From WOM to selling looks and becoming BFFs: here's a 'touchup' on Swiss Beauty's marketing journey

In conversation with BestMediaInfo, Rumi Ambastha, AVP Marketing, Swiss Beauty talks about the brand's marketing journey from WOM on a social media platform to early morning orders on quick commerce platforms

Niveditha Kalyanaraman
Updated On
New Update
From WOM to selling looks and becoming BFFs: here's a 'touchup' on Swiss Beauty's marketing journey

Rumi Ambastha

In 2013, the dream project of two brothers from Delhi, Amit and Mohit Goyal, entered the makeup market. Recognising a need gap in the beauty industry, particularly for Tier 2 and Tier 3 consumers who struggled to find quality and affordable makeup, they embarked on a mission to fill this void. Thus, their bootstrapped venture, Swiss Beauty, was born.

Initially launched as an offline-first brand, Swiss Beauty experienced growth fueled by word-of-mouth marketing, particularly on Reddit. This social media platform became a hub for consumers to share their reviews and experiences with the products.

Swiss Beauty Haul and Review.

byu/Annual_Paint9736 inIndianMakeupAddicts

The last eighteen months prompted a shift to direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketing for the makeup brand, with the omnichannel strategy gaining prominence across the marketing landscape.

In an exclusive conversation with BestMediaInfo, Rumi Ambastha, AVP Marketing, Swiss Beauty, revealed that the pivot was simply tapping into the online audience it hadn’t explored, a decade earlier.

The burgeoning demand for makeup during early mornings and late nights drove the brand to establish a quick-commerce presence. Ambastha highlighted how platforms like Blinkit provided the brand with the chance to be omnipresent, enabling consumers to purchase their products at any time.

Amidst the double taps online and the ‘add to cart’ taps on quick commerce apps, the makeup brand also drove a content first strategy.

Detailing the 'content first' approach, Ambastha elaborated on how the beauty brand tapped into India's diversity, encompassing festivals like Karwa Chauth and Navratri in Delhi, Ludhiana, and Chandigarh; Durga Puja in Calcutta, as well as the cultural nuances of Tamil, Muslim, and Bengali weddings.

While content serves as a pivotal aspect of the brand's strategy, Ambastha emphasised that as a player in the service industry, it's imperative to offer top-notch products to consumers.

“The content creation part is very important. But that will only work if your product is good. There is no way around it,” added Ambastha, citing the example of the brand’s holographic liners that took off soon after their launch.

Revealing their cash cows to be the products in the face category, Ambastha revealed the brand book’s mantra “Fearlessly Expressive” which became the yardstick for finding a suitable brand ambassador and for collaborations with influencers.

She talked about roping in Taapsee Pannu as their ambassador and the in-cinema branding done with her. From going to 700 screens during Pannu’s Dunki release to partnering with her foundation Nanhi Kali, Swiss Beauty aimed to be present alongside their ambassador.

Talking about how they pick influencers to collaborate with, Ambastha revealed that they worked with both micro and nano creators and looked for someone who has their own style, with no extra frills. Those who could be your ‘BFF’ content creators, circling back to the brand’s positioning in the market.

“If there is one word that defines Swiss beauty, it is BFF,” she added. Creating a space that is the brand’s own is Ambastha’s solution to dealing with competition in the brand’s industry. “In this case, the whole BFF space is something that is very ours,” she added.

The brand also aimed to address the intimidation of wearing makeup with its masterclasses on how to apply makeup. In terms of UGC, Ambastha shed light on YouTube reviews, influencer recommendations, to name a few.

‘BFF Bina Wedding Kaise’ was the brand’s way of positioning itself as the ‘Wedding BFF’ since makeup is a pivotal part of Indian shaadis.

From engagement to cocktail, haldi, mehndi, and sangeet, the brand introduced four wedding BFFs, tailored to specific events - the 'Banno ki Saheli,' 'Office Wali Bestie,' 'Bachpan ki Dost,' and the 'Sassy NRI.' It also launched curated bridal kits- the Wedding Shagun Kit, Modern Rani Vanity, and Modern Rani Pouch.

“And then we were celebrating post-shadi looks, Shadi ke baad pehli baad office ka look, Shadi baad honeymoon ka look, Shadi baad pehla ghar ka dinner ka look,” she added.

Taking inspiration from the ‘Make In India’ phenomenon, the brand also got a trademark for its lipstick, in its ‘Lipstick Of India’ campaign.

“That was the first time that we entered the liquid lipsticks space as a brand,” recalled Ambastha.

With 60% of their audience coming from the offline space, the brand also participates in on ground events for customer interaction and the brand experience.

This involved setting up wedding pandals in Kamla Nagar, Delhi with women dressing up as brides, and inviting the audience to take part in the ‘shaadi,’ to having a Valentine day makeup look tutorial in Mantri mall.

Revealing the brand’s differing portfolios for its quick commerce and offline brand outlets, Ambastha laid emphasis on how a brand needs to keep noting its cash flows, while also revealing that they looked at the international makeup scene to note the growing demands.

Rendering importance to the accountability brands should take, Ambastha said, “If you're seeing that there is a certain wave that is happening, and then you want to bring that wave here because you want to be at the forefront of setting trends, you also take that as a responsibility of being a legacy brand.”

In Ambastha’s opinion, a brand doesn’t make it to being a consumer’s choice without reaching out to them on various portals from social media to online blogs to word of mouth recommendations. “That’s where your content plays a role again.”

She stated that different campaigns (product-led, thematic, topical, and influencer-led) have different KPIs to look out for, ranging from engagement, reach, to sales and CPV.

The brand also works on flying trends like colour of the season by launching different product categories or a special category.

In terms of marketing product lines, Ambastha shared that finding one’s cash cow is the foundation for marketing one’s other products. She cited the example of Swiss Beauty’s concealer that helped in gaining ‘repetitive’ consumers, on the back of which, the brand sells its other products.

“So then you're not just selling a product, you're selling a look. And that's where I think the next game is. You sell looks,” added Ambastha. She shared that selling a look helps better than an upsell or a discount that would die after a point.

According to her, products whose utility stays in a consumer’s muscle memory are easier to market than ones with no reference point or a changed product, something that is new to the market, as it has a lot of cynicism and doubts surrounding it. 

Talking about a trend she feels would not die, she believes the ‘no makeup, makeup look’ is the done deal. “You will always have women who would want to be subtle about their makeup but yet have a little bit because you feel slightly confident with your makeup. I think that spectrum is very interesting.”

Marketing OOH Reddit Swiss Beauty Rumi Ambastha Amit Goyal Mohit Goyal makeup WOM