Beauty brands have tried to recreate the success of Instagram-led buzzy product “drop” strategies from fashion and activewear brands like Everlane, but often struggle to secure long-term returns on their initial investments, as seen in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty US.
Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories, launched exclusively on Amazon Prime Day in July 2019, is no different. Leading up to the brand’s launch, Lady Gaga teased brand and product imagery on her Instagram account. The tactic helped drive initial buzz on Prime Day, and the brand jumped into Makeup Best Sellers through pre-orders. However, that success was short-lived, as the brand quickly dipped out of Best Sellers just one week after its launch.
To extend short-term benefits from “drop” launches, even celebrity-backed beauty brands have had to invest in additional media. In August 2019, Haus Laboratories began ramping up investments through Amazon Advertising. Analysis of Amz.one data shows that by September, Haus Labs owned roughly 30% of Amazon Headline Ads against branded search terms for other celebrity-backed beauty brands like Fenty Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, Huda Beauty and Kat Von D—all of which are not officially distributing on Amazon, but are among the most-searched brands within the beauty category.
Haus Laboratories’ launch demonstrates the limits of “drop” strategies for beauty brands. Even with a high-profile founder and an exclusive distribution relationship with Amazon, the brand still deployed additional media spend to drive sustained brand awareness on the platform, beyond its initial drop.