Have you heard of the beauty brand Julep?
Julep began as a chain of nail salons in Seattle, Washington. In 2011, Julep’s CEO Jane Park wanted to take her business online and introduced the monthly Julep Maven subscription service. Customers receive a box of Julep nail polishes, each named after women because “Julep has been powered by girlfriends.” Now the brand has expanded to more than 300 makeup and skincare products– with the help of its customers. Park says,
“We’re not telling customers what they want… we’re responding to what they want.”
Wow. Julep is a beauty brand that is listening to consumers, and it is certainly paying off. Last year Julep made roughly $20 million (double the income of 2012). Investors are impressed: Julep has received $29.2 million from investors over the past two years. One of Julep’s investors is Maveron and partner Jason Stoffer has this to say:
“Beauty is a business where women talk to each other about what products they’re trying. It’s one of the most social businesses there is.”
Jane Park would agree! Julep’s success comes from its ability to use loyal customer feedback to quickly create, test, and sell new products. Julep reads the comments on its Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages and listens to customers in its salons for new product ideas. When negative comments are posted Julep does not delete them because they are valuable in assessing the products.
Julep has six social media profiles:
1. Facebook: 240,000 likes
Julep uses its Facebook page to introduce new products, start conversations about products, answer customer concerns, and link to its other social media profiles. Check out this amazing customer service example that I found on Julep’s page:
That is the kind of customer service that consumers LOVE. Julep earns a positive reputation with its customers when it responds to their questions and concerns.
2. Twitter: 40,500 followers
Julep creates conversations with its tweets, introduces offers and sales, and links to its other social media profiles. It even gives mini makeup tutorials:
3. Pinterest: 23,345 followers
Julep has 31 boards. They are all bright and festive! Here are a few pins:
4. YouTube: 3,356 subscribers
Julep uses its YouTube to show customers how to use its products, to introduce new products like the nail polish brush Julep invented for its customers, and to give customers a look behind the scenes. In this video CEO Jane Park talks to consumers about her new product:
5. Instagram: 32,345 followers
Julep shares most of the same photos that it shares on other platforms. This one involves a current event that customers know about! Some customers who commented took it as a challenge to create this manicure!
The blog is fun! Its sections include: NOTD (Nail of the Day), The Latest, Beauty Tips, All Things Nails, Fashion & Style, How-To, and Jane’s Blog.
The beauty sector is worth $160 billion so companies should be listening and catering to consumer demands. Julep goes farther than listening on social media platforms. It has the Julep Idea Lab that sends an email survey out to 5,000 members to find out what customers want in a product. Currently the Idea Lab is asking customers to crowdfund Julep’s new innovative Plié Wand.
Julep’s ability to reach out to its customers online and to engage them is what makes it so successful. I look forward to seeing Julep grow!