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Boudoir Prive, Glossybox, and PR DOs and DON'Ts

Working in a PR office myself (albeit one for an emergency service, not a beauty brand), I find the world of Marketing and PR an interesting one, and love seeing how new companies stir up an appetite for their brand, especially using social media.  I think it's amazing how, as bloggers, Twitterers and Facebookers we have so much more power as consumers than we ever used to, and have it within our gift to really make or break a brand.

With this in mind, I've been watching the rise (and fall?) of Glossybox since their launch two months ago. I'm fairly sure they didn't do any advertising (and very little self promotion), but the Twittersphere certainly did it for them, and when their first box featured a full size NARS product it seemed the brand could do no wrong.  As a result of their impressive first box, the June box sold out before the end of May and then the July box a few weeks after that.  However, it was after this initial success that things started to go wrong.  The brand market themselves on 'luxury samples' - and, seeming somewhat like a bit of a cruel joke, they totally contradicted their brand identity in only the second month by sending out a sample of arguably the least luxury brand on the market - dry shampoo.  Yet again, customers took to social media forums to voice their opinion- sadly, this time, not a preferable one for the brand.  As if this wasn't bad enough, GlossyBox customers were then emailed to be told that the price of boxes was increasing from £10 to £12.95.  After only the second month! (the price increase comes in in September) This is terrible PR.  Surely they would have had a sufficient business model and cash forecast to allow them to fix their prices for longer than two months! The general consensus from those that haven't cancelled already after 'Batistegate', is that they are waiting for the third box too see if Glossybox can come up with the goods.  If they don't have something good in this one I think they'll see their customers decline in very large numbers.


In what seems like impeccable timing, new brand Boudoir Privé are now drawing closer to their launch date - a very similar service to Glossybox, but cheaper (due to Glossybox's price increase), with one more product (six, rather than five) and their luxury brands, I understand, are more 'undiscovered' - their concept is that of genuine samples, helping you discover brands, rather than sending you trial size bottles of products you already know and love.  Already on the front foot due to the widespread disappointment in Glossybox, Boudoir Privé seem to have played a blinder with their promotion so far - encouraging people to tweet or give out the link to the sign up page, with the people who generate the most signups being given access to a VIP area 24 hours before the site is open for all customers to sign up in the second week of July.  The brand are also generating excitement via their Facebook and Twitter pages by giving clues as to what the first products are.  Their Facebook wall is full of comments from people desperate to gain the first access to the website - and if you have customers queueing up for your product before you've even launched you must be doing something right.  The first boxes will be sent out in August.

What do you think - have you signed up for Glossybox or are you waiting for Boudoir Privé?

(Nb. I think it goes without saying given that I do not have a beauty blog, or a particularly large amount of followers, but I have not been asked to write this post.)

10 comments

  1. I am in the States, so I was unable to sign up for the Glossybox. I have, however, watched the entire thing unfold online. When I saw what they had put in the first box, I thought that they had made a huge mistake by putting the full-size Nars product in the box. I mean, there is no way that they are going to really be able to top that, and I was doubtful as to them being able to maintain that level of product "prestige." If they hadn't gone so over-the-top on the first box, and hadn't decided to up the price the second month in, I don't think that there would have been such an enormous issue.

    The drop from Nars to Batiste was pretty hilarious/horrifying though....

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  2. signed up for glossybox, get my first one in july, have looked at boudouir privie but its seems abit complicated, if i get an e mail i might join, but all this vip access and all that is naff.xx

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  3. Really interesting to hear this from a PR perspective. I got the first two Glossybox, just cancelled my subscription, so now I'm waiting for Boudoir Prive!

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  4. This is a fab post. Was about to sign up to glossybox as I have a feeling that the next box will be a good one! After the june fiasco, it can only get better!? but it states "due to high demand", I won't get mine until late sept. ....August, i'm willing to wait. but not late sept. I'm a very patient girl but making us wait that long when their competitors are about to launch is just ridiculous.

    I'm now waiting to sign up to boudoir prive instead, providing they can meet demand.

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  6. Hi Rosie! This is Veronica from Boudoir Prive. This is a blinder of a blog post-i don't know why it has taken us so long to read it but it is definitely our favourite blog post of the week! Your writing is very engaging and funny.
    @ Rachel @Temporary:Secretary: @sparkle beauty blog: LOL! Apologies for all the hype surrounding the V.I.P ACCESS competition. We really didn't expect such as huge response and wanted to reward our most passionate supporters. We are very happy with the general reaction but we do understand that it may get a bit irritating for a few people. It will be over on Friday we promise! It's quite simple. As long as you have signed-up you will get an email invitation when the website launches next week.

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  7. @Kat you could signup for Birchbox at Birchbox.com its a similar thing to glossybox and it costs US10.00 a month, it's been going a lot longer than Glossybox.

    Thanks for writing this, as a person who didn't get the first Glossybox (I think too many were went out to beauty bloggers) so us willing to pay missed out!

    I'm pleased with my first box which was the June box. I never expected anything like a fullsize Nars, for £10 a month I just expect a small bottle of something to try that's not a sachet sample. I didn't mind the Batiste! I like that brand, the theme of the box was Summer so I don't know why people had a hard time with it. Think about it, a box themed for Summer most people go to festivals, camping so Batiste is ideal when you can't wash your hair. Really bugs me that people went nuts over the Batiste inclusion. Your paying £10 a month for products that cost MORE than £10 a month! I've also signed up to Boudoir Prive so I'm looking forward and hope I'll get the first box, that's the thing that disappointed me most about Glossybox. I even emailed them to complain about that but they stood by their decision to send bloggers free boxes with the Nars. Its their product they can do what they want, if you don't like the box contents then complain or unsubscribe, there are plenty of other people waiting to get one of these boxes.

    Looking forward to Boudoir Prive boxes!

    Karen

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  8. I didn't actually find out about glossybox until everyone started posting about their NARS product. I was planning to sign up for the June box but completely forgot.. and I'm glad I did! They may swing peoples opinions with another good box in July but I honestly think the way they've handled the whole situation (announcing price increase so soon, ignoring and deleting negative comments on Facebook and only replying to positive feedback) has put me off the brand all together.

    I've signed up for Boudoir Prive and have my fingers crossed that they're going to be different! The people updating twitter/facebook (and taking the time to comment on your post - how lovely!!) seem really genuine which is great! :) x

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  9. @Charlene: Thanks,a lot :) We do try to answer as many comments/blog posts enquiries as possible because it would be rude to wouldn't it? We really appreciate the time it takes to write these things but with an increase in popularity it is getting much harder to keep up (not that we are complaining at all-it's great!).

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  10. Great post. As I work in marketing myself I certainly share many of your feelings. My professional side watched in almost morbid curiosity to see what would happen and how they would respond (which, as it turned out, was to completely ignore all the negative feedback). Ultimately it was a PR fail, but one they had set themselves up for by using the 1st box to essentially overpromise on what would be delivered in the future, and also putting through an ill-timed price increase. I am personally still signed up for Glossybox as I decided I could afford to give them the benefit of the doubt, but if my beauty budget were any smaller I would have dropped them like a hot potato.

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.