At first glance, the partnership between Bobbi Brown, a premium cosmetics company, and Uber, a digital business transportation platform, may seem ridiculous; however, their alliance was strategic for both parties and proved to be widely successful.
WHAT IS BOBBI BROWN?
Bobbi Brown, a professional make up artist from Chicago, founded Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in 1991 when she and a “chemist released a line of new lipsticks under the brand Bobbi Brown Essentials, which debuted at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. The success of her makeup line led Estee Lauder to buy the company in 1995. Her work has since been featured on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Self and Town & Country“. Since then, Bobbi Brown has grown to be one of the most recognized and luxuries make up lines in the United States. Bobbi Brown products are premium priced cosmetics with the mission of helping all women feel “pretty and powerful”. Brown has launched several highly successful cosmetic campaigns centered around themes such as, “Pretty & Powerful”, “anyone can be their own make up artist”, and “Be Who You Are”.
Personally, I am a huge fan and admirer of both Bobbi Brown as a successful business woman and of her high quality cosmetic line. I find her products to be elegant, simple, high quality, and beautiful. Additionally, Bobbi Brown has an extensive social media presences. Her instragram displays not only her products, but heathly living tips, motivational quotes, pictures of Bobbi Brown and her personal life, and Brown’s many campaign events and efforts. Snap chat is a tool often optimized by Bobbi Brown. With the touch of a bottom, one can view all fashion shows Bobbi Brown has been working with that week or get a quick make up tutorial. On Facebook, Bobbi Brown has over 4.3 million followers, and her website bobbibrown.com speaks for itself. On the site, one does not only find her products, but also extensive make up tutorials, which emphasis the organic and invidual value and beauty of each woman and how make up is a tool to enhance not coverup natural features in order to highlight confindence. Additionally, her make up tutorials are performed on a diverse women in order promote and celebrate the beauty of diversity.
There is only one impedement for girls like me from falling totally in love with Bobbi Brown, the price. Broke college girls can’t typically afford $32 mascara and $65 eye shadow pallets in great amounts, so what is a girl to do? This is the company’s main issue with millennials such as myself. What is Bobbi Brown to do? Enter Uber…
WHAT IS UBER?
Uber Techonoligies Inc. “is an American multinational online transportation network company headquartered in San Fransico, California: and founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. The entire transportation platform is based on a mobil app which allows riders to easily requested rides to their locations. The convenience and ease of the service has turned it into one of the most successful companies world wide. The legality of Uber has been contested in serval countries all over the world; nevertheless, this digital platform has completely disrupted and revolutionized the transportation industry. So why would they want to partner with a premium cosmetic brand like Bobbi Brown?
AN UNLIKY PARTNERSHIP & MASTER PLAN
On September 22nd, Bobbi Brown partnered with Uber, giving make up touch ups to a goal of 640 lucky Uber passengers in both Manhattan and the greater LA area. “The plan is for each makeup artist to hit four users per hour, according to Brown, and if you multiply that by four hours and 20 stylists, that unfortunately only means about 320 people per city will be able to experience the service. Brown herself will also ride around New York City in an Uber for a portion of the evening, surprising users with touch-up tutorials”. If you are anything like me when I first heard of this partnership you are asking yourself, what could these two companies possibly have in common? Why did they partner up? Premium retails and a digital transportation company did I read that correctly? What is the logic?
As mentioned previously, Bobbi Brown sells expensive products. Their major consumer base is composed of upper middle class women, 30-and above, who have the disposable income to spend on their premium products. Although Bobbi has done very well with this demographic, the company is hungry to expand its consumer base and overall market share. What does that mean? Millennials! And what do millennials love? Uber!
Therefore, Bobbi Brown partnered with Uber to create a campaign which gave her direct access to millennials. What is another important fact about millennials beside that they can’t afford her products? They are busy and used to being constantly on the go! This notion inspired the direct connection with Uber and Bobbie new campaign “Retouch on the Go”. Bobbie Brown states, “I’ve never sat in my bathroom and done my makeup,” Brown told WWD Tuesday of only applying makeup “on the go.”Bobbie Brown’s main push for the Fall season is their retouching products and they wanted to specially target and attract millennials. Therefore, the company figured if they offer free make up lesson in the back of an Uber and highlight the quality and quick application of the products on the go, it may entice millennials to maybe to splurge on Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Although statistics have not been published specifically on the success of the Bobbi/Uber Day partnership, her retouching line has been launched into the market and has seen high sales thus far. “The Wand in particular is being positioned as an alternative to foundation, according to Brown, who is targeting a younger, Millennial customer who might find the light coverage, quick results and pen as a form factor appealing”.
So what is in it for Uber? It is apparent why Bobbi wants to work with Uber, but why does Uber want to work with Bobbi? Women empowerment. October is Breast Cancer month and Bobbi Brown, along with their parent company Estee Lauder is one of the main supporters of such causes. Additionally, as I mentioned before, the entire Bobbi Brown company is focused on highlighting natural beauty, motivating female confidence, women empowerment, and beauty diversity. Bobbi Brown has an exceptional reputation in the industry for being a leader in postive self image and love. Uber found it strategic to feed off such reputation during October Breast Cancer month in order to align themselves with this positive female empowerment image, which they have traditionally not been known for.
In addition to the direct Bobbi and Uber make up tutorial rides on September 22nd, Bobbi Brown launched a massive social media campaign to support this one day. “It’s a fresh approach to connect with someone else whose business is about servicing on-the-go consumers, said Peter Lichtenthal, president of Bobbi Brown. Here, we have products for busy women on the go to touch up in an on-the-go way, so we said, ‘Hey, wouldn’t this be a great relationship for us to have and then share that synergy out on our social platforms?’” In addition to the brand’s paid efforts, producing content that will live on its owned channels and influencer outreach, “Lichtenthal said the goal is to get the women who experience a retouch in an Uber talking about it on their social channels and in turn, influence their personal networks”.
Was this partnership unlikely? Yes! Was this partnership brilliant? In my opinion, defiantly!! I applaud Bobbi Brown’s strategic approach to attracting millennials. I find it fresh, creative, intriguing, and effective. Although it is clear that Bobbi Brown is in the one in the spotlight in this partnership, the benefits are mutually benefical. Bobbi could not have promoted the way she did without Uber, and in exchange Uber got directly associated with Bobbi’s reputation for female appreciation, respect, and empowerment. These types of partnership are exactly what I find most impactful and exciting in the realm of Social Media and Digital Business.