Chief Product Officer of Rare Beauty and former executive at L’Oreal’s Nyx Professional Makeup, Joyce Kim, was assigned by Gomez to create products that could withstand both red carpet appearances and daily use by customers. “It has to feel light and easy to apply, but it must also hold up for events,” said Kim.
Creating Marketing Breakthroughs:
On the marketing front, Rare Beauty excels in creating social media breakthroughs. The brand has over 3 million followers on TikTok and 6 million on Instagram, and it tailors content across all its platforms.
“Fearless experimentation has been helpful,” said Chief Marketing Officer of Rare Beauty, Katie Welch. Gomez herself praises the brand and provides tutorials on her account.
In the early months after its launch, she recorded hours of herself applying makeup for a TV show, HBO Max’s cooking series “Selena + Chef” from 2020 until now. The team then edited the sessions into clips that lasted no more than a minute. Other clips featured Selena Gomez lip-syncing to TikTok with comments about Rare Beauty products.
“The reception from influencers and online users has been very positive,” said Global Chief Merchandising Officer of Sephora, Artemis Patrick.
Rare Beauty continues to expand its product line, including gel eyeliners. The brand’s distribution has recently expanded to Indonesia and India. The company is also working on reviving past hits, including a shimmering powder highlighter from 2010. As they begin selling it, Rare Beauty’s Chief Digital Officer realizes that the brand can not only follow trends but also create new ones.