Going Deeper Than The Buzz: Fenty Beauty, The Brave Boundary Breaker
Corporate Branding team, Shanghai
Being criticized for lacking diversity over decades, the beauty industry finally started to embrace inclusivity thanks to a game-changing brand—Fenty Beauty. Seeing the void in products catered for all skin types and tones, the famous music and fashion icon Robyn Rihanna Fenty was inspired to create Fenty Beauty—a makeup line that includes every one, focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones.
Since its launch in September 2017, Fenty Beauty has shaken the entire beauty industry with its dedication to diversity and the eye-popping positive feedback from the market. According to BoF, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty range did nearly €500 million in its first full year in business, which has outsold its biggest rival Kylie Cosmetics.
By using the 4-Facets of Brand Positioning, let’s take a look at Fenty Beauty—this boundary-breaking icon.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna (source: Sephora)
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna was created for everyone: for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included. That’s the real reason I made this line.
Truth: Makeup for All
Since its launch in 2017, Fenty Beauty rose quickly and became one of the biggest beauty campaigns in YouTube history and was awarded “The Best Invention of 2017” by Time Magazine. It was the first time underrepresented were featured in a fashionable beauty campaign. There was no precedent to such brave approach to inclusivity.
40 Shades from Fenty Beauty (source: Instagram user_badgalriri)
Fenty Beauty comes with good quality products at a reasonable price point. Beside daily makeup, the brand has been at the forefront of product innovation. Their personalized and stylized products are daring and dazzling.
The holiday collection Chill Owt is one of the best holiday surprises Fenty beauty has brought to the market. The dreamy collection of icy, metallic, pastel and frosty colors is the perfect combo to let you “shine on the slopes” during the snowy season. “Not too much drama, but it's still DRAMA.” Quote on Rihanna’s best describing of this collection.
You may think that makeup lines named after celebrities are just for the die-hard fans, but if you ever tried Fenty Beauty, you will be impressed by how the quality and the bendable colors stand out. Even for some hard-to-pull-off colors like lilac and icy blue that are rarely seen in makeups, Fenty beauty makes them surprisingly flattering on different skin tones: the iridescent hue pops and gives a soft icy look like a true snow queen.
Fenty Beauty is a brand with high-quality ingredients formulated for all skin tones and skin types. It is of course, for the RiRi fans, but more importantly, for all makeup lovers.
Fenty Beauty's holiday collection Chill Owt (source: Allure)
Vision: Embracing Inclusivity and Diversity
Upon starting the brand, Rihanna made it clear that the brand would emphasize on inclusivity. “I wanted a product girls of all skin tones could fall in love with”, said Rihanna at the new product launch. Before that, most of the mainstream cosmetics brands ignored the needs of dark complexion, and the revolution made by Fenty Beauty was undoubtedly its breakthrough.
What Fenty Beauty impresses us most is its attitude towards diversity, and the way the brand leverage the power of social media to advocate its brand vision. It encourages the whole beauty industry to be pushing towards being more inclusive and diverse regardless of complexion and gender. Following the trend led by Fenty Beauty, many industry leaders such as Estee Lauder and M.A.C launched products with wide color ranges. A more diverse selection of models started to appear in fashion shows and advertisements.
“You don't have to be all the same, all the time.” said Brazilian model Camila Costa in a short clip posted by Fenty Beauty, which perfectly expresses the brand’s core concept. It encourages people to have fun with makeup instead of to wear it like a uniform. It believes that makeup should not be a pressure but a way to express yourself.
Fenty Beauty's vivid eyeliners and lipsticks (source: Instagram user_fentybeauty)
Universe: Ruling Your Own Beauty
Fenty Beauty believes that regardless of race, color, appearance and personality, everyone has the right to use makeup to express his or her understanding of beauty. There is no uniform standard for beauty and people should voice for themselves in their unique way. The Fenty Effect (i.e., the chain reaction of brands launching more inclusive products in response to Fenty Beauty's fanfare) is re-shaping the industry, enabling a world where everyone stands for their own understanding of beauty.
Makeups for people of different skin tones (source: ELLE)
Personality: Brave Boundary Breaker
Fenty Beauty takes the lead to break the boundaries. The launch of the brand has touched the hearts of women (and men) all over the world. It disrupted the traditional brand rules and beauty stereotype and carved a new path. At the same time, the sales miracle it created within a month has stunned many mainstream cosmetics brands, making the inclusivity and diversification movement at the center of it all. The impact generated by the brand is far beyond our imagination: not only on product innovation, but also on reshaping the consumer’s mindset and the whole industry. it’s ground-breaking social change.
As the beauty blogger Tiss Saccoh said, "We must carefully continue to maintain the positive attitude we are building and continue to break down social barriers, because it is the social change that has triggered these changes, and to maintain this change we need to develop this trend into the status quo. More action is needed to achieve this goal. The revolution has not yet succeeded, and we still have to move forward."
Conclusion: The Anticipated Changemaker
Fenty Beauty is building a new beauty empire. By giving more choices to people of different shades, it is leading the inclusivity and diversification movement in the beauty industry. The drive of just a single brand can brighten our minds, and lead to the awakening of a whole industry making real change.
In September this year, Fenty Beauty launched a flagship store on Tmall Global(Alibaba Group), announcing its entry into China, as a part of its retail distribution expansion across Asia. The brand expects the new store to “make Fenty Beauty even more accessible to its digitally savvy Chinese consumers whilst staying true to its 100% cruelty-free commitment.”