Perception and reality aren’t the same. In fact, unseen forces have powered the fashion and beauty industry for decades.
There’s a myth that young models possess beauty that’s attainable by everyone. It’s a deceptive but effective claim. Advertisers sell $80 billion annually worth of beauty and personal care products in the U.S. by convincing women that good looks come in an expensive bottle.
One high-growth, multi-million dollar venture, Fiera Cosmetics, sheds light on how the industry really works and upends it by going against the grain.
Putting Aging Customers First
Fiera is disrupting age-old practices by formulating products for aging skin not 20-year-old models; by selling products that actually improve your skin, not just cover it up; by going direct to consumers online; and by improving the user experience instead of using your money to pay for shelf space or expensive executives.
Their product line includes anti-aging concealer, powder, high-end creams, and related accessories. Their flagship makeup products don’t just cover your skin making you looking good in the short term, they’re jam packed with active ingredients to improve your skin in the long term. The company also donates a portion of sales to feed the hungry: In August 2020, Fiera handed out 9,300 free meals through a partnership with Second Harvest Food Rescue.
The firm was built with an aging clientele in mind, according to a spokesperson. Retiring Baby Boomers have pushed the number of senior citizens to nearly 60 million and it’s a big reason why Fiera is growing fast.
Selling Quality Anti-Aging Products
According to management guru Peter Drucker, “The aim of marketing is to … understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” In the case of Fiera, its founders are committed to addressing realistic consumer concerns about aging by offering non-toxic high-quality products without resorting to questionable marketing tactics and unattainable beauty standards.
The strategy is also cost-efficient.
Fiera does not participate in retail locations that charge high markups or require big payments in exchange for shelf space. Instead the firm relies on customer reviews, word-of-mouth promotion, and organic growth. And instead of paying expensive executives, the company uses funds to constantly improve product quality, as well as help their community by donating free meals to those in need.
The lesson? It’s all about the customer and supporting a cause they care about.
“If you really listen to your customers and give them the best products that meet their needs, the rest takes care of itself,” says a spokesperson. “You don’t have to do business the way everyone does anymore. You also don’t need to pay off the big department stores. With the internet, you can grow quickly as long as you have the product to back it up and really provide value to customers.”
Setting Realistic Expectations
The above approach comports with prudent expectations on aging instead of peddling a false narrative. Fiera uses older models in their 50s, 60s and beyond who mirror consumers desire to age with grace. It’s a marketing strategy that respects people’s innate dignity and aligns with the company’s values of putting consumers first.
In contrast, global brands and their army of influencers and PR agencies have long distorted idealized beauty by air-brushing and Photoshopping magazines; by paying their way into retail displays; and by compensating executives to form partnerships that elevate corporate images instead of prioritizing the user journey.
“Our models are everyday older women who are also our customers. We’re about aging with grace and dignity; being comfortable in your own skin; and not conjuring images of what a woman should aspire to that she can never be.”
Fiera recently launched a neck cream to compliment a highly popular concealer line. Monthly sales have more than doubled since the beginning of 2020.