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Sephora, the multinational makeup and beauty retail brand has nearly 340 brands besides its own personal Sephora collection. The company has recently announced its new partnership with TikTok and Digitas for their new TikTok incubator program, meant to drive an increase in DEI approaches to creator partnerships.
Creator marketing has been the future of brand marketing for a while now. Still, the Sephora and TikTok incubator program aims to build more genuine connections with creators and their audiences. Creator partnerships will become even more personalized, and influencer marketing is being taken to the next level to accelerate brand growth and success.
New and emerging brands utilizing influencer marketing tactics on social media platforms is incredibly helpful for growing brand success quickly. In the modern day, where consumers want to feel more connected to the brands they interact with. The Sephora and TikTok incubator program may be the future of creating stronger, more genuine relationships with customers.
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What is the Sephora and TikTok Incubator Program?
Sephora has been a leading brand in creating an inviting beauty shopping experience, with their retail stores hosting thousands of products and beauty consultants. Sephora has also led the charge in championing diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment, a growing increasingly popular movement. Sephora’s desire for a more inclusive retail environment pairs perfectly with their new collaboration with the TikTok Incubator program.
The Sephora X TikTok Incubator program connects TikTok creators to brands Sephora has selected to be a part of their Accelerate program, a brand incubation program focused on founders of color. The creators and brands will be led through a series of educational training modules covering social content strategies and tips for campaigns that invest in diversity.
Sephora has highlighted twelve brands that will participate in the TikTok incubator program, starting with BIPOC founded brands: Tropicals, Eadem, and Hyper Skin. The brands will be trained by established TikTok beauty influencers Amy Chang, Rocio Lopez-Jimenez, and Nyma Tang.
Sephora VP of Social and Influencer Marketing Brent Mitchell told Glossy that the first Incubator session would focus on TikTok strategy. In contrast, the second session will help brands devise “a bigger TikTok plan.”
Digitas, a global digital marketing agency providing services such as strategy, creative design, data and analytics, technology, media planning, and content production, will work with Sephora and TikTok. They plan to create diversity-centered programs as well.
Positivity and empowerment are the central goals of the Sephora and TikTok incubator programs. “The future of brand storytelling lies in the hands of multicultural creators, and by championing diverse creators, brands can unlock their full potential on TikTok,” Soniya Monga, head of U.S. agency partnerships for TikTok, said in reference to the goals of the program.
Brands are well aware by now of TikTok’s power to reach customers. Brand storytelling is the future of making brands feel less like cold and more like human-led company that cares about their customers. Creating a story and a mission for your brand is invaluable in long-term brand credibility.
Brand storytelling aims to create a deeper level of engagement with customers by tapping into their emotions and creating a memorable experience beyond the functional benefits of a product. Effective brand storytelling involves identifying the core of a brand’s identity, such as its history and values, and using those elements to craft a compelling narrative.
Seophora’s TikTok Incubator program aims to do just that. The program uses creators who already have a beloved fan base to reshape beauty content to include and promote diversity in race, gender, body type, and subvert classic beauty standards.
Looking to get your brand involved with Influencer marketing? Here’s how to make influencer marketing better for your campaigns.
Benefits of the TikTok Incubator Program
Sephora has not confirmed if the partnerships are paid but said, “The program [would be] mutually beneficial to the Accelerate brand founders and content creators.” However, the program is also not a one-time deal. Hundreds of community creators have expressed their desire to participate. New brands will also be invited every quarter to participate.
Sephora’s partnered brands, the content creators involved, and Sephora themselves will all benefit from the increased brand awareness and a more solid, well-known brand mission and story.
One of Sephora’s largest competitors, Ulta Beauty, saw an 18.2% increase in sales and annual revenue exceeding $10 billion during 2021-2022 as #BeautyTok grew in popularity. Sephora had a 23% increase in sales and earned $82.6 billion in revenue during the same time period. Sephora’s partnership with the TikTok Incubator program should ideally see the same drastic sales and revenue increase as #BeautyTok reaches a wider audience.
Want to learn more about the Beauty Industry? Check out our Market Analysis of the Beauty Industry.
The Unsure Future of TikTok
Although TikTok has drove sales, and influencer marketing continues to prove itself as the future of marketing, the uncertainty surrounding TikTok in the US market may make the Sephora and TikTok incubator program a gamble.
The Biden Administration is beginning to implement more strict rules for TikTok, and its parent company ByteDance, seeking to move the database back to US soil. Regardless of TikTok’s future, Sephora will take control of its brand voice. Sephora ensures better content creation from the influencers they partner with, which should be a win overall.
Social Commerce is likely not going away anytime soon. “TikTok is merely the marketing model of the moment,” Dave Bruno, director of retail marketing strategy at Aptos wrote, “Marketing models always change, but the long-term play of incubating and growing brands that can potentially differentiate their assortment and expand market share is, in my opinion, the bigger story here — and a very sound strategy indeed.” (Forbes)
Sephora’s TikTok Incubator Program is leading the charge on utilizing user-generated content to amp up brand marketing, and other brands are sure to follow suit soon. With the boom of the beauty industry and the consumer desire for real faces and voices backing well-known or new brands, the TikTok incubator program is likely the first step to a mass phenomenon of better content.
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