Did you know that most people do not go into the first toilet stall in a public bathroom? Reasoning behind this is they think it is an unhygienic place crawling with germs. Think again. It is actually the cleanest, as research says, and probably the least used out of them all. This is true of businesses who have gathered up the courage and ventured off into an idea that has never been done before. Much like going into the first stall, lurking with germs and danger, there are successful businesses out there who have plunged into the market with differentiated ideas and have made it a success. Etsy’s recent IPO is proof of this risky dive.
In a much similar way, Glambot, a startup out of San Francisco, is a first timer in the makeup industry. Essentially, what this company has exploited is the idea of the hoarder. Encouraging them into a barter system to sell their old cosmetics and engage in a two-way exchange. This includes old, discontinued or limited-edition products. The company uses a five-step sanitization process and qualifies only certain brands and products to be sold, in order to assure authenticity and hygiene.
Although the idea is great, the execution of the strategy has been less than par. From a digital standpoint, the organization has not been as active for a company that started off its venture through a blog. Its processes are essentially driven by the digital platform that is where their customers are coming from. Now let’s look at the numbers – digital is quantifiable.
Glambot has more potential to be opportunistic of this growing trend. How many brands, companies and Instagrammers are we hearing about these days? I mean I know I find a makeup artist every day. That isn’t even an exaggeration. The average following I have been noticing are six digit figures. That is almost ordinary, nothing of a 100 thousand-follower status jumps out at me. Now compared to the progression of Glambot, their numbers are less than impressive. Standing at only 14K followers, you would think they were a popular high school cheerleader.
Some suggestions for my friends at the Glambot headquarters. Fix your website and make it more authentic and make me believe that you are a well-run organization. Not a couple of girls out of Brooklyn, selling their old makeup with the girlfriends from high school and decided to make it a business. Make sure your webpage logic is all in place. If you are going to put a link to your blog, make sure I am actually being directed to it and the landing page is the Glambot blog. An extension of this idea is the actual blog page, make it more attractive, make it more professional, and make me believe you are professionals in the beauty industry. Your website lacks professionalism and is still encountering errors. Your visual appeal is absent; the website which serves as a business portal for creative is not exactly that creative. Twitter is sad, really sad with only 303 followers. REALLY?! You should be tweeting all the time, meeting people, reaching out to them and creating a bigger following on all your social media channels. Facebook is not that far off with a little over 4400 likes. Have you guys not heard of omni channel marketing? Being active on all social media platforms and creating that synergy? For a company that has been operating since 2013, that is almost two years, much of their digital activity is seems lazy and almost stagnant from what I can see.
The idea is risqué and might even be flawed, but there is a lot of potential behind this idea. But the ineffective execution of their strategy is costing this brand a lot more than I am assuming they hoped. The positioning could have been much more clear and direct. I know I am more hesitant of the idea of using someone else’s makeup, someone I have no idea was using the makeup before. Talking to a classmate, she highlighted insights on the potential legal complications that may arise or the ambiguity behind all this. Present your company in a positive light with a strong outlook. Make me believe you. This doesn’t go without saying that the company has used effective tactics like reaching out to prominent Youtubers, i.e. Irene Sarah, to promote their company. You can see advertisements on reddit.com and the name Glambot does come up in all searches. But, honestly speaking there are more negative reviews about how the company operates and what they offer, than the good. I understand it is a low cost model, but in the age of digital, expensive mediums and investment into advertising isn’t even that beneficial as digital. Use it wisely.
Etsy’s dive into their differentiated venture proved their risk-taking behavior and how “stepping into the first stall” was a good idea. But did Glambot get unlucky and entered the first stall that is malfunctioning? I guess we will have to wait and find out.