Brand Communities

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Just one of many examples that I can’t be trusted to shop for beauty products alone.

Welcome!

It is not enough for retailers to merely sell products anymore, rather, they must not only provide services as well, but also an environment that encourages stimulating and pleasantly surprising shopping experiences (Anteblian et al 2014). This relates to why companies increasingly focus on building brand communities, which Schiffman et al (2014) tells us are distinctive consumer-, purchaser-, and admirer-centric experiences that give meaning to themselves rather than to the brands they are based around. These niche, social relationship networks are unbounded by geography and fortified by shared similarities. Sound familiar? No? That’s probably because I overcomplicated it to sound clever. Basically, a brand community is a group of admirers who connect with each other as well as the brand and its products, to the point where that community becomes a part of their lives. If you’re anything like me, your belonging to such a community will be signified by too many plastic cards in your wallet and an alternative calendar year that revolves around sales and VIP events instead of months and seasons.

Exemplifying the trend of brand communities—and the fact that I have no self control—is that I myself am part of many: Sephora White (and hopefully Sephora Black when my finances allow for it), Mecca Beauty Loop, and the Priceline Sister Club are a few of my favourites, and, being honest here, a few of my bank account’s worst enemies. Personally, my experience in beauty brand communities has been positive. Priceline Sister Club (2016) sums it all up pretty well, saying “Priceline Sisters enjoy great perks, privileges and paybacks. Join our Sister Club and be part of something really big!” This tells us that brand communities do their best to give their members a sense of belonging, and another way of identifying themselves, such as being a ‘sister’.

If any of you have another beauty-related brand community that you think I need to be a part of, please let me know—after all, my inbox totally isn’t full of enough marketing emails yet.

May your biscuits be crunchy and your nail polish never chip whilst opening the packet.

Warm regards,

Tope.

References:

Anteblian, B, Filser, M & Roederer, C 2014, ‘Consumption experience in retail environments: A literature review’, Recherche et Applications en Marketing, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 82-109.

Priceline Pharmacy 2016, Sister Club, Priceline Pharmacy, viewed 20 May 2016, <https://www.priceline.com.au/sister-club&gt;.

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A, & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson, Australia.

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Estee Lauder: the Brand I Trust the Most

Welcome all!

What do I think of when I think of the best retail experience I’ve ever had? Estee Lauder. Sounds fancy, right? Posh, even? It is a high-end brand, after all. Personally, I think Estee Lauder’s products are worth the hefty (especially in Australian dollars) price tag. I can justify spending $50 on foundation or $60 on face powder when the name Estee Lauder is on the packaging, because I’ve never had a bad experience; quite the contrary, their products are a joy to use.

I tend to base my opinions of a brand on two things: retail service quality and pricing. Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Light was the first foundation I ever spent my not-so-hard-earned Youth Allowance money on as a teenager. I shuffled into Myer wearing too much eyeliner and asked to be matched to a foundation shade. The lady gave me a discount, two free deluxe samples, and reminded me of my grandma. Ever since then the brand has held a special place in the makeup bag of my heart, and every time I go back to Myer I get free samples. All the women in the makeup department know my name now. I may have a slight addiction. The point? High retail service quality. Check.

As for pricing, the shallow, living payday to payday part of my materialistic, consumerism-flooded brain still makes me think that high-end products are superior to their chemist-sold counterparts despite me studying marketing and knowing the psychology behind customer behaviour and all that jazz. I’m a sucker, what can I say? However, in the case of Estee Lauder, I know why the pricing is prestige. The products are awesome; which brings me to my next judgement: products.

For me, beauty products can be assessed based on packaging, effectiveness, scent, delight and, more specifically to makeup, longevity, colour, so on, so forth. A stand out product from Estee Lauder that ticks all my boxes is the Advanced Night Repair Serum II. Holy cow is that stuff good (I’m pretty sure it’s made of unicorn pee and fairy tears). The packaging is gorgeous and solid: it feels expensive, and it comes with a dropper, which is a big plus for practicality. As for effectiveness, I get so many compliments on my skin when I use this serum, and it’s cleared up my breakouts, and it’s made my skin firm and glowing, and it doesn’t smell offensive, and it feels luxurious to the touch, and…I’ll stop. I could go on for paragraphs.

Bottom line (not really, I tend to ramble, but bottom paragraph I swear): I trust Estee Lauder and their products bring me delight when I use them. Their shade ranges are great and all their employees have treated me wonderfully. Totes recommend (excuse the unnecessary abbreviation, I’ve had too much coffee and am rushing everything, including words, apparently).

May your tea be hot and your biscuit never fall into the bottom of your cup whilst dunking.

Warm regards,

Tope.