As women, cosmetics are part of everyday life. Even if they do not wear makeup, women are exposed to and have probably purchased, facial cleansing products, hair care items, or beauty tools. For men, it is the same, even without the use of makeup, men are probably familiar with many cosmetic brands. With cosmetics especially, either love or hate them, consumers are usually talking about them. Social media helps make those conversations bigger, heard by many more than just a girlfriend or two. In the past, the purchase cycle was complete after the purchase. This is no longer the case since the advent of social media. Today, businesses are facing a new process, the Social Media Feedback Cycle.
A purchase is no longer complete at the register, thanks to social media, people use the product, form an opinion and then share, share, share. Companies need to monitor actively and participate in the continuation of this cycle, joining the conversation. Consumers are talking whether or not businesses interact. Taking the opportunity to celebrate successes and positive reviews, and responding to the negatives, addressing issues and solving problems can make or break business reputations. If brands choose not to participate, or ignore poor reviews, it could create irepairable damage to their image. If they elect to participate, relationships with consumers can be strengthened, and brand loyalty solidified. Social media is not the same as traditional media, pushing a message out should not be a goal when leveraging social accounts. The primary objective should be listening and responding to the target audience. Let’s take a look at how Revlon is participating in the social media feedback cycle.
Revlon • Who
Revlon is an American cosmetic company, founded in 1932, during the depression, by Charles Revson and his brother Joseph, along with Charles Lachman, a chemist. The company has been a beauty icon for over 80 years old. According to a report, Top 50 Most Familiar Brands (2014), Revlon ranks 42 out of 50 of the most familiar brands in the world. Interestingly, this ranking does not factor in company revenue or popularity; instead it focuses only on brand recognition. This report narrows the scope to “the brands that are most successful at staying on audiences’ radars – for better or worse.” In a similar report based on brand finance (2014), the company does not rank. This proves that a company that isn’t the largest or the best, can still make it to the number 42 slot on the list of most familiar brands with consistent brand messaging.
Revlon • What
Starting with a single, yet revolutionary, new product, nail polish, no one could have imagined how this company would change the beauty industry forever. Read more about Revlon’s legacy. Revlon, is a global color cosmetics, hair color, beauty tools, fragrances, skincare, anti-perspirant / deodorants and beauty care products company. According to the company’s website, “Revlon’s global brand portfolio includes Revlon® color cosmetics, Almay® color cosmetics, SinfulColors® color cosmetics, Pure Ice® color cosmetics, Revlon ColorSilk® hair color, Revlon® beauty tools, Charlie® fragrances, Mitchum® antiperspirants / deodorants, and Ultima II® and Gatineau® skincare. Its products are sold in over 100 countries across six continents.”
Revlon • Unique Selling Point
Revlon’s USP, or unique selling point is not price or quality, but rather hope. “Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon, always used to say he sold hope, not makeup” (2013). Revlon counts on ‘selling hope’ to make up for its small size.
Revlon • Where
You can purchase these products online, in military commissaries and exchanges, department stores, drug stores, and mass value supercenters across the world. Its principal customers include Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and Target in the United States, Shoppers DrugMart in Canada, A.S. Watson & Co. retail chains in Asia Pacific and Europe and Boots in the United Kingdom.
Revlon • Target Market
Targeting women, Revlon’s market is extremely broad, applying different strategies depending upon the products age demographic, ranging from products for teens to ladies over 50 and above. They target women who care about their appearance and want to maintain or achieve greater beauty, claiming they wish to inspire confidence in women.
Revlon • Business Basics
Over the years, Revlon has faced many challenges and has experienced being on the top and falling to the bottom. In late 2003, the company launched Destination Model, “a business plan designed to get profits back on track.” The model’s strategies are based on improving promotional and advertising success, reducing manufacturing and supply chain costs, and developing successful new products and effectively managing current products.
Revlon • Brand Image
Until recently, Revlon maintained a brand image of affordable and mass-marketed cosmetics. In a 2012 article, CMO Julia Goldin, said the essence of the brand is bold glamor, “this has not changed over the years … even in places where Revlon is not selling.” In 2013, Moving Revlon Towards A Premium Brand Image, explains Revlon’s goal to be viewed as a more high-end product, closing the gap between them and L’Oreal. In 2014, however, articles are still mentioning its image as chic-yet-affordable makeup. Whatever the brand image may be, Revlon has one of the top brand images in the world. Revlon’s long-term goal is to continue to be recognized across the globe.
Revlon • Competition
At one time, Revlon was listed as one of the top 5 cosmetic houses, but now their competition is vast. In the 1980’s, Revlon began to lose market shares to Estée Lauder. The main competitors today are: Avon, the world’s top direct seller of cosmetics and beauty-related items; Proctor and Gamble, the world’s largest maker of consumer packaged goods; and L’Oreal, the world’s largest beauty products company.
