How Ouai + Glossier Won My Loyalty Through Instagram

May 10, 2017

My friends would say I own way too many products, but it’s not due to me using that many products in a day. It’s more my curiosity; I’m willing to try any hair, makeup or skin item at least once. My Birchbox subscription is my holy grail. I have an embarrassing amount of membership points at Sephora. And FedEx leaves new samples at my doorway multiple times a week. It’s a bit of an addiction, but it’s convenient for my friends who use me as their go-to source for questions about products they want to try, because, well, odds are I’ve already done so.

Because of my tendency to buy new products, it’s pretty hard to win over my brand loyalty. I don’t typically repurchase anything or stick to one “tried-and-true” item in my cabinet. However, these last few months I’ve found myself repurchasing certain products — gasp! And I attribute it to the finely-tuned Instagram strategies from two particular brands: Ouai and Glossier.

They create consumable tutorials.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s easy to sell products with pretty Instagram models, and that’s no new, crazy strategy. But what I find different about these two brands is the way they’re using Instagram stories as mini-virtual classrooms, showing consumers how to apply products, achieve styles or frame up why/when you should use certain items. Essentially, their Instagram stories have replaced YouTube tutorials for me — they’re quicker, get to the point and make it easier for me to share with friends.

Jen Atkin is the queen of this. She uses Instagram to list out the exact products she’s using on her celebrity clients right there in the moment — it’s not staged, it’s not in a production studio. It’s in a back dressing room or her client’s bathroom, and that makes it all the more convincing that her products work. 

JUUJ like @jenatkinhair, then 'gram. <#Regram @sincerely_ninaa>

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They play into individuality and keep things personal.

No one’s skin, hair or bodies are the same, and that message has been embraced and championed by various fashion and beauty brands in 2017. Ouai and Glossier nail their messaging by calling out specific consumer beauty “problems” and addressing how exactly the product they’re selling helps address it. It feels like they’re speaking to me. And that has won me over time and time again.

Meet Super Bounce 💧 Apply to clean skin before moisturizing.

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Got ‘Dry’, ‘Thin’, or ‘Oily’ hair? We’ve got a pill for that. We've also got a FAQ on Stories ☝️

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They make storytelling fun and engaging.

Instagram stories feel easier to consume than longer-form YouTube videos, especially when you’re trying to tell quick stories about your brand or new product innovation. Both Ouai and Glossier were able to tell some engaging stories about their recent product launches through Instagram that I watched and shared with my friends. Because of Instagram’s format and easing viewing, I found myself tapping through the entire story about how Ouai selected the color for its new oil. Unlikely I would have watched a 3-minute YouTube video on the same topic? Extremely. 

And they make it easy to purchase what you need (or “need”).

Instagram’s new shoppable photo tags have made it even easier to purchase items on the spot. Like that blush color? Point. Tap. Purchase. See you later this week, Mr. FedEx.