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Rare Beauty’s Marketing Strategies for Being an Inclusive and Viral Brand

The beauty industry continues to change. 

With ample new brands, products, and wider shade ranges launching, consumers are finally getting their different beauty needs met while feeling more included. 

But with more players entering the market, it’s become more difficult for a new brand to stand out — even if it’s attached to a celebrity founder. 

One exception to this phenomenon is Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez. The brand launched in late 2020 and has since gone viral on TikTok, been raved about by media outlets, and has sold out in Sephora on multiple occasions.

 An array of blushes by Rare Beauty against a flesh toned background.
Rare Beauty’s strong focus on its product development allowed the brand to stand out amongst the competitive industry.  Cassey Ho 

“I think when we started it out, we never thought of ourselves as a celebrity brand, period. The end.” Katie Welch, Rare Beauty’s Chief Marketing Officer, says. “Selena knew that she was not a beauty product developer. She assembled an incredible team… [to develop] products that can stand on their own.” 

The brand’s strong focus on product development paid off as Rare Beauty fans took to social media to showcase how pigmented its blushes are or how easily its concealers blend into their skin.

The strong bond of Rare Beauty’s community goes beyond raving about its products;it's the foundation of the brand’s storytelling and marketing efforts.

“We have a really powerful community and they mean so much to us. So maybe even more than other brands, we spend a lot of time on our own channels,” Katie says.

Whether it’s social media posts or campaigns photos, Rare Beauty makes sure that its community is featured within their visual assets and showcases real life users as the face of the brand. 

Beyond using their own channels for marketing, Rare Beauty is also sharing its platform. Not only is the company donating 1% of all gross sales to mental health organizations, the team also uses its own social channels to share mental health education. 

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“We also started Rare Impact, which is a division of the company that works to make a difference within mental health,” Katie says. “We [also] created the Rare Beauty Mental Health Council, which is about 15 or so individuals within academia, nonprofit, the medical field, mental health, who help advise us and co-create content so that we can educate our community.” 

Rare Beauty’s effective and well loved products along with its inclusive community providing educational resources are just some of the successful strategies that Katie highlighted in our conversation. Tune into the whole podcast to hear about Katie’s career journey, her take on succeeding on TikTok, and future plans for Rare Beauty. 

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