A Brand Transformed: COVERGIRL

April 10, 2018

Ever since I was a teen, I’ve had a fondness for makeup. Long before I knew what influencer marketing was, I found myself on YouTube, watching review after review of products I wanted to try. To this day, I can say that many of my purchasing decisions were influenced by these videos, because the reviews and opinions came from a trusted source.

Over the last few years, I’ve moved away from the online beauty scene, but still find it relaxing and informative to catch up on what my favorite vloggers are talking about. In the midst of this online searching, I came across a trusted old brand doing something surprisingly new. A rebrand.

This past fall, CoverGirl moved away from its iconic 10-year-old “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful” slogan for something more reflective of the times and their audience. The new tagline is clever, concise and creates an identity that is based on individuality, not conformity: I Am What I Make Up.

As a brand, CoverGirl has held onto a particular persona throughout the years, one featuring “fresh, natural beauty.” Starting in 2007, Drew Barrymore became a CoverGirl model and spokeswoman alongside other women with a similar aesthetic. It was all about effortless beauty, fresh faces and a touch of whimsy. Anyone else remember watching America’s Next Top Model featuring the annual CoverGirl competition? Easy, breezy, beautiful.

But in 2016, CoverGirl took a step into the spotlight and unveiled its first ever male spokesperson, makeup vlogger James Charles. The move got a lot of media attention, and it was one of the first moves away from their iconic (albeit a bit outdated) brand slogan.

Today, CoverGirl has gone all the way and finally ditched its “easy, breezy” look for something bolder. #IAmWhatIMakeUp has taken traditional and social media by storm, leaning on unapologetically confident spokespeople such as Ayesha Curry, Issa Rae, Shelina Moreda, Maya Musk, Katy Perry and Massy Arias. The new COVERGIRL is an all-caps call to action for women everywhere to create who they are and who they want to be. Take a look at the unveiling video:

There are a few things in particular I think COVERGIRL did really well with this rebranding — a few takeaways that can be a learning for any brand looking to undergo such a drastic change in the future:

Understand your audience

This rebranding obviously took a lot of time and research. Women are having a moment in the spotlight, and it’s a moment about being unapologetically themselves. This means using makeup as a tool for self-expression and not just covering up. COVERGIRL took this cue from their audience and delivered in a big way, ditching a slogan that had a stale and somewhat sexist approach to what makeup and beauty mean for women.

Watch the trends

Another aspect of the rebranding that I love is the attention to detail. Even the packaging underwent a noticeable facelift, featuring sleek lettering and variety of bold makeup colors, not the typical “fresh face” options we had come to expect from the brand. No doubt they took cues from more fashion-forward beauty brands, but the move to something bolder and sleeker was smart and on-trend.

Be just ahead of the curve

COVERGIRL has been around since 1961. With that kind of longevity, you inevitably acquire a following that is deeply rooted in your tried-and-true products and messaging. For that reason, a major rebranding has to be done with care. COVERGIRL unveiled a variety of new products with their rebrand, but they didn’t ditch their staples that made them a success to begin with. LashBlast Volume Mascara is here to stay, in its memorable orange tube.

Whether you’re a fan or not of COVERGIRL products, there’s something about their sassy new persona that I just can’t say no to. #IAmWhatIMakeUp #BoyBye