Rihanna has always been unapologetically diverse in her music, fashion style, and the way she runs her business, Fenty beauty. She’s inspired us all beautifully in doing so.
On her path to power with Fenty’s different product lines, she always seems to win – in the same way she does with her music – by taking control of her exclusive audience like no other.
As well as smashing record sales, she’s broken records with Fenty Beauty, branching out into lingerie and perfume, keeping fans hyped with raving reviews. So, why is Fenty beauty so successful?
Let us quickly take you through the journey of the Fenty Empire with this video:
The Evolution of A Brand
Some of Fenty’s success can be attributed to Rihanna’s fame and popularity, as well as the brand’s parent company, luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (which owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Christian Dior, Moët & Chandon, and many more).
However, not every product launch with a celebrity face and big-name partners goes as well as Fenty’s has from the start. Even the best celebrity-owned beauty brands aren’t always a success.
In 2014, Rihanna trademarked her business – which bears the last name “Fenty” of her birth name, Robyn Rihanna Fenty. This could quite well have been her first clever move.
The Fenty brand was launched on September 8, 2017, at the same time as New York Fashion Week, in 1,600 stores across 17 countries.
They created products for a large and underserved market: people whose skin tones did not fall into the ranges targeted by the major makeup brands. Fenty was an instant success, fetching $100 million in sales in its first 40 days.
Ranging from makeup products to skincare, this proved to Rihanna that pretty can be powerful in business.
Next came a lingerie line called Savage X Fenty, the name first hinting at sexy underwear. Closer website inspection reveals all body types are catered for (yay!)
Men and women models feature in different sizes and races. Vitiligo, cellulite, stretch marks, and gray hair are all there, looking glamorous too!
Fenty states that Savage X Fenty is lingerie for every mood and all about putting on underwear that feels both comfortable and sparks confidence. Positivity and accessible pricing points show Savage X Fenty has mastered the art of inclusivity, promoting feelings of contented connection.
More recently, Fenty Eau De Parfum hit the stores. With perfume, most people want to feel left smelling sweet. Yet this can mean different things to different people. Some may wish to smell flirty and floral, others want a deeply romantic allure sent to others from their scent.
Fenty created an aromatic blend, with notes of popular scents such as geranium and patchouli, producing a perfume that expresses itself uniquely on each wearer.
Rihanna states of her perfume,
“This exudes everything I feel, everything I am, and everything I want to be.”
She’s captured the memories of all her favorite places in one bottle, knowing that her fans can do the same with their imaginations and memories when they use Fenty Eau De Parfum. And nothing triggers memories like a scent.
Moving on with the topic of the boss lady in business, another question is – why does it seem the time is always right for Rihanna to release her amazing new ventures to the world?
Lessons In How To Slay Business Goals
Fenty Beauty found elevated success because it positioned itself as a diverse brand for a multifarious customer base from the word go. The makeup brand boasted 40 different foundation shades, finally bridging a market gap.
Rihanna also wanted her brand to be available to women all over the world at the same time. From an operational standpoint, this was incredibly challenging.
With a completely omnichannel and integrated approach between multiple channels of communication, the brand went live in 17 countries on the same day, at the same hour (regardless of time zones). In addition, Fenty was already prepared to ship directly to 137 countries.
Rihanna was clever in getting the “without exception” message out there. She never once used the word “inclusivity” in any narratives of her marketing. She simply showed it, by including all.
Rihanna additionally knew she wanted Fenty Skin products to have good quality and clean ingredients after a bad experience she had with a skincare product when she was younger.
Fenty Skin was therefore filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office on March 25, 2019.
All the products are gluten-free and vegan, and the Fenty global brand adheres to the high standards of the European Union, which prohibits the use of over 1,400 ingredients in cosmetics.
Fenty has values. They filled gaps in the market, were ready to serve everyone, and they kept checking out the competition. They likely saw how their competitors were getting votes, clicks, likes, and eyeballs on their social media channels and platforms.
And whatever they were doing at the time Fenty did differently, or better.
