Companies are taking control of brand storytelling and becoming content publishers themselves, from Target’s take on the corporate newsroom, “A Bulls-Eye View,” to Net a Porter’s own glossy, Porter. Recently, L’Oréal’s Professional Products Division launched FAB-beauty.com (FAB for flair, artistry, beauty), a content platform designed to support public relations on a corporate and brand level through international beauty content available in English and French. Multi-media stories vary from more fashionable topics that target a general public, to ones tailored to beauty industry professionals.
Promoting the industry as a whole
The idea came about when the Corporate Communication team connected on how to best fulfill the Professional Products Division’s mission to valorize the professional beauty industry. As such, you won’t find L’Oréal’s logo or emphasis on the company’s arsenal of brands, As Catherine Rose, International Corporate Communications Director, L’Oréal Professional Products Division puts it, “Fab-Beauty is not a promotional website about L’Oréal or our brands, but rather about the humans that have been, and are still today, building the industry. Our content puts the spotlight on the expertise of all these ‘artisans of beauty.'”
Over the next year, the team worked to define, what Catherine refers to as the “the editorial line – the spinal column of any media,” and then to build the team. FAB operates with a pool of expert contributors (journalists, photo journalists, data journalists, illustrators, photographs and video reporters) from all over the world.
For a company with a 100 year plus history, it’s also about leadership. As Catherine explains, “Being a leader means taking responsibility. It is our duty not only to develop brands and products, but also to promote and endorse this industry as a whole, starting with the people who are working in salons, nail bars and beauty institutes every day, all around the world.”
It is this broad mission paired with the powerful access beholden to such an established, far-reaching brand that allows for such an impressive mix of content often featuring big names, from the Paris Fashion Week backstages with Delphine Courteille to a Beauty Hour Salon in Sao Paulo; from the Venice Film Festival to the Amangiri spa in the middle of the Utah desert, to an interview with Kevin Alexander, the hairstylist for Game Of Thrones.
While much of the content does focus on industry professionals themselves, as Editor in Chief Daphné Segretain (formerly Beauty Editor at L’EQUIPE), explains “as we cover trends from all around the world, we cannot be completely oblivious and avoid partnerships with brands. For example, during the last fashion weeks: we mentioned several designers we followed in Paris; in New York, we met with Rita Remark, Fashion Week manicure artist for Essie, and in Paris we attended the Maison Kistuné/Shu Uemura exclusive launch party.”
Having L’Oréal’ as a boss hasn’t changed Daphné’s approach much, “I try, as a journalist, to continue working as I did before FAB-Beauty. Meaning that I follow the news, I try to anticipate upcoming international events and trends. Since the very beginning, I’ve constantly worked to create a dynamic newsroom supported by writers and reporters from all around the world.” She notes that, “brands have a desire to service their customer industry. I have seen this transition from just traditional media broadcasting to readers, to brand-supported media producing content on areas of expertise. I can predict many other brands will launch platforms to serve their industry, rather than just promoting their own brand.”
For FAB, both women are approaching growth from a long-term, organic perspective. While noting that the website does have a strong SEO strategy and multi-social network strategy to engage and interact with followers through curating and reposting inspiring posts, Catherine notes, “We must not be too hasty if we are to ensure a lasting, successful and enriching future for FAB. Building true influence with a faithful community takes time.”
Images via FAB Beauty