What: The Samwer brothers, a duo who takes effective U.S. technology start-ups and replicates them in other markets, created Glossybox, which began as the European copycat of Birchbox. However, far from being a mere replica, Glossybox has transformed itself with an exclusive focus on luxury. Glossybox CEO, Susan Naci, a Vanity Fair alum, explains, “Glossybox provides our subscriber with an advanced, insider look into the international world of luxury through a specially, curated box of prestige beauty items.”
Differentiation Points (in their own words): “The box sets the tone for the luxe experience. It’s larger than any other box on the market. Our goal is to expose our customer base to the best beauty products in the world. When I travel, I like to see what they have in [drugstores,]…like an amazing lotion that is made from something organic to that part of the world that you can’t find anywhere else. We [curate] that sensibility for our box.”
Products/Perks: Glossybox has over 400 brands, focused on more high-end and niche products. Naci explains that the products selected are chosen because they are new product lines, new launches from established brands, and beauty products from overseas that are notable due to efficacy, luxury factor, exclusivity, and innovation. In one of my Glossyboxes, I received a sample of MissHa, a Korean BB cream you can only find in Korea along with a KohGenDo cleansing water. There are also themed boxes, and Naci mentioned that a La Mer box launched in China and a Harrods box for UK customers. Products are travel-size, not sample size.
Subscriber Base: “Affluent, high-end, in the know.” 220,000 in 17 countries around the world. The U.S division launched in May.
Brand Success Stories: Although Glossybox does not have an e-commerce site, box customers report feedback using a GlossyDot survey. Completing the survey gives them points they can use towards redeeming a “Bonus” box, and acts as market research for brands. They can help brands solicit specific feedback from consumers, such as, “How do you feel about that applicator? Would you recommend it? If there was something you wanted to see more of, what would it be?” They also add their own findings, to come up with recommendations for brand marketing. Naci calls it, “What sampling really should be.”
Future Plans: As they just launched in the U.S, they hope to expand more of their base here.
Cost: $21/month, or $220 for a full year. They also have three and six month options.