“Revolutionizing the beauty industry” - brand image creation through customer engagement in the new media A case study research of a crowdsourcing beauty company Volition Beauty
Crowdsourcing, as a strategy to engage customers and leverage on their knowledge and ideas, is a phenomenon relatively new in the beauty industry. Some brands such as Kylie Cosmetics or Charlotte Tilbury have used crowdsourcing solutions before, in form of occasional engagement campaigns, but it is rather unusual for cosmetics companies to rely on crowdsourcing in their regular business activities. Volition Beauty, a start-up cosmetics company from San Francisco, United States, uses crowdsourcing and customer engagement to position itself on the market and build its brand image, which is a strategy previously unknown among the beauty brands. The company claims to develop its beauty products based only on the ideas submitted by the brand’s community members and chosen in a process of online voting. By these activities, Volition Beauty creates a unique brand image strategy, and this research seeks to explore the ways it is done. Through qualitative content analysis of data extracted from the company’s Instagram posts and blog articles it was possible to identify direct strategies the brand implements, consisting of themes direct co-creation incentives, direct engagement incentives, insights into the co-creative process and the benefits of crowdsourcing, and indirect incentives such as love for co-creative community/social identity, values – brand’s symbolic function, real solutions for real women and revolutionizing the beauty industry. The research offers the view that, based on the example of Volition Beauty, cosmetics companies wishing to crowdsource can use the approach to position itself as brands that listen to the customers’ needs and problems and offer them solutions in the form of personalized, high-quality products. What is more, the solutions, defined by Volition Beauty as "real solutions for real women", refer to the inclusiveness of the process in which the community members are included into the company's business activities and "given a voice”. Lastly, based on the Volition’s Beauty research, the community is claimed to be the core of the crowdsourcing company's identity and to be given power and influence to create the brand collectively with the brand executives. All of these characteristics are part of a brand image that the case study company, Volition Beauty, tries to create, to finally make a claim that crowdsourcing can “revolutionize the beauty industry”.
|Keywords||media, business, crowdsourcing, customer engagement, new media, brand image, digital labour|
|Thesis Advisor||I. Derda|
|Series||Media & Business|
P. Szalaty. (2019, June 24). “Revolutionizing the beauty industry” - brand image creation through customer engagement in the new media A case study research of a crowdsourcing beauty company Volition Beauty. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/50141