Revlon • Social Media Platforms • United States
Revlon also has several other global sites including Argentina, Australia, Canada (English & French), France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Each of these sites connects to different social platforms. For instance, in France, they are connected to Google +, but that link is not listed on the US site.
Revlon • Facebook Feedback Cycle Analysis
Facebook Detailed Metrics
Touchpoints, connections made by brands with consumers before, during, and after a transaction, help us filter and measure all the relevant contact points from the consumer’s point of view, allowing us to optimize all the interactions available to us. Positive interactions are critical to achieving a beneficial social feedback cycle. Examples of some of the touchpoints seen with Revlon, and what to look for, particularly on Facebook are:
- The Platform – how much information can be gathered from page.
- Influencers – how many fans do they have?
- Reviews – how many and or they good or bad?
- Page Apps / Links – are they easy to access?
- Posts – how often and what type of content?
- Comments – by others and responses by the company.
It is important that all the touchpoints be informative, interesting or engaging, full of relevant content. Also important, is that all touchpoints carry the same brand message or image. Examining Revlon’s Facebook page, their page is well designed and informative, all the sections are complete, and communicate the brand’s message well. They have over 1,390,510 K fans, which shows popularity. We were unable to find a review section, but there were several posts made by fans in ‘posts to page’, most were positive or a review of individual products. They have apps to photos, videos, Pinterest, Instagram, makeup tutorials, and others. All of them worked and were well-built, only one did not work. In the week monitored, Revlon posted to Facebook once a day at varying times, with a mix of inspirational and promotional posts, all company-generated. Most of Revlon’s posts have 13 to 50 shares, over a thousand ‘likes’, and between 2 to 15 comments, mostly positive. The comment/reply touchpoint is where we feel Revlon needs the most work.
Where other companies fail to grasp the opportunity of two-way communication with social media, Revlon does promote communication with its audience. Still, based on data collected in our analysis, Revlon is only moderately engaged in the conversation with its fans. While Revlon excels in attempts to foster user engagement through its status updates with call to actions, the brand is less responsive when it comes to replying to comments. Most of the feedback comes from the user.
Revlon’s social media content itself is both inspiring and thought provoking. For example, status updates often include a question to fans, such as the post on January 18 that depicted a well-rounded breakfast and Revlon lipstick. Fans were asked to respond by answering how they planned to spend their Sunday with their loved ones. Throughout the analysis, we also monitored comments on all status updates. While feedback remained generally positive, it is worth noting that one individual, “Carol”, commented on a January 15 post indicating her displeasure in the fact that the company was “racist.” In the 48-hour time period after the comment was posted, Revlon had not initiated a public response. However, a reply was shown from another individual, “Terisita”, following up with Carol’s comment to learn why she felt the company was racist. No further communication was established after this time.
It is our assumption that this comment may have been related to a recent lawsuit brought forth by a former Revlon employee, Alan Meyers. Learn more about the lawsuit here: Revlon Lawsuit. Revlon’s Response.
On January 15, Revlon invited fans to share their love notes. The company also included a hashtag associated with its campaign, #loveison. The hashtag was subsequently used in thousands of fan responses, as both males and females took to Twitter and Instagram to share their photos and love notes. (Cross-promotion) While not all tweets yielded a direct response from the Revlon team, many did receive replies. Prizes were awarded to individual fans with exceptionally compelling photos. However, one tweet from a “winner” noted he had still not received a response to his e-mail inquiry regarding his prize. Revlon did respond to one comment on the page, but the comment was a relatively positive question about finding the right red lipstick.
Despite the company’s attempt to foster communication with its audience through thought provoking questions, contests, and hashtags, Revlon was less effective in responding to consumer feedback in the form of comments on Facebook. While this may be a temporary result of the public relations firestorm surrounding Alan Meyers’ lawsuit, the company would be well advised to respond to any and all feedback from its customers going forward. Revlon should consider the experience that they want their users to have and work to improve that experience.
As illustrated in, Use Social Media to Partner with Customers and Improve Service, social media platforms allow customer networks to be bigger, faster and better organized. “They increase the downside of getting service wrong and the upside of getting it right. In other words, social media improves service by making the market for peer-to-peer opinion more efficient. This is good news for good service and bad news for bad service.” Revlon would be wise to invest more in the social media feedback cycle, concentrating on improving every touchpoint, analyzing how they can communicate more responsively with consumers, improving their brand image, as well as customer experience. “Engaging customers on these platforms means that you can measure, surface and fix service breaks with unprecedented speed and accuracy. In addition, you get to display your responsiveness in a highly public forum, which doesn’t happen in a call center.” Revlon, although performing well in some areas, would benefit greatly if they would address negative comments in a public way.