If you don’t have Instagram or live in a major city where billboards for the cult-favorite “Boy Brow” is advertised, Glossier is one of the hottest beauty brands right now. The brand banks on exposure from social media to target their Millenial and gen-Z demographic with well-curated Instagram feeds and product demonstrations on the blog from which the brand was birthed, “Into the Gloss.”
Photo: Charisse Kenion on Unsplash
This past June, Glossier announced via Instagram post that their limited edition merch line “GlossiWEAR” would be available to purchase on July 17th. The photo featured a pink hoodie in their signature hue and the brand’s “Glossier” logo in white. The comments flooded with excited customers tagging their friends saying, “Take my money, I don’t care how much that hoodie is.” Needless to say, there was major hype broiling for this collection.
The merch page on the brand’s website reads: “Glossier from head to toe. Meet GlossiWEAR, a limited edition collection of merch, designed with you in mind.” The line launched with hair clips, a yellow duffel bag, pink slide sandals, and a marble comb, which all sold out in a matter of days. Also on the page was the actual apparel that the brand had advertised, including a blue long-sleeved shirt with a three-eyed smiley face, a white-branded baseball cap, and the pink hoodie, all of which were bannered “Coming Soon!”
When Glossier’s Instagram promoted their first GlossiWEAR drop with a photo of the slides, the comment section held disappointment and frustration. Some said that they signed up for email notifications for the release and never heard from Glossier until after the fact, when everything had sold out. Others asked if the sold-out items, namely the logo’d duffel bag, would ever be restocked. Others were concerned about an inadequate range of sizes available in the slides.
Another common refrain involved the promotion of the pink hoodie. The brand advertisement implied it would be part of the first release, seemingly leading excited customers on. One of the comments read, “You promoted with the hoodie but it’s not coming out until September? Ok… even so, I would have bought the slides if they had a size that fit me. I love y’all, but this is so disappointing.” Another said, “The hoodie launch is the biggest betrayal of 2019”.
The Glossier account responded by saying they have no plans to restock the first drop, as the items were only available while supplies lasted. They finished almost every reply with, “Stay tuned for a second drop of items, including apparel, in September.” It seems the brand may have had quantity issues--they may not have prepared enough merchandise for the demand they created--alongside deceptive advertising that promoted products that won’t be available for purchase for another few months.
Glossier prides itself in having a “symbiotic relationship” with their consumer, as noted on their website. They strive for their community to be a “group effort.” In an interview by Forbes last fall, Glossier CFA Henry Davis said, “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.”
Hopefully Glossier will put their money where their mouth is and listen to the overwhelming feedback they’ve received on their newest venture. If so, consumers can expect them to up their stock for their next drop, get their sizing in order, and be clearer in their advertising. Glossier’s consumer base is fiercely loyal, and they only want the same from the brand in return.
Olivia Cigliano is 19 years old and a sophomore at Emerson College. She's majoring in Journalism and minoring in Digital Media and Culture. Her favorite tv show right now is Handmaid's Tale. In 5 years you'll find her living in a city and pursuing her career. She can't start her day until she's had a cup of coffee and caught up on the news. You'll never see her without jewelry on.