What can we learn from Fenty Beauty’s marketing strategy?

From Marilyn Monroe’s signature red lip to Alexa Chung’s tousled bob, celebrities have been associated with beauty for as long as we can remember. With brand ambassadors and big budget campaigns, our love for celebrity beauty has continued to grow and led to the rise of the celebrity beauty brand.

Over the years there’s been an extraordinary growth in makeup, skincare, and haircare brands founded by those in the spotlight. Kylie Jenner, Hailey Bieber, Harry Styles, and Selena Gomez are just some of the celebrities who’ve chosen to delve into the world of beauty. 

Whilst we’ve seen our fair share of hits and misses, our generation has seen the birth of one of the most iconic celebrity beauty brands of all time, Fenty Beauty.

After releasing multiple fragrances and a previous collaboration with MAC Cosmetics, singer and songwriter Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017. Renowned for its diversity, Fenty Beauty has gone on to become the world’s most successful celebrity beauty brand

The products may be flawless, but they’re not the only reason the brand has become a cult favourite. Fenty Beauty’s marketing strategy has been innovative and inclusive from day one with Rihanna’s vision of ‘Beauty for All’ at its core. 

But what are the secrets to Fenty Beauty’s marketing strategy and how did they change the game? Let’s jump in and find out.

Embracing diversity 

We all remember Fenty Beauty’s legendary launch, right? 

Before Fenty Beauty, there was a gap in the market for a truly representative foundation range. After personally experiencing this, Rihanna decided to solve the problem and create a brand for everyone.

Launching with over 40 shades of foundation in 17 countries, the brand immediately smashed the stereotype surrounding celebrity beauty brands and revolutionised the industry by embracing diversity from the get go. 

This has proved incredibly effective as more people are keen to see more attainable portrayals of beauty. According to research from Mintel, 47% of beauty consumers say they shop from brands that showcase diversity or inclusivity.

Show don’t tell

Fenty Beauty didn’t claim they were inclusive, having never used the term in their messaging, they proved it. 

Having universal shades available and accessible to all wasn’t enough for Rihanna and her team! Fenty Beauty incorporated and prioritised inclusivity into their marketing strategy. The brand’s social media platforms are filled with educational and user generated content, as well as authentic stories that resonate with their community.

Having high quality products

Way back in 2014, Rihanna registered the trademark for Fenty Beauty. How did she spend the next three years? Perfecting the products.

Before launching Fenty Beauty, Rihanna spent over two years developing the right formulations that would work for all skin types. Combined with the brands ‘Beauty For All’ vision, Rihanna’s dedication resulted in high quality products with an affordable price tag. 

Leveraging social media

Fenty Beauty has a strong community which they’ve built by leveraging their social media. 

The brand’s content and tone of voice is fun, conversational, and reflects its young, mostly female audience. Fenty Beauty’s copywriting is a great example of this, using rhyme, repetition, and popular phrases to make the brand feel current and relatable. And, not forgetting the social aspect of social media, Fenty Beauty constantly engages with their community making them feel valued and connected.

Rihanna’s own social media presence has been critical in building brand awareness. Previously, Rihanna has shown fans her own beauty routine using both Fenty Skin and Fenty Beauty. These relaxed, playful videos attract and build trust with the brand’s young target audience. 

Clever campaigns and collaborations

Need inspiration for your next campaign? Look no further. 

Fenty Beauty have executed a number of fun, eye-catching campaigns to build brand awareness and keep audiences captivated. 

Rihanna at the Super Bowl

We have to mention this iconic pop culture moment and business move. 

In February 2023, Rihanna’s highly anticipated halftime performance became the most watched of all time with over 121 million viewers

Rihanna’s flawless face of makeup was exclusively Fenty Beauty including Invisimatte Instant Setting + Blotting Powder which she used to touch up mid-performance. This 3 second moment increased Google searches for Fenty Beauty by a jaw dropping 833% and garnered over $5.6 million in media impact value within the first 12 hours of her performance. 

Influencer and Brand Collaborations

As marketers we know that social media influencers are incredibly powerful in shaping consumer purchasing decisions. 

The brand has partnered with super-star influencers, like Jeffree Star and Nikkie Tutorials, and micro influencers to further expand their reach. Fans, makeup artists, and influencers have previously been invited to Fenty Beauty events and encouraged to share transparent reviews online. 

Fenty Beauty have collaborated with a number of retailers to ensure the brand is readily available. One of its most notable partnerships, Fenty Beauty’s launch in  health and beauty retailer Boots meant that the brand was now available on the UK high street.

Fancy hearing more about brands with killer marketing strategies? Check out the Girls in Marketing podcast to hear from industry experts.