The Benefit of Birchbox

Birchbox is an e-commerce company that delivers personalized boxes of beauty product samples to subscribers each month at $10/box. Full-sizes of the sample products are available to purchase on the website and there’s beauty content to boot!

This Birchbox video explains it all:

I do not subscribe to Birchbox (even though I’d love to!) but I do interact with the company on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Birchbox partners with beauty brands to host giveaways to its followers on social media websites. According to PBM Marketing Solutions’ president Gregory J. Pollack,“For a true strategic partnership brand marketing program to work, both brands must complement each other and deliver similar customer profiles.” Birchbox is a business that focuses on delivering beauty products to consumers. The company partners with the beauty brands it promotes in the Birchboxes so the customer profiles are one in the same – beauty product lovers!

Recently Birchbox and Benefit Cosmetics partnered up to host the #BenefitXBirchbox grand prize giveaway. I saw an advertisement for the promotion on Facebook and decided to enter a photo on Instagram with #BenefitXBirchbox.

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SO many people entered the contest, so I was surprised when I found out that I won $500 of Benefit products!

I suddenly knew I had the perfect blog topic: how Benefit Cosmetics benefits from a brand partnership (focusing on this contest) with Birchbox.

First I’d like to gush about Benefit Cosmetics. Founded by Jean and Jane Ford, Benefit Cosmetics is a ultra fab, beauty counter brand that exudes a fun and glamorous personality. Each product has a playful name like “They’re Real!” mascara, “Big Easy” complexion perfector (I get to try this one!), and “Rockateur” provocative cheek powder. Benefit is also known for its Brow Bars that offer eyebrow waxing, makeup application, airbrush services, and more.

To enter the contest I was instructed to “browse and shop” Benefit’s pictures on Instagram and to upload my own with the hashtag. I already knew about Benefit’s products because I love Benefit Cosmetics! I discovered the brand as a high school student when shopping for makeup at the beauty counters with my momma. I ended up looking at their new products anyway.

The picture I entered is a consumer-created advertisement for Benefit. I snapped a photo of my two favorite Benefit products and wrote a cute caption: “Just a couple of my skin’s best friends!” Like me, the Instagram users who entered this contest created buzz about Benefit that their followers (and anyone who viewed the hashtag) can see.

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 1.00.22 PMI promoted Benefit on Instagram and Facebook. I’m sure some of my 873 Instagram follwers and 1,269 Facebook friends saw this post and were interested in the products I showcased. My close friends or core ties know that I love beauty products and may see me as an influencer. My peers trust my Instagram picture of my “skin’s best friends” more than they trust an advertisement products by Benefit Cosmetics because they know me and trust my opinion. This is the greatest benefit that comes from a contest like this! Benefit Cosmetics gets tons of unpaid advertising and user-generated content from its customers.

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 7.19.47 PMIt may be true that most of the people who entered the contest already own Benefit beauty products but that cannot be said of their followers and anyone else who sees their photo. Benefit Cosmetics gained hundreds of mentions and we can guess that the reach is significant if you consider all the followers of each of the participants.

I haven’t even mentioned the audience that Birchbox has! On Facebook: 899,279 fans. On Instagram: 97,360. On Twitter: 119K. These followers are receiving the message about Benefit Cosmetics too– whether they enter the contest or not!

Partnering with Birchbox is a good move. Birchbox did $80 to $100 million in revenue in 2013 and is close to closing a $50 million Series B round of funding which shows that it is a growing company. In 2013 the company doubled its subscribers to 400,000!

I sure am happy Benefit Cosmetics chose to host this amazing contest with Birchbox. I cannot wait to get my new Benefit products!! And by the way, you can enter this contest too!

Click here to see the February entries and check out the rules!

6 thoughts on “The Benefit of Birchbox

  1. Michelle Logan says:

    Love this! I really like how you stressed the importance of buzz and word-of-mouth communication with friends. Companies may be transparent, but nothing is more trustworthy than looking to someone you know very well for opinions. I also really love how you entered the contest and won a lot of money! It makes me want to check out what Birchbox has to offer, and gives me hope that maybe one day I’ll win a prize:). Thanks for sharing your own experiences with me, you just promoted Birchbox through word-of-mouth!

  2. Morgan Reynard says:

    That’s awesome that you won $500 worth of Benefit products! This was a great and relatable post because I have heard and seen many things on social media about Birchbox. Like you, many of my friends market beauty products through word of mouth, giving the company that much more free marketing. The video at the beginning of the post was very helpful in explaining Birchbox. I hope to become as lucky as you to win a contest and market a product via word of mouth!

  3. Laura Mack says:

    It is so obvious how passionate you are about the beauty industry, especially from this post in particular. I LOVE how you blogged about a personal experience with this brand – it gives you that much more credibility as a blogger. A few of my friends have bought birchboxes in the past and I think I may cave soon and try ordering one myself (as soon as I get my next paycheck, that is). I’ll be honest, I rarely enter any contests because I’m convinced I’ll never win. This post, however, demonstrates how easy it is to enter (and give the company free word-of-mouth marketing) and actually win from time to time. Really great post (:

  4. Kayla Marsh says:

    First of all, extremely jealous of all your new goodies! I have tried to participate in contests like that, but I never win. I think it definitely helps if you showcase the product in your submission the way you did. Your every brand’s dream consumer! The incentive was more than decent for this contest, and Benefit is definitely doing something right. Other beauty brands should have huge contests like this! And now I know someone who has actually won one, so I know they aren’t just faking to get their name out there. Great post and congrats girl!

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