Beauty PR: Brand Purple Lab NYC Launches Through Social Media


Purple Lab NYC caught PR Couture’s interest as the young brand made full creative use of social media including Twitter, Facebook. blogging and video blogging to launch their first product, Huge Lips Skinny Hips, a moisturizing lip gloss plumper made with Hoodia, a natural appetite suppressant.

Learn from your community

Founder Karen Robinovitz is a former beauty journalist who won’t release a product unless it replaces every other product in her make up drawer. Karen is a big fan of traditional media and not ready to give up her glossies, but has also been promoting the benefits of social media for the last several years. When it came to launching Purple Lab, Karen knew that social media had reached it’s tipping point, and that being authentic and accessible through social media was a necessary and viable means to build the Purple Lab brand.

Karen also believes in the immense value in the feedback (positive or negative) and questions that come out of this kind of engagement. Case in point, Purple Lab requested favorite color swatches from women through Twitter. Now, they are working on creating shades of lip color based on those swatches and are naming the new colors after the contributor’s twitter name! Purple Lab’s latest video, which shows each Huge Lips Skinny Hips color being worn by women of different ethnicities,  provides visual insight into how the colors work on different skin tones, and was the result of receiving many emails asking this very question.


No velvet rope

Karen is committed to providing all women – media, bloggers, friends and fans –  experiential opportunities to experience Purple Lab in playful ways. Each month, Purple Lab hosts an interactive, intimate, often-times outrageous event for 10-15 Purple Lab Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, Facebook fans and bloggers, inspired by each of the line’s 6 shades.

These one-in-a-lifetime experiences have included Burlesque lessons from Veronica Varlow, a favorite of Marc Jacobs and Heidi Klum, for the color Skinny “Kitty Poledancer, ” and runway lessons with Drew Linehan of Trew Productions (he taught Giselle and Naomi how to strut their stuff on the catwalk!) In August, Purple Lab celebrated their “Love Your Thighs” gloss with Sumo Wrestling! Next up is moonlight yoga, Goji berry smoothies and raw chocolate – inspired by “Worship Kate,” a Kate Moss-inspired berry gloss.


Honesty and transparency

Despite it’s recent May 2009 launch and relatively no marketing budget, Karen and Communication Director Sharon Hirsch have successfully built buzz and brand loyalty, nestling Purple Lab into the hearts of women across the country, based on an honest, transparent and out of the box experiential community building strategy. Karen routinely video blogs about her learning process, lessons learned and the struggles of launching a brand in the current economy and is active on Twitter. As a result, followers feel close to Karen and invested in the brand’s journey.  Through Facebook, YouTube, The Purple Lab blog and other Purple Lab team members on Twitter, fans get to know the stories and personalities of those working behind the scenes as well.

As Karen explains, “social media is about sharing what inspires you and being real.” Of course, another great benefit of building relationships through social media is that the media coverage the brand does receive tells the brand story incredibly well, often with the same amount of passion and energy that exudes from everyone working Purple Lab.”

About This Author

Known as the “fashion publicist’s most powerful accessory,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and the “West Coast ‘It’ girl of fashion PR,” (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the digital map when she launched PR Couture in 2006. She is the author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR, available on Amazon. Crosby spends her time managing PR Couture and mentoring fashion publicists through PRISM and Instappable, as well as the biannual NYC workshop, Fashion PR Confidential. Occasionally, she opens up limited consulting spots for emerging brands through her signature offering, The Brand Elixir.