Beautycounter -
Counter the Industry

3 min, 17 sec

Beautycounter is an unconventional beauty brand, to say the least; it’s clean, calm and collected, but it’s also rebellious at heart. Founder Gregg Renfrew didn’t stop at just wanting to make the beauty industry better. By campaigning for real legislation change, Beautycounter is making a difference to both the individual consumer and the country as a whole, and doing it through its exciting and innovative creative strategy.

Consumer education as a business model - and strategy foundation

Build a trusting relationship, and you’ve secured a customer for life. Beautycounter has turned consumer education into its business model, and implements clever how-to videos, animated clips with a strong message and heartfelt product presentations to reach out to its ideal clients. It’s all clean, honest and balanced - like an enlightened healer speaking assertively, yet peacefully, to her followers. 

Their Clean Swap piece is the perfect example of how animated visuals are used to educate the consumer and drive customer loyalty and aspiration, rather than pushing a direct sales angle. It marries how-to with education with product placement, and is an excellent example of how video can be used for multiple roads to the destination of consumer trust. Contrasts are used both visually and in the campaign message, sticking to that clean, clear-cut, and candid tone we find throughout Beautycounter’s campaigns.  

Beautycounter’s Clean Swap on Youtube

Building a community on more than just a purchase

The brand is also building their community on a clear, political message: That beauty should be good for you. Beautycounter’s Red Color Intense Lipstick, and its campaign, was created specifically to promote legislation changes in the US and Canada, and the call-to-action in the clip is much bigger than just ‘purchase’. Still, you’d never know it from the first 15 seconds.

Beautycounter’s Lipstick Campaign on Youtube

The piece pulls you in, and underlines a sense of community; a sense of responsibility to make something happen together. The language is commanding - bold and big - without being exclusive or condescending, and by the call to action (a simple text to the number 52886), you’re already sold, on both the lipstick and the Beautycounter cause. 

More recently, the brand partnered with Amy Schumer to further strengthen their message that Beautycounter is more than just a cosmetics brand. In completely naturelle make-up, Schumer speaks honestly and openly with her cosmetics consultant, Shea, about what Beautycounter is, and why its message is so important. In the calm, relaxed atmosphere of the piece, Schumer no longer feels like an A-list celebrity - she’s simply a soon-to-be mum; a woman who’s concerned with the same legislation issues Beautycounter is.

BC x AMY: A What Now? on Youtube

The two pieces are both studies in community-building between individual and brand on something more than just a clean and effective product. By using visuals that ensure every single viewer and customer feels part of the Beautycounter movement, the brand is disrupting the industry mainstream of traditional ‘aspiration-to-purchase’ beauty advertisements.

Monochromatic = cleaner

Sleek, clean, white, balanced, soothing - the Beautycounter visuals are, at their core, monochromatic. While many beauty brands go for a sizzling, bubbling explosion of color, this creative strategy is actually part of what makes the CEW honoree stand out from the crowd. By implementing a subtle background and clear iconography, for example, animated brand reviews are given a chance to shine. There is strength in this simplicity, as it further accentuates the Beautycounter core value of clean products, with no hidden ingredients or secrets.

Beautycounter’s Brilliant Brow Gel campaign on Youtube

Interestingly, this choice of palette also contributes to lifting the consumer up, which is key to the brand message. In the Brilliant Brow Gel campaign, models chosen for their personalities and natural beauty pull the viewer into a world that’s beautiful, sleek and authentic. The clips are emotive; big smiles over clean backgrounds. Everyone is welcome here, in the community looking to contribute to the #betterbeauty movement that lies at the heart of Beautycounter. 

Beatycounter succeeds in implementing a creative strategy that encapsulates its brand pillars. The visuals are filled with contrasts, as you would expect from a cosmetic company that’s working actively to change up the entire industry. Bold graphics, natural lighting, emotive closeups, relaxed confidence and transparent, educational messaging; Beautycounter takes hold of its consumers with its campaigns, and instills a communal sense of Gregg Renfew’s passion for making beauty better.


In the next installment of the Female Founder awards series, we’ll take a look at the fourth CEW honoree, Tatcha, and how ancient rituals from Japan has become the foundation for a beautiful, soothing and transcendent visual strategy.


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