We are in the age of the internet, Facebook, Instagram and other forums that allow brands to communicate directly with their consumers. Historic barriers to entry created by the requirement for competitive shelf space and TV adverts have now been eroded by brands' ability to use direct-to-consumer channels to promote and differentiate a brand amongst its competitive set.
Deciem, the Canada-based beauty company behind the skin care phenomenon The Ordinary, has been one of the shining examples of this evolution. The company has successfully used online channels to promote the unique characteristics of its brands and to disparage marketing myths that it claims other brands have hidden behind for years. However, the past fortnight has also illustrated potential pitfalls that may serve as useful guidance for other growing brands. A series of 'transparent' posts to Instagram by the company's founder has confused consumers and created a backlash of sentiment towards Deciem. The company has also announced that it will delete any negative comments on posts to its Instagram account. Will this add to the company's 'myth' or raise questions in consumers' minds? How will Estee Lauder, minority shareholders in Deciem, react?
We will watch with interest.
Early last week, things at Deciem, the self-styled Abnormal Beauty Company, took a turn for the, well, abnormal. In a stream of increasingly erratic Instagram posts, it appeared, to some, that the famously eccentric, brilliant and much admired founder, Brandon Truaxe, had gone off the deep end — or was, at the very least, treading dangerously near it.