Economic Development News & Insight


InstaBusiness? How a beauty startup turned Instagram comments into a product line

/ December 15, 2014

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InstaBusiness? How a beauty startup turned Instagram comments into a product line

Social media is no longer just for socializing between friends on the web, businesses have taken to using social media to interact with their consumers by seeing what they are saying about the business and their products in real time.

It is easy to comprehend how effective use of social media helps businesses to keep up with their audiences and while we are seeing this more and more and actively using it to communicate with businesses, Emily Weiss took a whole new direction by building her cosmetics line from the ground up through Instagram.

Weiss, the founder and CEO of Into the Gloss, and online beauty site took a different approach when it came to the decision to launch a new line of cosmetics.

With an already well established audience on her website, she simply created an Instagram account that she linked on her website to which she posts photos that are a unique blend of average user styled pictures and branding. Ultimately, Weiss was able to effectively build her brand and identity through Instagram and the pictures that she posted. As the likes and comments began streaming in, she was able to use the real time response to shape Into The Gloss.

In less than 12 weeks, since the initial launch of @glossier, Weiss’s new line of cosmetics became available on

So how did Weiss turn her Instagram account into a successful branding tool?

From the get-go Weiss had an idea of what she wanted to do and what she wanted to avoid. The biggest avoidance was creating another typical product line to get lost in the already concentrated quarter trillion dollar industry. She wanted to change the traditional purchasing experience by changing the brand relationship through technology. The brand relationship was establish when Glossier started giving its followers an opinion about the brand development by giving them simple choices – particularly the package design where followers voted for their favourite colour option for the bubble wrap. The brand, both Into the Gloss and Glossier were never about profit, but more about providing a space for information and opinion that the audience is receptive to without the high strung branding that often comes with cosmetic and beauty oriented websites.

Glossier is a unique grassroots business idea that started from a few posts and likes on Instagram and continues to grow with new products being released every 6-8 weeks. The extraordinary use of social media (Instagram) to develop and define a brand is a modern day innovative tactic that one can only imagine will become more and more prevalent in the near future.


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Or check out @glossier on Instagram.

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