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Lush Cosmetics is something of a modern marketing success story.
To anyone who has never set foot inside one of its (undeniably smelly) stores, this statement might sound a little surprising.
After all, it is a retailer that does not advertise on traditional media, nor is it totally mainstream like its rival the Body Shop.
But now with a three-storey flagship slap-bang in the middle of Oxford Street, Lush certainly appears to be making the most of its cult following.
On the back of last year’s website comparison, and in the run up to the Masters of Marketing (deadline for entry this Friday, June 17th), we thought we’d take a look at how Lush has gone from a small ethical cosmetics company to a high street behemoth.
Here are four ways Lush has executed a winning content strategy through non-traditional methods.
Brand values and identity
Since it first began in 1995, Lush has always prided itself on its ethical principles.
From minimal packaging to protests against animal testing – it has become just as well-known for its charitable endeavours as its use of organic ingredients.
Undoubtedly, these core values of honesty and positivity have enabled the brand to build a large and loyal fan base.
As well as promoting good causes, Lush also practices what it preaches, with 100% of the earnings from its ‘charity pot’ body cream going to environmental, animal protection and human rights organisations.
Similarly, by focusing on grassroots charities, it further emphasises its position as being a friend to the little guy.
Ultimately, any purchase from Lush comes along with the reassurance that it’s from a brand that truly cares. And there’s no denying that this is an incredibly powerful (and persuasive) notion for consumers.
Alongside its core values, Lush is famous for its unique and quirky copywriting.
In recent years, the brand has ramped up its efforts in this area even more, with product descriptions becoming a huge focus of its online shop.
Using an unashamedly flowery and funny tone of voice, Lush’s copy combines both puns and rhymes with practical information.
From ‘You’ve Been Mangoed’ to ‘Granny Takes a Dip’, the names of the products also range from the predictable to the rather ridiculous. Yet somehow, it still works.
The style is nothing if not consistent, with similarly punny headlines being found throughout the website and blog, as well as a similar style on social media.
It is not everyone’s cup of tea of course, but it is certainly distinctive.
In recent years, YouTube has turned out to be one of Lush’s most effective marketing channels.
Despite uploads on the brand’s own account being surprisingly rare, mentions from a number of influential internet personalities has meant that it has still enjoyed valuable exposure.
With the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr declaring their undying love for the brand in endless ‘Lush hauls’, the store has garnered millions of new customers as a result.
There’s no denying the power of this word-of-mouth marketing. Despite the world of influential advertising becoming increasingly murky, most of Lush's endorsements do appear to be organic (with many videos appearing during the early days of YouTube).
With millions of subscribers, personalities like Zoella are able to influence buyer behaviour far more than most other forms of advertising - a fact that has certainly gone in Lush's favour.
Lush doesn’t only put effort into growing its customer base. A big reason behind its success is its focus on building a relationship with its audience.
By talking to customers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Lush maintains a continual cycle of conversation and engagement.
Using hashtags such as the popular #lushtime, it encourages customers to share their own personal Lush experiences, in turn building the brand's community.
A further example of how the brand uses content to elevate the customer experience is the 'Lush Kitchen'.
By creating a limited number of online-only products, it aims to offer a personalised and exclusive service.
Far more appealing than a standard shopping experience, it automatically encourages shoppers to recommend it to their friends or post about it online.
Lush is a brand that promises far more than just a good bubble bath.
With its passionate values, distinct style and positive community, it ensures customers are more than happy to spead the word.
Don't forget to get your entries in for the Masters of Marketing awards before the deadline on 17th June.