Building a new Makeup brand, Note case study combining IPSY, Forever 21, an SM Influencer and Instagram Live


Having watched how the influence of social media has re written the rules of marketing I can clearly see that the social media strategy to build brand awareness can change by the day with new platforms coming into the mix. Today my new fledgling brand Note exhibited at Gen Beauty 's Ipsy event held at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles. Despite the bad wintery weather of Los Angeles and a evacuation of the show in mid day I witnessed first hand the power social media has in an matter of minutes to link consumers to brands.

Ipsy is by far as most cosmetic marketers know one of the premier leaders in building customer relationships with brands. Although it is only 5 years old their variety of relationship models pales all other marketing and social media companies bar none. I first started working with Ipsy when I was VP of Business Development at NYX. It was through IPSY and their founders Michelle Phan and Nicole Collins that I really got an appreciation of the power of using this remarkable ogranization to build brand awareness. This event one of many this year drew over 4,000 beauty creators and influencers from around the US. If that were not enough, a new platform further powered our Note Cosmetics brand at this event.

Note Cosmetics is only available on its own website when we launched in early August. As a result of Cosmprof Las Vegas we met Forever 21 and launched online at the end of November. When I decided to join the Ipsy event this weekend I was invited due to a last minute availabilty of space offered to me in early November. I most happily snapped it up. After some calls with Forever 21 as my only customer now I thought of how I could partner with them to bring more of those beauty creators to my stand. The social media department at Forever 21 had a brilliant tie in to launch our brand at Ipsy. They suggested that we invite one of their fashion influencers to do a meet and greet. Elizabeth Keene is a fabulous influencer who works with Forever 21. The presence of her there was important for Note but something else truly amazing happened.

Two of Forever 21's digital team joined Elizabeth Keene here under the tent at LA Live. What happened next despite Note's lack of brand awareness was evolutionary. The Forever 21 posted Live Instagram ( this is a new platform only 1 month old) Jolie Spellacy from Forever 21 told me that when they posted this 58,000 people in a few minutes aknowledged receipt of this and in seconds hundreds of influencers left the stands from bigger brands such as Benefit and Clinique and ran to the Note stand to meet Elizabeth and get a sample of our lipgloss. Keep in mind every stand had samples to give away. Yes ours was a full size lip gloss but others such as Makeup Forever, Hour Glass, Jouer and Milani had other offers.

So cosmetic marketers another chapter on building brand awareness is written. The power social media coupled with a major force in retail for millenials, Forever 21 gives us some new lessons. Thanks Forever 21 and IPSY for your great partnership.

Jeffrey Ten - CEO and General Manager Americas at NOTE Professional Cosmetics

Photography by Jeffrey Ten Social Influencer Elizabeth Keene