Following its successful Series B funding in late 2016, US darling Glossier announced it would use the investment to enter new markets. The brand consequently launched in the UK in October 2017 with a multi-pronged strategy, focusing on traditional media while also tapping into the country’s prominent influencer and vlogger communities. Its success provides a role model for other beauty brands hoping to tap into new global markets.
Aside from its local Marylebone pop-up, the brand leveraged its editorial roots by launching British Week, a content-packed week featuring top British figures such as Victoria Beckham and even reusing a 2015 feature with British supermodel Jourdan Dunn. In addition to mentions on editorials like InStyle, Elle, and Glamour, Glossier’s founder Emily Weiss appeared in an interview on British Vogue’s YouTube channel.
Though the brand was new to the British beauty scene, Glossier claimed over 10 times the number of vlogger mentions earned by the average brand in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty UK. This was due to a combination of conventional product callouts from vloggers and more intimate appearances on influencer videos, such as founder Emily Weiss’s Q&A with UK vlogger Caroline Hirons. Following that Q&A, the UK share of traffic to Glossier’s site jumped 42%. In the same time period, the top video driving traffic to Glossier’s site was British-influencer Zoella’s September Favourites 2017 video, in which Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser was the first product mentioned.
In February, Glossier received series C funding of $52 million and announced plans for an IPO. Clearly the UK expansion is only the start of this millennial favorite’s saga.