Inclusivity – Powerful In Voice, Expressive In Intent
For centuries, black women have set beauty trends that have had a global impact, spending more on beauty products than any other consumerist group.
Not letting the beauty industry define glamor, several black-owned beauty brands are changing cosmetics and personal care companies from the inside out and making their presence felt. A cultural movement is taking place, recognizing and appreciating everyone’s differences.
Black beauty is being understood, celebrated, and respected like never before and for many, the energy feels like it’s life-changing.
In terms of reach among African-American consumers, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty outperforms competitors such as KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics. According to findings from WWD, fans of Fenty Beauty spent an average of 471 dollars on makeup per year, with $371 spent by KVD Vegan Beauty customers, $278 spent by KKW customers, and $181 spent by Kylie Cosmetics customers.
It’s easy to see which brand has a handle when calling the shots. Could this be because style, culture, and power marches forward and seems to rise out of every represented Fenty social media post?
Unquestionably that’s a yes. Fenty’s fans know they have been seen.
Read on for Rihanna in another complete zone of her genius – brand positioning and social media.
Rihanna; The Exec To Watch
Now, let’s take a look at Rihanna and Fenty’s meteoric rise on social media platforms.
If successful YouTubers can go from girls playing with makeup in their bedrooms to seasoned pros very quickly, Rihanna certainly can!
On YouTube, she seems to enjoy the process, and some of her videos could be described as entertainment. Maintaining strains of humor and humility she grows ever more fabulous to her fans.
The channel currently has 755k subscribers (and counting!), as she invites consumers behind the scenes, and into her bathroom, where she shows start to finish tutorials that have fans contouring and highlighting like a pro.
In the TikTok world, Fenty Beauty has 917.1K fans with Rihanna declaring the collaborators are the people who are influencing the world in her community and her generation. She makes the channel a hub for all.
In early March 2020, the first dedicated “TikTok house” was formed with a group of five creators chosen by Rihanna, including Dawn Morante (@thedawndishsoap) and Emmy Combs (@emmycombss). The group continuously roll out videos that showcase Fenty products but are not labeled as paid content.
Moreover, Fenty’s Instagram feed includes a variety of product photos as well as beauty influencer reposts. Rihanna does not dominate the page which is separated from her personal online presence, but she does appear, reminding followers of her connection to the brand while allowing it to thrive to a tune of 11M followers.
The singer’s personal Twitter account mainly has tweets that have been largely promotional for Fenty, and while her off-the-cuff tweets are now rare, they always relate to the Fenty brand.
Lastly, the official Fenty Beauty FB page currently has 936k people following who seem to have a sense of pride, ownership, and connection as they discuss makeup shades, prices, and shipping. This group thrives because Rihanna’s customers have become a tight-knit community.
Shaping The Future With Content Strategies
So, repeating our initial question, why is Fenty beauty so successful?
Reflecting on Fenty Beauty’s content marketing strategies, Rihanna undoubtedly has an expert team helping her concentrate not only on the products she creates but also on the content marketing strategies that send out the right messages.
In addition, Rihanna does possess the undeniable talent and creative imagination that is needed for social media. She brings visions to life, and this seems second nature to her as she brings her warm energy and the love for her brand to millions of her fans.
She concentrates on sharing authentic stories that are rooted in the culture of her product, and emotionally meaningful to the consumers she serves. Her style is individual, sometimes unexpected, extremely far-reaching, and trend-setting.
Providing value to her audience, her customers are her community. She helps people transform themselves with her brand, assisting them in ways they couldn’t without her.
Rihanna disrupted beauty standards with her cult following who found her a favorite in their hearts, minds, and homes. She kicked in the beauty industry’s door and took all of her fans through with her.
The Fenty Beauty content-marketing strategy gives Rihanna’s brand a voice, providing platforms where her customers can also find theirs. From creative influence to consumer power, the figures say it all.
Stylish, cultured, and powerful women are truly a force to be reckoned with.
Header Image Source: Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash
How did you like May Thawdar Oo’s blog post “Keeping up With Rihanna and Her Blazing Fenty Trail”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for beauty content marketing blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