Korean beauty brand Peach & Lily is turning traditional marketing strategies upside down.
Instead of announcing a new product and then spending the next few weeks explaining to customers why they need or should want it, Peach & Lily flipped the script. From January 25 to February 18, the digital native brand educated customers and its 285,000 Instagram followers about vitamin C as an ingredient that, when used properly, can deliver glowing results. It pointed out some of the less-desirable side effects that existing vitamin C products might have, like oxidization and irritation, and gave a tiny tease about a possible upcoming product. Founder and CEO Alicia Yoon says that the reverse launch aims to get “people to really understand their skin and the ingredient, and then with that knowledge, understand if this product is right for them.”
The month-long marketing stint started with a landing page that lived on Peach & Lily’s site blog that featured a call-to-action for visitors to ask questions about vitamin C, information that was then also spotlighted in an email blast. In addition to the educational posts on social media, the brand also hosted an Instagram Live session featuring Yoon, who not only boasts enviable skin but a following of her own. it will host an Instagram Live session featuring Yoon. A mix of paid and unpaid influencers and experts were added to the mix before pre-order for the mystery product finally became available on February 17 to an undisclosed number of email subscribers and then launched the day after to the masses. In addition to prioritizing video content on Instagram, star beauty brands in Gartner’s Beauty US: Digital IQ Key Findings have been putting education first over most typical communication methods, like product ads, especially on YouTube. By doing the same on Instagram, Peach & Lily tapped into the power of two exponentially powerful digital techniques.
In fact, the vitamin C launch email led to a 300% increase in click-through to the brand’s website, compared to the average. Additionally, the brand experienced a 200% increase in engagement on Instagram Live through views and comments, about ten times more shares of social media posts and emails, and 60% more posts saved on Instagram. As the pandemic wears on, consumers may find the month-long reverse launch technique more appealing than typical tactics because such content could serve as a good stand-in for the impactful customer interactions that in-store associates once provided and can be particularly valuable for education-driven skin care consumers. However, marketers should make sure not to keep consumers waiting too long and ensure they are not simply ticking a box by launching these services, but also connect the experiences to commerce with tailored product recommendations. For Peach & Lily, patience and perfect timing paid off.