LUSH Cosmetics gets the word out using social media

skoerne    February 14, 2012

LUSH CosmeticsOrganization name: LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

Industry: Cosmetics

Company Information:
“LUSH offers over 300 luxurious, ethical and indulgent bath & beauty products made by hand with fresh, organic ingredients. Live the lush life with bath bombs, bubble bars, and inventive products for the body, hair and face. All products are 100% cruelty-free, vegetarian and 81% vegan. Formulated by experts in natural cosmetics, our products are environmentally-friendly, minimally preserved, and minimally packaged.” (LUSH.ca)

LUSH Headquarters: Poole, England
LUSH North America Headquarters: Vancouver, BC
Founders: Mark Constantine, Mo Constantine
Founded: 1995
Private limited company of handmade body products

Description of how social media is used for business performance:
LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics relies almost exclusively on word-of-mouth advertising via social media to promote their products and social awareness campaigns–they do not partake in any traditional media advertising (magazine, newspaper, tv, or radio ads). They rely on like-minded consumers who share the same principals and social values as the company to promote their products and campaigns through personal blogs (reviews, promotions, and giveaways), personal (reviews, hauls, demos) and proprietary (demos/tutorials, campaign specific awareness) YouTube videos, Facebook (main company pages, plus individual store pages), Twitter (main company feeds, plus individual department, and employee feeds), and the company-run forums.

Examples of how the use of social media has encouraged customer engagement:
– LUSH uses their Facebook pages to encourage dialog with their customers, prompting patrons to ask questions, not just about the products and campaigns, but also about the company and its employees.
-LUSH uses the LUSH Times Facebook page to request photos and videos of customers showing themselves using products, as well as consumer reviews of individual products. Some of these photos and reviews are then used in the print version of the Times that is provided to customers in stores and through the mail.
– Individual LUSH stores use Facebook and the customer forums to stay in contact with customers. They use these venues to let customers know when new products arrive in store (or when certain products are re-stocked), of store parties or events celebrating new product launches /holiday specials, and new information regarding social awareness campaigns.
– Approximately once per quarter, LUSH has an online chat party. During this party, LUSH employees chat with customers, play trivia games for prizes, and offer special limited edition products. In many cases the limited edition products have been chosen by the customers in a vetting process on the customer forums (forumites get to submit their top choices for products to be created/produced for the party), creating a sense of involvement and even ownership with the process.
– LUSH uses their customer forums to ask customers to share honest opinions about their products, campaigns, and the company itself – both good and bad.

Lessons for other organizations:

“What you get out of social media is equal to what you put into it and because our business is built largely on word of mouth, and we don’t use advertising, the use of facebook and twitter has been vital to us. People in our industry who do not get on board with social media are at serious risk of getting left behind.”

(Harry Blamire, head of brand communications)

Web references:

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics sites:
http://www.lush.com
http://forum.lush.com (NA) / http://forum.lush.co.uk/ (UK)
twitter: @lushcosmetics (NA) / @LushLtd (UK)
http://www.facebook.com/lushcosmetics (NA)
http://www.facebook.com/lush.co.uk (UK)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lush-Times/117467208278283
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lushvidz (NA) / http://www.youtube.com/user/Lushcosmetics (UK)

Articles about LUSH Cosmetics:
http://www.lush.ca/shop/about-lush/articles/
http://www.marketsentinel.com/blog/facebook-analytics/2010/10/lushs-social-media-strategy-beats-body-shops/
http://abitofsocialdabbling.blogspot.com/2011/04/social-media-monitoring-of-lush.html
http://www.cosmeticsbusiness.com/news/article_page/Social_media_Heard_it_through_the_grapevine/60134

Submitted by: Stephenie Koerne

To contact the author of this entry, please email at: skoerne @ uwaterloo.ca

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.