WRITTEN BY RASHTI KAISER
S U M M A R Y
“First and Foremost we want it to be of incredible quality, you want everybody to have a piece of that of course, I want to include everyone I never want to exclude everyone, I wouldn’t say that that was a marketing plan, thats just my passion, and I feel like all of my friends and all of my fans should be able to have a piece of the product, all women should be able to have their own shade of foundation, it’s that simple.” – Rihanna
“Straight out of the horse’s mouth”, that is what singer and creator of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna herself, had to say about her new line of foundations, lipsticks eyeshadows and more, in an exclusive interview with fashion editorializer ParisModesen.
Before the world knew Rihanna as an eight time Grammy Award winner and fashion & beauty icon, she was simply Robyn Rihanna Fenty, a little Barbadian girl who loved to explore in her mother’s makeup bag. Pretty soon she used makeup as a means of self expression which ultimately lead her to be the fearless icon she is today.
Knowing that everyone deserves to be fearless and feel empowered, she worked for two years learning the ins and outs of the beauty world in order to create lightweight but build-able formulas for an extensive array of skin tones, seeing how there was a void in the industry for traditionally hard-to-match shades.
Fenty Beauty products were teased online for months on Rihanna’s personal social medias including twitter, Facebook and Instagram before the official campaign launched on September 1st 2017. With a combination of allure to products on social medias, awareness and highly inclusive target audience, partnership with estimated four billion dollar revenue company Sephora, with as well as an internationally celebrated icon as the face of it all, it seems Rihanna’s marketing campaign may have landed in her creating more than a brand, but something of an Empire.
Official Campaign Video:
G O A L / S O L U T I O N
For years women (and/or men) of colour, and even women (and/or men) of absolutely no colour (albino women) have struggled with finding the right foundation. Often times it is seen that brands may cary dozens of shades however, those shades do not match the subtle undertones in the skin of a person of South Asian or African – American descent. One possible reason it may be more difficult to find darker shades in certain places in the world could be due to the idea that, retailers may believe a “certain type” of customer ceases to exist in their particular region and are therefore less likely to allocate their shelf spaces for those shades. In an article written in Cosmopolitan in 2015 by Andrea Arterberry, she quotes Balanda Atis (a scientist with L’oreal USA) explaining that, “While brands might succeed in making darker shades, they didn’t always get the undertones or the depth right. Typically, there are four pigments used to create one shade: white, yellow, red, and black. To create deeper hues, some chemists mix in too much black pigment, which can leave skin looking bruised.
For a caramel hue, there may be too much red or yellow, which can leave skin looking orange. Sometimes, chemists add titanium dioxide, a pigment used in many cosmetics to add coverage. Result: an ashy finish.”
While the rest of the beauty industry was somewhat sleeping on this issue Rihanna and her team at Fenty Beauty decided to come out with a total of 40 shades in foundation sitting with the highest number of range in foundation seen by a brand yet. Something they justifiably promote, for example you can find the following information under “details” for Fenty Beauty under foundation ‘Pro Filt’r” , on the official site http://www.fentybeauty.com:
Rihanna created Fenty Beauty makeup for all skin colors, all undertones, from all countries. Foundation in 40 shades, skinsticks in 30 shades, made for you. Fenty Beauty
C O N T E N T
Rihanna is known to dabble in non-music related endeavours such as Fenty x Puma and other name brand collaborations. She has had many things in the works as of 2014, under her belt trademarked under her last name Fenty. It wasn’t until April 14, 2017 that Rihanna confirmed the idea of Fenty Beauty to the public sayings that makeup always been something she’s really wanted to do. May 31, 2017 is when she took to Twitter and Instagram to officially post about the soon-to-be makeup line:
Folowed by the official date of release on August 1st 2017:
When it comes to the question of being location specific, it’s somewhat a yes and a no as the product is said to hit the shelves in every Sephora (with 2,300 stores across 33 countries worldwide), Harvey Nichols (with international stores located in the middle east and East Asia) and is of course available online at http://www.fentybeauty.com with international shipping available for 121/195 countries. So although certain third world countries are excluded it’s safe to say, Fenty Beauty is pretty internationally marketed.
With the brand being a symbol of diversity and expression of individuality, the target audience could potentially be anyone who supports the international singer in her business endeavours, to lovers of makeup be they men and/or women of all shades of colour.
S T R A T E G Y
There are many ways to strategize when you go about marketing an up-and-coming product. Following online may not be everything but it is important, especially in this day and age so for international icon Rihanna, name brand recognition wasn’t so much a marketing strategy but the obvious choice.
Her social media has an immense following which consists of:
Twitter (@rihanna) – 80.5M
Instagram (@badgalriri) – 57.5M