Dermablend vs Starbucks: a study on marketing discipline

When Sephora carries over 200 brands of cosmetics and skincare, how do you make your lipstick stand out among the rows of shiny objects competing for the customer’s attention?

In crowded industries (and what isn’t crowded these days?), the brands that win are the ones with a strong perspective. It takes discipline to only do marketing activities that support the stake you’ve put in the ground. Meanwhile, most brands are easily distracted with getting followers on the next trendy platform or busy trying to orchestrate something that will go viral.

Even if your video does go viral, that’s not enough. The video needs a message that reinforces your perspective. 

A prime example of this is Dermablend’s Go Beyond the Cover campaign. It reinforces the core message that Dermablend is the #1 Dermatologist Recommended makeup brand for coverage.  

They are so focused on this positioning that they ONLY offer products in the coverage category: foundations, concealers, powders.

This is no small feat. It takes incredible discipline to say, “No, we’re not going to go after the color business.” That business would bring in millions in revenue given Dermablend’s existing brand equity and distribution. But as of now, they are still saying “No, we focus on coverage. We are going to walk away from those millions of dollars because that’s not who we are.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have brands that do all kinds of interesting, one-shot campaigns that drive views for a day or two, then quickly fade.

Ad Age covered interesting digital campaigns that Starbucks has done.  The ideas were innovative – augmented reality, Twitter scavenger hunts, etc. None of that is related to Starbucks’ core message of being a third place for people to hang out. 

Whereas the Starbucks campaigns were interesting for a few minutes, this Dermablend video has gotten almost 26 million views on YouTube and is a lot more evergreen.

By the end, you are thoroughly convinced. You think, “Holy crap. Dermablend really covers.” If you are looking for serious coverage, Dermablend is the only option. The messaging 100% relates to the product value proposition - that is why this video is so powerful.

UncategorizedWes Kao