A package delivered to me, from me. What better pick-me-up throughout the week than that? I held the brown cardboard box awaiting my arrival at my Hillsdale Street address after a day of classes and homesickness. After a day of wishing I could maybe just go shopping with my mother, or could feel good about my skin (an uncommon occurrence in the life of a young person), or even get some artistic inspiration.
I brought the brown box up to Room 304, rested my remaining belongings on the floor, and could not help but rip it open. Although deceiving to the eye, I opened the box surprised to find a blissful and cheery millennial pink greet me.
From the moment I opened my box, I felt teleported to the ‘scapes of modern Manhattan, feeling as if, though I am far from metropolitan bliss, the store had come to me. To my doorstep.
Within my pink box, I found a little note, also contained within a powder pink envelope, welcoming me to the Glossier experience, reading, “Hi, Finally we meet! It’s really nice here. – Us”
I had just made a new friend.
The remainder of my package included complimentary Glossier stickers channeling images of “Glossier” written in every typography reminiscent of the 1970s, cartoon stars, and even little smiley faces.
Even then, I had not yet reached my final destination on this product journey.
I opened a little, bubble-wrap pouch. No, it was not actual bubble-wrap, it was a product, even Ziploc-like with hot pink bubble wrap within, holding my purchased cosmetics. Inside this modern invention of airmail packaging, I found a “Zit Stick” and “Stretch Concealer.”
Now, you may think I digress and am prone to get captured in the packaging of the product alone, and in some ways, you may be right. Still, I was taken by the power of modern marketing and its effect on me.
The detail in packaging, personalizing the experience for every online order, and seeing mundane aspects of a shipped product become an exciting aesthetic makeover in and of itself, was impressive to me as a customer. I felt as if I had received incredible customer service, without even meeting a representative.
First impressions must really matter, because how I felt about my product before I had even opened the packaging itself was one of intrigue, and inspiring in terms of creativity.
Presentation and uniformity matter in a generation of sight-seekers and where external aesthetic remains a strong motivator to not only try a product but remain a loyal customer. Young people seek to feel special and unique in their purchases. Funnily enough, these trends and products appear to be consumed by many other users just the same, and these customers believe they too are special.
This appears to be the common theme among Instagram feeds. But now, I digress.
This generation appears to double as a generation of quality, particularly in the composition of products.
Okay, perhaps it’s too presumptuous to say millennials seek after only the “image” of products. But in actuality, millennials pursue both external and internal features of a product.
Where “vegan,” “gluten-free,” “all-natural,” “animal-cruelty free,” and “no GMOs” appear to be new “Sale” sign of 2018, millennials cannot help but purchase items that not only appear pleasing, but feel and are made in a satisfactory manner.
A common struggle among young people is, and has been for generations, acne. Nearly everyone desires clear and happy skin, and that’s why Glossier’s “Zit Stick,” not only in its packaging of a bright pink and red, plastic, rip-right-open, minimalist design, but in its ingredients and purpose, created an uproar when it arrived on the company’s website Sept. 6.
Not only were social media feeds flowing with images, and the website itself provided a special feature where customers when viewing the product could erase a red shade on the screen to see the clear image of the “Zit Stick” behind, but it contains clinically approved ingredients. These ingredients include Benzoyl Peroxide and Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, and the site sets out to show how each ingredient contributes to solve the issue of acne; but most notably, these medications are mixed with that of all-natural tea tree oil, putting all-natural-gurus on the edge of their seat.
The site included images of individuals who tested the Zit Stick, proving its legitimacy, and most importantly, for all millennials, sharing its freedoms: “hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, vegan, gluten free, soy free, dairy free, cruelty free.”
As for the Glossier “Stretch Concealer,” millennials are ooh-ing and ah-ing from across the nation, as this makeup essential not only provides quality assurance to cover dark circles and blend naturally into one’s skin tone, but contains the ingredients of beeswax and microcrystalline wax, avocado and jojoba oil, and cocoa butter.
User Goldilocks from Los Angeles rated the concealer five stars, and titled “The hype is reeeeal!”, saying “It feels super lightweight and my favorite thing by far from this product is how natural it looks and feels…Great product! Definitely worth your penny!”
Glossier Incorporation started in 2014 by CEO Emily Weiss. With her focus on making women feel confident about their skin and dispelling beauty myths, success was inevitable for Glossier, with Weiss making Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list in 2015 and Glossier being recognized as “one of Fast Company’s ‘Most Innovative Companies’ of 2017,” according to Weiss’s LinkedIn page.
Perhaps a decade or so ago, it would have concerned modern customers to cover their skin in food ingredients and oils, but today, the rave of natural ingredients, elite delicacies like the avocado or cocoa butter, and the universal term “healthy” have captured the eyes of millennials but most importantly captured the attention of the masters of marketing.
Glossier succeeds at the three components that make any millennial-geared business successful: detail, aestheticism, and natural solutions.
By focusing on the most obvious elements of any existing product, Glossier stands above that of other modern corporations, evident in the track record of Weiss and her business.
The first impression of the customer is met the moment she opens her package and sees the bright color and unique designs. As she digs through her package, she discovers little trinkets, never promised only gifted, that make her feel as though she has received more than she bargained for. She then opens the product she actually purchased, and finds it to not only soothes her exterior and gives her the feeling that she knows the product, its ingredients and each of its purposes personally, but that she actually feels good about herself.
From its start and small selection on its website promising to give quality and shine, to its glossy finish on the customer herself, Glossier knows the method of the market. Glossier knows how to find the simple things, the necessities, and transform it into an experience. An experience that takes Lower East Side Manhattan, where the Glossier Incorporation HQ lies, to the corners of college dorms and small towns.