The launch of Fenty Beauty highlighted the importance of inclusive marketing, which jolted the industry and shifted the beauty landscape. Sandy Saputo, chief marketing officer at Kendo Brands, which includes Fenty Beauty, shares the inside story.
The first time we showed the Fenty Beauty campaign trailer internally, a room full of business leaders, including myself, got very emotional. It was the first time underrepresented, underserved women and cultures were featured in a global prestige beauty campaign.
We knew the brand would touch women’s hearts around the world, but we had no idea of the greater impact our work would ultimately have. There was no precedent to our radical approach to inclusivity. We had to break and disrupt all the traditional marketing rules and carve a new path.
The results exceeded all of our expectations.
In our first year of business, Fenty Beauty became the biggest beauty brand launch in YouTube history, drove huge success commercially, and was named one of Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2017.
Here’s how we did it — and three lessons we learned along the way.
Exclude no one
From the beginning, our founder Rihanna was very clear that absolutely no one was to be excluded. Her vision of “Beauty for All” became our marketing mission.
Fenty Beauty first launched with 40 beautiful shades of foundation and today we have 50. At the time, there wasn’t a brand that truly reached everyone from the lightest skin to the darkest. Many undertones, such as olive ones like mine, were also underserved in beauty. Inclusion was more than the number of shades; it was the well-crafted nuance of each shade in the range that also served as a proof point. This allowed so many women to find themselves in the brand and feel included.