A shade for everyone: Fenty Beauty brand analysis

It’s International Women’s Day! A day where awareness is raised for all of women’s achievements and the still existent gender inequality. Today, we’ll be analysing a makeup brand created by a woman who has simultaneously been an inspiration for music, beauty and fashion for over a decade, and on top of that has stood up many times for minority groups.

Have you guessed who it is yet? Of course, it’s the one and only Robyn Rihanna Fenty! Take a look at some fast facts and figures about Rihanna’s brand:

  • Name: Fenty Beauty
  • Type: Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Parent company: LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton)
  • Headquarters location: Paris, France
  • Founding date: 8 September 2017
  • Owners: Rihanna (CEO) and Bernard Arnault (Chief Executive at LVMH)
  • Key stakeholders: Sephora and women of color
  • Revenue: approx. $570 million in 2018
  • Brand design company: Commission Studio
  • Areas served: 17 countries and ships to over 100 countries

It is safe to say the same success in the first year wouldn’t have been possible if not for Rihanna being the face of this brand. And now, her surname can be found in thousands of stores and marked on billions of products.

Still, there are other significant factors that caused such a big success for the brand. We’ll talk more about this in a bit.

What’s their brand strategy like?

Fenty Beauty is often followed by the words “beauty for all”, and they strongly hold onto this phrase in advertising. The brand hopes to shed some light on the lack of variety in skin tones of foundations in the makeup industry and fix it, something that brands struggle.

Encouraging diversity is really what Fenty Beauty is about when it comes to their branding. Rihanna said it herself: “Foundation is one of those areas in the beauty industry that has a big void for women at extreme ends of the shade spectrum. And so, I wanted to make sure that women of all skin tones were covered and they could be included in what I created.

They started with 40 foundation shades and since have expanded the collection to 50. By filling up the gaps of missing shades others fail to do, Fenty Beauty successfully stands out from others.

Besides the shades, another unique point is that Rihanna is known to have put in a good few years of her time and effort in making her products of the best quality possible. Now they’re considered of better quality than most, and they’re also luxury goods that are slightly cheaper than other luxury brands, giving them multiple advantages in attracting new and loyal customers.

Building a reliable brand

Fenty Beauty has put emphasis on the importance of diversity since the launch and still do to this day. By never steering away from this objective, they are able to share their thoughts and opinions on this topic without the feeling of it being forced. So, they essentially created a brand that people feel they can trust.

Fenty Beauty isn’t just about selling foundations and other makeup products. Rihanna wants to influence the world in a way that other brands and our society adopt a more inclusive behavior. And she made that very clear: “Fenty Beauty 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.

Potential threats

Rihanna seems to want to remove the beauty standards in the world and make sure people know it’s okay to be different and that everyone should feel included. However, in the end, the brand only uses models that match a new beauty standard and who are just diverse in color, but not in size, for example.

If we’re talking about diversity, shouldn’t we also appreciate everyone’s size and natural appearance? Body positivity isn’t really in line with the current inclusivity Fenty Beauty is promoting, which is something they should take into account.

Potential opportunities

Rihanna’s journey with the brand has gone well so far, but is there still room for improvement? We always think there is. Even though Fenty Beauty is a luxury brand, they could consider blurring some borders with their audience.

Why? Because it’s only available in 17 countries, and within those countries you can get it in a select few stores. Sure, Fenty Beauty is supposed to have an “exclusive” feel this way and they do ship to over 100 countries, but while promoting inclusivity, availability should be just as important.

Conclusion

Fenty Beauty still does very well in their current brand positioning, and repositioning is always a risk and could mess with their reputation. Their parent company LVMH specializes in luxury goods after all, and owns brands like Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.

Whatever Fenty Beauty decides to do regarding branding, Fenty Beauty should definitely continue to set new trends that blow people away and urges other brands to follow. This will improve their brand identity and help LVMH in becoming a market leader.

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Posted on November 1, 2014

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