Rael drives new category success with UGC
Recognizing that women today are more aware about the impact products they use can have on their bodies, Rael saw an opportunity to meet growing consumer demand for products that meet a woman’s needs at various points in her menstrual cycle.
Last year, Rael entered the beauty space by developing a line of skincare products geared toward usage at different phases of a woman’s cycle—like cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. The fast-growing brand fueled its launch success by making user-generated content (UGC) a core component of its marketing strategy.
“Broadening our range from natural period care products to beauty has been a major hit,” said Sorah Park, CMO at Rael. “We’ve been covered by every major beauty publication based on the buzz around the products. And from a sales perspective, it’s significantly exceeded our expectations.”
Activating Bazaarvoice’s Influenster community for content collection
To venture into the new space, Rael needed to build awareness, establish credibility, and drive trial of new products—all of which can be accomplished with social proof from UGC.
“For a small startup, it’s all about building trust with consumers because you’re not relying on a big brand name that has long-term credibility,” said Park. “And knowing that people can’t touch and feel a product online, and with the sensorial aspect of beauty and skin care, the third-party validation from UGC is so important.”
Rael used Bazaarvoice’s turnkey sampling solution that generates high-quality reviews and social advocacy by sending products to select members of Bazaarvoice’s Influenster community of 6 million highly engaged consumers. Through two sampling campaigns, Bazaarvoice curated and sent a total of 2,000 Custom VoxBoxes with Rael’s skincare products to a hyper-targeted audience of ideal buyers.
“We previously worked with another sampling provider, but with Bazaarvoice, we’re getting more precise targeting that lets us improve on our review volume and quality. Bazaarvoice targeted specific audience groups with products that matched their skin type and other demographics, interests, shopping behaviors, and product preferences—like moisture versus acne,” said Park.
The campaigns also encouraged consumers to share their experiences on social platforms, generating 9.8 million impressions from tens of thousands of social posts, shares, likes, and comments. It also armed Rael with a repository of powerful content to utilize across other marketing channels.
“The caliber of social content was much higher than with other providers. The Influenster community members were better content creators and gave us lots of really creative, on-brand content for us to share with other beauty shoppers across all our channels,” said Park.
Driving conversion on Rael’s site and retail sites
The campaigns resulted in 3,000 total reviews (300% more than the initial goal), which is driving sales of the new products on the brand’s site.
“We have many acquisition campaigns to get people onto our site, but we know that reviews drive conversion,” said Park. “In a way, it makes all our other marketing tactics much more effective and efficient because we’re not just getting people onto the site. We’re convincing consumers to try our products.”
The reviews were also syndicated to several of Rael’s key retail partner sites in the Bazaarvoice Network. Rael now has nearly 100,000 reviews across its products in the retail channel.
Gathering meaningful and actionable insights
Sampling gave Rael an easy and impactful way to mine customer sentiment about its new products, identify ways to refine marketing messaging, and turn feedback into action.
“UGC guides essential parts of overall marketing strategy by showing us how to speak about each product and position them based on what consumers like. Sometimes your customers tell you things that you didn’t consider on our own,” said Park. “From a learning perspective, Bazaarvoice sampling lets us get much more granular information on our products compared to other sampling providers.”
For example, customer feedback informed Rael’s decision to allocate more resources towards promoting its new facial mist.
“We initially saw it as a nice ancillary product, but from so many positive reviews from the campaign, we realized there was a lot more organic interest in this product and a product that we should prioritize and dedicate more paid media spend towards,” said Park. “For another key product in the line, everyone commented on how much they loved the lightweight feel, and that’s not something we initially considered a major selling point to lead with. Marketers don’t always get it exactly right at the beginning. That’s why insights from UGC are so influential.”
Leveraging UGC for learnings is especially effective for brands with limited market research resources.
“As a small brand, we don’t have the budget to do a ton of consumer research, and it’s difficult to get a large number of people to respond to us with our own surveys. UGC lets us reach a large audience all at once in a cost-effective, scalable fashion,” said Park.
A partnership for ensuing expansion
Based on the success of the product launch, Rael considers sampling with Bazaarvoice a key to continuing its rapid growth.
“UGC helps shape our future, and we have a partner that lets us take advantage of it and that plays a vital role in our continued expansion.”