Gets A New Identity
Ever since its inception in 2010, Birchbox has changed the retail landscape, quickly becoming the leading global discovery-commerce platform for men and women. Thanks to founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, more than 300,000 of their members get to discover, sample, and purchase the best beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products, enabling them to enjoy first-touch experiences with new products each month, and exclusive access to expert editorial content that helps them get the most out of each item. Through Birchbox’s online store, customers can shop a handpicked selection of full-sized products from more than 400 top brands, such as Kiehl’s, Laura Mercier, and Stilla.
So it’s not surprising that last month, Birchbox unveiled a new global brand identity that reflects the growth and evolution of the business, as well as fresh site improvements that further fortifies its discovery platform and e-commerce offering. The brand has a new logo, bold colors and fonts, vivid lifestyle imagery across the site, and a redesign of the subscription Birchbox. Besides stylistic changes, the company updated the site experience for customers. This includes more personalization, an improved search algorithm, a “Favorites Feature” that allows customers to add products to their favorites list, and an expanded Bonus Shop.
But the expansion doesn’t stop there. In 2012, the company acquired Paris-based JolieBox, gaining outposts in France, Spain, and the U.K. Recently, Birchbox partnered with Color Club, the New York-based nail polish company renowned for its high performance shades, to launch The Wanderlust Collection. Birchbox editors custom-blended the exclusive colors (inspired by each Birchbox market) using neon shades with a white base to create polishes that are pale, yet bright.
Beauty Fashion spoke with Birchbox co-founder Beauchamp about the growth process and the future of the company.
From the earliest days, as far back as our first 200 subscribers, our community spoke about Birchbox in a way that sounded more like a relationship than a transaction. Statements like “Where have you been all my life?” and “I think I am ready to go steady,” made it clear that we were building a service/brand/company that was a way of life, not just a necessary part of it.
The rebrand helps us show that aspect of our brand visually. Birchbox is a part of your life and world...your life and world are rich, and Birchbox can serve to enhance that. Birchbox is not simply about a monthly treat, it is truly the best way to discover beauty from trying it out, to learning about the products, to shopping.
Just a few months; we started thinking about it after launching our men’s business. Then during the holidays, we brought more non-beauty and grooming products onto our site (think accessories, food, home decor), and soon we recognized that it made sense to update the visual expression of our brand.
We learned a lot through the process and find it very valuable to go through the branding exercise, even if we didn’t change the visual expression. For us a big learning experience was that we would embrace the evolution of the brand—not this one time but on an ongoing basis.
Very! Words can’t express how surprising it still feels on a daily basis to think of the scale we have today. The most important thing we did to make this possible is hire the best team. Everything stems from their talent, passion, ambition, and relentless drive.
We think it will help subscribers and other customers understand more about what Birchbox is and what purpose we could serve in their life. More importantly, there is still so much to come and there always will be. The updated look is really still in phase one; we have many more big ideas, many of which will start rolling out this year.
Color Club is a blast to work with. They have a great team, they are fun to brainstorm and ideate with, and then the spectrum of colors is completely expansive—anything we could possibly dream up!
Dream partnerships are many. I would love to help update older, fantastic brands for this new customer and era. I am passionate and obsessed with the idea that we can help re-imagine those brands and stories because the products are still amazing!
It’s definitely not effortless! You have to try hard to make the people you love in your life feel that love, and make them understand how important they are to you. It is important to me to make them understand that their love and support makes me the person I am. I am lucky. I love the people I work with and I feel blessed spending time with them building Birchbox. I don’t have as much downtime, but my personal feeling is that the happiness I feel at work, spending time with people I care about, does mean I lead a balanced and happy life.
Buckle up—nothing can prepare you for the experience of trying to start your own company. It will feel exciting, impossible, hopeful, scary, benevolent...all in the same day or week. Try hard to remember to enjoy the experience of building; you really never “get” to the finish line because as you approach milestones you push out the goal posts.